Jonathan Stuart Bailey (born 25 April 1988) is an English actor. Jonathan Bailey is known for his comedic and dramatic roles on stage and screen, he is the recipient of a Laurence Olivier Award as well as nominations for Evening Standard Theatre and Screen Actor Guild Awards.
- I was aged about five and I went to see Oliver!. I remember announcing to my family something very cliched like, I want to be up there one day.
- I have three older sisters who definitely encouraged me to lark around. I’m pretty sure they spent their Sundays dressing me up (in suitably androgynous clothing) and forcing me to sing Sister Sledge. They were my heroes growing up.
- I've never gone in as the overdog, and that's liberating and I don't want that to ever change. I just want to allow my own experiences to come through.
- Theatre is all about people. You can love a play and character and can be the right person to tell that story. But if you don’t click with the other people in the play, it won’t work.
- I’ve never doubted I would have children. It’s not something I’ve ever wavered on.
- It is a private matter [sexuality], but if there are opportunities to say something . . . I wonder if, if it would be beneficial to someone else, that responsibility is on you. It’s complicated.
- Theatre has often saved the day for me and that’s why I’ll forever think I’m a theatre actor more than anything else.
- Oh my God, are you kidding? I’m not saying for one second that I’ve been this sort of candyfloss gay who has cartwheeled around London. It’s completely brutal. And at moments really confusing. [But] there’s absolutely no way I’m not going to be visibly out. Even four years ago there wasn’t any actor in my peer group, really, that you could see playing straight roles.
- LGBT people are not that different - we're just as anxious and just as flawed and just as desperate to fall in love as everyone else.
- It’s about redressing the balance of access to roles. There just aren’t that many gay roles, so when straight actors go to take that space up, it’s eliminating the chance for other [gay actors]. We know there has been a history of needing to be closeted to succeed and be famous, especially in acting. And the idea of not being able to believe heterosexual relations and narrative, if you know one of the actors is gay… everyone should be able to play absolutely everything. But let’s blow away all the cobwebs, and one of the hang-ups and shadows of the past is that we need to be a lot more open to the idea of sexes playing different sides. There have been amazing performances by straight people playing gay and by gay people playing straight.
- I knew that I wanted to be visible about my sexuality, because in all the territories that Netflix goes out in, there might be a boy somewhere that goes, “Wait, what?” Which is what I didn’t have when I was young. All I know is that I’m happy to keep working really hard and if there are opportunities for representation, and to make that point, then that’s something I’ll always strive to do.
- In 20 years, you don't want to be famous. You want a sustained career.
- Any actor who thinks they're a sex symbol? Cringe.
- Of course I thought that in order to be happy I needed to be straight. I reached a point where I thought, Fuck this, I'd much prefer to hold my boyfriend's hand in public or be able to put my own face picture on Tinder and not be so concerned about that than getting a part.
- It is good to see a romance story getting the respect it deserves — people can relate because everyone gets the chance to fall in love at some point. Hopefully.
- I think there’s something incredibly sexy about consent generally.
- When you’re working with a genre like romance, which is about something fundamental which connects all humans, it’s so important that we can allow everyone to see themselves in that story, and that wasn't necessarily there for me growing up.
- Leadership is about authenticity and transparency. And being there. Being there as much as you can. There's a fearlessness to it.
- [I loved] the romance genre being given this platform — it’s always been seen as quite a lightweight literature. Of course, it’s fluffy because it’s accessible and it’s hopefully something that you can bathe in. But at the same time, it can really tap into very human, very private and very high-stakes human experiences.
- But with every job I’ve done that I’ve really enjoyed, I’ve never really ‘seen’ myself in it. If you can see yourself in something, you’ve probably already worked out your performance or the why. But if there’s that friction, then it means you’re going to come up with something new.
- There’s a lot of pressure on romance, I think, because you have to be so truthful. But that’s what you want, isn’t it? You just want to find the truth in everything.
Quotes about Jonathan Bailey
- It's thrilling from beginning to end. And the last scene of Act I (which is now two guys) will completely shatter you, as well as it being one of the funniest scenes on record. All due to [Jonathan Bailey], the guy who plays Jamie, the Amy-equivalent.
- "Stephen Sondheim: Bonny Jonny" in Sesuss Magazin (18 April 2019)
- Jonny operates at a different voltage. He's a meteorite of fun with an incredible amount of energy and playfulness. Smoldering at one turn and then utterly innocent at the next, but all the time playing with this sense of untapped danger. That is the quality I love most about Jonny as a person and as a performer: his danger.
- He's quite open as a human being. I love him.
- He’s the nicest person you could ever hope to meet. But when he acts, he can have an edge, which can feel dangerous in a great way. An unpredictability.