I mean, doesn’t everybody at the moment? Phoebe Dynevor is the breakout star of Bridgerton, the biggest thing on Netflix at the time of writing, but I want to tell you about something unexpected that happened while I was interviewing her for You magazine.
I was at home and Phoebe was at her Mum and Dad’s house near Manchester, where she had spent lockdown. She was friendly, funny and totally on top of the technology, so Zoom was not a problem for a change. We talked about the phenomenal success of the souped-up, colour-conscious Regency bodice-ripper and I realised that Phoebe was only dimly aware of what a huge international star she had suddenly become. She knew a bit about fame because her mother Sally had been in the British soap opera Coronation Street for a very long time, but this was on another scale entirely.
As she was living in a house with her whole family, including Granny and Grandad, I asked if they had all watched the show together. I was guessing this might have been a bit awkward, because there are quite a few steamy scenes. Let’s face it, episode six is one glorious long romp. You can read her answer in the full interview from You magazine below, and very touching it is too.
I also asked what every fan of Bridgerton wanted to know: namely whether there was anything between Phoebe Dynevor and her co-star Regé-Jean Page in real life. She gave the most direct answer either of them had ever given, which you can also read in a second. There was a revelation about sex and yoga balls too, but for the moment I want to tell you about the thing that isn’t in the piece.
This is how it went.
As we approached the end of our time, I became aware of my daughter Grace listening outside the room. She’s a huge fan of Bridgerton and was thrilled to hear Phoebe’s voice in our home. I wouldn’t normally do this at all, but as we seemed to be getting on well I took a risk and asked Phoebe if it would be okay for Grace to say hello.
“Yes, of course!” she said happily, so in came Grace and they started to natter.
Now I realised for the first time how close in age they were: Grace is 19 and Phoebe Dynevor 25, which is not much of a difference really. Phoebe asked Grace what she was doing at university, they chatted briefly then started bonding over what it was like to watch all that on-screen sex with their respective oldies in the room.
“I’m so sorry I had to put you through all of that,” said Phoebe, joking. Grace, who was home because of lockdown, said: “I had my blanket pulled up around me and I was like: ‘Okay, if I can’t see my parents then they’re not there!” Phoebe laughed and said: “I totally feel your pain!”
It’s nothing, in the scheme of things, but it really touched me at the time. Phoebe Dynevor did not have to do that, she didn’t have to be so nice about it and treat this stranger down the line as an equal, but that’s what happened. Grace went off delighted to have had such an easy, equal conversation with someone whose work she really admires. So I have to tell you, I am currently the world’s biggest Phoebe Dynevor fan. Well, maybe I’m not. Maybe you are. Let me know. But I am grateful. Here’s the full piece to read and look at.
PORTRAIT BY MATTHEW EADES FOR YOU MAGAZINE CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE FULL SPREAD
Phoebe Dynevor for You magazine