Watched by over 82 million people and counting, the Regency-era drama was an instant hit with fans as they followed Daphne’s launch onto the marriage market of high-society London in 1813 and her subsequent passionate love affair with the smoldering Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page).
Bridgerton season 2 is finally here... but before Phoebe fastened up her corset and became part of the Bridgerton franchise, she was a hard-working actor from a family full of performers, writers and directors.
Proud of her family and shocked by her sudden rise to fame, what else is there to know about the Manchester-born actor?
Here are a few other things you may not know about the rapidly rising star...
Phoebe Dynevor is the daughter of Corrie actor Sally Dynevor
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Incredibly proud of the example her mum has set and her tireless work ethic, Sally wasn't even the only member of the family Phoebe could turn for acting advice. In fact, pretty much the whole Dynevor tribe is involved in the entertainment business in some way as Phoebe revealed in an interview with You magazine.
"My whole family’s in the industry. My grandma was a third assistant director, helping people on set, my grandpa was a director. My uncle’s a producer. My auntie paints sets. My cousin’s a make-up artist in film production. So I grew up seeing or hearing stories about the family dynamic of production: all these incredibly talented creative people coming together to make something."
Her dad Tim Dynevor is also a screenwriter, who spent many years writing the scripts for the other hugely popular northern soap Emmerdale. The sweet Instagram post below shows how much Phoebe adores her creative family.
She was also inspired by her mum's courage when in 2019 Sally embarked on a charity climb to Everest Base Camp for Prevent Breast Cancer (opens in new tab). The charity was very important to the family after Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Thankfully she went on to make a full recovery.
She wasn’t sure Bridgerton would be a success
Season 1 of Bridgerton was filmed during 2019 and the beginning of 2020, finishing just before the country went into the first lockdown.
While Phoebe had a fabulous time during filming she knew what they were creating was something never seen before on TV. She told Variety about her concerns for how the public would receive the daring and dynamic series.
“I had no idea what we were filming and I just worked my butt off and hoped for the best. I remember, Johnathan Bailey (Anthony Bridgerton) and I having conversations where we were like, what is this? Are people gonna get what we’re trying to do? Because it just feels so strange. And luckily, they did.”
The rapturous reception of the show was more than any of the cast could ever have dreamt of, as the below Instagram posts shows.
The show was released on Christmas Day 2020 and the reaction was immediate and huge. Phoebe told Harpers Bazaar how the series was launched during another lockdown, which delayed her exposure to the huge impact the show had on the appreciative public.
"In the first season, people were saying to me, 'You know this could be huge,' but you don’t ever believe that, and you will never understand what it feels like until it happens to you. It's quite out-of-the-body and weird.
"It was only when we started being able to leave the house again and there were photographers outside – which was really scary – that I realized if I went out in my pajamas, there might be someone taking pictures."
Bridgerton isn’t the first show she’s been in with Regé-Jean Page
Phoebe's first big TV break was on the long-running BBC drama Waterloo Road, which she won when she was just 14.
She played school-girl Siobhan Mailey for season 5 of the Rochdale-based show. A few years later however a new trainee teacher rocked up, Guy Braxton, played by none other than the Duke of Hastings himself — Regé-Jean Page. Although they never appeared on screen at the same time, who would have thought then that the future Duke and Duchess of Hastings were walking in the same school corridors!?
She had to learn to dance, horse ride and play piano for the role in Bridgerton
Although Phoebe looked every inch the demure debutant in season 1 of Bridgerton, preparing for the role was a bit of a rollercoaster. She told Variety about the diverse number of skills she had to quickly learn.
"We had six weeks prep, so it was pretty mega. I was so nervous about dancing because I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible dancer. So I was like, ‘oh, God, they cast me and I can’t dance and they’re gonna find out and it’s gonna be awful!’ But luckily, I had a great dance instructor and ended up just really enjoying it. And we got to dance to modern music. I really loved horse riding as well. Piano, I’m not so good at."
Check out the Instagram post below of Phoebe's newfound love of horse riding…
She nearly gave up acting before winning the Bridgerton role
After her school-girl role in Waterloo Road, Phoebe won regular parts in BBC dramas Prisoner's Wives, The Village and Dickensian.
Then in 2017 she decided to move to LA to see if could make it big over the pond. She appeared in the American comedy-drama series Younger and spent a lot of time auditioning for parts without any success.
Feeling a little dejected she booked a flight home to Manchester, but then got the call about auditioning for a new drama being made by the Grey's Anatomy producer Shonda Rhimes called Bridgerton…
She told Harpers Bazaar. "It’s so funny how life works. You’re always on the verge of giving up, and then something just sweeps you off."
