“The new star of Bridgerton” by Tatler (2022)

Interview by Dora Davies-Evitt for Tatler, about Bridgerton’s second season.

Find the interview on tatler.com.

The new star of Bridgerton season 2: Rupert Young is everything a period-drama sensation should be

The handsome addition is far from his cold and calculated character of Lord Jack Featherington

Update 2 August 2022: I’ve now copied the full text of the article below, with respect but without permission, for the sake of keeping a record.

The new star of Bridgerton season 2: Rupert Young is everything a period-drama sensation should be
The handsome addition is far from his cold and calculated character of Lord Jack Featherington

By Dora Davies-Evitt
14 April 2022

Well spoken and charming, Rupert Young seems to be the perfect fit for the cast of Bridgerton or indeed of any period drama. Young jokingly agrees with me after I make this observation, ‘everyone always asked me “why have I never been in a period drama” and now they’re happy’.

The 43-year-old British actor, who gives off palpable Mr Darcy vibes, once asked his brother, who writes for the adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon, why he hadn’t been cast for the show yet, to which he was greeted with a half-hearted ‘I’ll let you know’. He put that potential project on the back burner however, after securing the role of Jack Featherington in season 2 of the Bridgerton franchise.

The Bridgerton star, who plays the new patriarch of the aristocratic Featherington family, seems genuinely amazed by his own success, ‘millions of people around the world are obsessed with Bridgerton’ he says, ‘that’s a pretty crazy thing to think about!’. And indeed, he is right (to say the least), the second instalment of the hit series broke global records with 193 million hours of viewing time worldwide – the highest for any English-language Netflix series in its first three days. ‘Lots of old friends have got in touch. People I haven’t spoken to in years, asking if that’s really me on the show’.

Young was not included in the notorious dance sequences (which are set to the riveting back beat of instrumental pop anthems) because despite his period drama credentials, he assures me he is a ‘terrible dancer’. ‘I was mostly in the back sipping champagne, even at the fictional Featherington ball’, he notes, much to his relief no doubt.

Young has not had much time to soak up the post-release glory since the episodes were aired in March. He has been on what he describes as a ‘Covid-19/Greek sabbatical’, and has yet to experience the true effect of his newfound fame (having contracted the virus during the week of Bridgerton’s release, post-recovery he flew to Greece for a well-deserved holiday). ‘I got a few “are you the guy from TV” while away,’ he says, ‘but nothing too extreme’. This may change in England, considering he’s the dashing new arrival to one of the nation’s most watched shows.

Compared to his character, Young is engaging and warm. Without giving too much away, the ambitious Featherington suffers somewhat of a downward spiral towards the end of Season 2, a fate which Young was ignorant of before filming. The character of Lord Jack Featherington doesn’t appear in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books, meaning Young could not read up on the unexpected evolution of his character. ‘It was easy to be charming initially,’ he says, charmingly, ‘it helped to be like that when I didn’t know what Jack was going to become…’

Bridgerton is one of those productions that you would assume was just as fun to make, as it is to watch. Young tells me that he could not have wished for a ‘better entrance to a production’. ‘Without sounding too twee,’ he shares, ‘it felt like one big family on set. It’s just such a relaxed happy atmosphere and so much fun. I couldn’t really believe that what we had had so much fun making, is now in front of me, on Netflix’.

Young has previously featured in BBC hit Merlin, Shameless and the 2020 film, The Secret Garden. His greatest achievement to date may lie in threate however, after he was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen.

It is unclear whether Young will return as Jack Featherington for the next instalment of Bridgerton, given the dramatic outcome of season 2 – although we wait in eager anticipation to discover the Lord’s fate.

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