Jonathan Bailey Said Working at a Honey Factory Was ‘Groundbreaking’ for Him

English actor Jonathan Bailey is known for his roles in Chewing Gum, Crashing, and the comedy series Campus. However, as Anthony Bridgerton in the hit Netflix series Bridgerton has catapulted Bailey to new heights of stardom. But in a recent interview, the actor noted a job at a honey factory influenced his life trajectory most.

The job that changed Jonathan Bailey’s life

Jonathan Bailey Bridgerton honey factory
Jonathan Bailey at Paris Fashion Week in January 2022 | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Bailey was asked which job changed his life, and his response was intriguing.

“It was quite early on, but it was working at the lemon curd line at the local honey factory,” the actor noted. Bailey said how fun the holidays were and added that “every summer, Christmas holidays, at school, there’s something about having to open up a piping-hot vat of lemon curds to check the temperatures at 5 in the morning.” 

Bailey referred to the job on the lemon curd line as “groundbreaking” because it sparked his creativity and made him think about what he wanted to do in life.

The Bridgerton actor added that the job “made me realize I don’t ever want to see or have lemon curd ever again but also perhaps even though acting is kind of unstable, you don’t get lemon curd facials that early.” The lemon curd job prompted the actor to switch to acting.

Bailey also considered not pursuing acting and noted he would rather be a schoolteacher because “all teachers are modern-day heroes.” 

Jonathan Bailey’s early life and career

Bailey was born in 1988 in Benson, England. The actor is the youngest and only boy in a family of four. Bailey studied ballet and joined a dancing club in Henley-on-Thames while attending the Oratory School in Woodcote, Oxfordshire. He completed his studies at Magdalen College School in Oxford. However, he postponed his entry to the Open University to work full-time.

At the tender age of 5, Bailey decided he wanted to pursue a music career. His decision was influenced by the stage production Oliver. At the age of 7, Bailey auditioned for and was cast as an alternate character in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1995 performance of A Christmas Carol, then at Barbican Playhouse. By the age of 8, he played Gavroche in a West End performance.

Bailey’s breakthrough as Anthony in ‘Bridgerton’

Bailey began his onscreen acting career with the film Five Children and It, in which he starred with Freddie Highmore. He also starred in the sitcoms Off the Hook, Campus, and Me and Mrs. Jones. Bailey also featured as Leonardo da Vinci in the CBBC TV show Leonardo from 2011 to 2012, IMDb reports.

In addition, the actor played Sam in Channel 4’s 2016 feature TV series Crashing, starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Subsequently, Bailey appeared as a cameo in Chewing Gum, produced by Michaela Coel. He also portrayed Ian Wheeler in James Marsh’s 2018 biographical picture The Mercy.

Finally, Bailey was cast in the Netflix series Bridgerton in 2019.

In Bridgerton, Bailey plays Lord Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest son of Viscount Edmund Bridgerton, who grows up to be his father’s successor. Seven other siblings follow. At 17, he witnesses his father being stung by a bee and dying seconds afterward.

Awards and honors

Bailey has earned several award nominations for his outstanding acting, IMDb shows. For his work in the popular series Bridgerton, he has received nominations for Gold Derby Awards, International Online Cinema Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. In addition, the actor won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

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