She also revealed to You about the tougher side of being an actor and how you need a thick skin to keep going when the rejections keep on coming.
"Being an actor is 99 percent being told 'no'. Sometimes it does wear you down.
"I remember telling Regé (after auditioning together) 'I just want to say you’re brilliant. Good luck with it all – you’re going to be great.' I thought maybe he’d read with loads of other girls. He sort of smiled and giggled at me."
She had to fast forward the saucy parts of Bridgerton for her granny and granddad
The relationship between Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset heats up as the pair get married and move into his impressive estate, the fictional Clyveden Castle (the real Castle Howard in Yorkshire was used for the exterior shots).
Episode six is an especially steamy affair, which made Phoebe grab for the remote. She told You magazine. "I watched it here with the whole family including my grandma and grandpa and fast-forwarded all the naughty parts. The remote was in my hand at all times. We skipped past episode six completely! I was like, 'That’s just not worth watching!'"
She feels a connection to her Bridgerton co-star Julie Andrews
Even before Phoebe was born she was familiar with the sweet voice of iconic actress Julie Andrews (who voices Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton) as her mum watched the classic 1964 film Mary Poppins again and again to try and encourage her labor.
"I was two weeks late while my mum was trying to give birth to me. For some reason, she would watch Mary Poppins to try to get me out," she told You magazine. "She thought it would be soothing, so she’d watch the film on repeat and sing to me every night for two weeks. When I heard Julie Andrews was part of the show, I was so excited to meet her. Then, obviously, I didn’t."
Unfortunately, Julie recorded her voice-overs separately from the rest of the cast. "So in lockdown, I read her autobiography just to be close to her. I know absolutely everything about Julie Andrews now. I will meet her one day, though. I’m going to track her down!"
Playing Daphne inspired her
The costumes on Bridgerton are a big part of why the show is such a success with gorgeous vibrant colors and lavish attention to detail. Phoebe's character Daphne was always dressed in pale blues, creams and silver, with empire line dresses and corsets the norm.
In an interview with Harpers Bazaar she revealed how the costumes in the show, plus the journey Daphne went on and the battles she had to fight, helped with Phoebe's own sense of self and courage.
"You have to stand up super-straight in those corsets and pull your shoulders back," she says. "There was a certain confidence that Daphne had to have, which means you can pull off anything. I now channel it: if Daphne can fake it, then so can I..."
She will miss her sizzling co-star for season 2
The Bridgerton series is based on the romantic novels of Julia Quinn (opens in new tab), who wrote eight books, with each one focused on a different Bridgerton sibling. So season 2 will focus on the eldest male child Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his romantic adventures.
This means that Phoebe's character Daphne will have a very different role, she is now of course a mother, but also her co-star and on-screen husband Regé-Jean Page won't be returning.
She told Harpers Bazaar how much she will miss her gorgeous cast-mate.
"Everyone has their own way of going about their career, and that was his choice, and I think it was a really smart choice for him." Does she miss him? "Of course! Me and Regé went through so much together, and I’ll always have that with him. It was quite an incredible experience for both of us, and we got to lean on each other through it, so yes, it is odd not having him in season two."
She played an artist in her first film role
In between filming seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton, Phoebe won her first film role. Released in November 2021, The Colour Room is about the artist Clarice Cliff, who was born in the Victorian era and was not only a talented ceramicist but a fierce campaigner for better working rights for women.
She told Harpers Bazaar. "Her story absolutely fascinated me – a woman coming from a working-class background, working up to running a whole pottery business. It was an incredible achievement, so it was exciting to me to be able to play a character like that, particularly after Daphne, because in almost every way, they are polar opposites. Daphne comes from privilege and all she knows is how to present herself and what that will do for her. Clarice came from nothing and had no self-awareness, but she knew exactly what she wanted."
It's also a story that resonants with her own family's history. "My mum grew up in Oldham and was going to work at a cigarette factory till she decided to go to drama school, so there’s part of me that wants to represent the Northern working-class background."
Check out her Instagram below about the film's release.
Phoebe Dynevor's fact file
Frequently asked questions about the actor...
How old is Phoebe Dynevor?
Phoebe Dynevor is 26-years-old, she was born on April 17, 1995.
Is Phoebe Dynevor married?
Phoebe Dynevor is not married.
Does Phoebe Dynevor have any children?
Phoebe Dynevor does not have any children.
Where was Phoebe Dynevor born?
Phoebe Dynevor was born in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
How tall is Phoebe Dynevor?
Phoebe Dynevor is five foot five.
We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.
Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales.
Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing.
With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries.
Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch.
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