Jonathan Bailey: From Supporting Actor to Leading Man

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Jonathan Bailey: From Supporting Actor to Leading Man

Whether you’re an avid fan of the BBC’s Broadchurch or ITV’s Liar, you’ve probably seen the star at the forefront of both shows: Jonathan Bailey. Ever since he first exploded onto the British television scene, the actor born in Oxfordshire has been taking over your screens in some of the biggest drama series known to UK viewers. Going from a supporting cast actor to a leading man, here’s a look at the career of this incredible talent.

Early Career and Role on Broadchurch

The early beginnings of Jonathan Bailey’s career are dated back to 2011. He first appeared in the comedy drama series Being Human as an uncredited performer, although his first starring role came in the same year. After his brief uncredited role, Bailey thereafter featured as George in the TV adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

It wasn’t until 2013 that his rise to fame kicked off with his role as Olly Stevens in the first two series of Bafta-winning crime drama Broadchurch. Playing a neurotic local paper journalist, Stevens was the comedic relief of the main cast, and provided light-hearted scenes in what was otherwise a powerful courtroom drama. With a starring role on one of the UK’s most high-profile shows, it was from Broadchurch that Bailey has since become a household name.

Breaking Away From Supporting Characters

The actor then went on to star in four television dramas; series such as The Wa rOffscreen and Uncle, where his supporting roles were getting increasingly bigger. However, Bailey’s big break as a leading man came with Liar. This show aired in 2017 and provided him the opportunity to delve deeper into a complicated character, something which he hadn’t been able to do in Broadchurch. Bailey played Dr. Andrew Earlham, recently divorced surgeon whose life is torn apart after he is accused of rape by his one-time date, a young school teacher.

By displaying his ability to keep audiences glued to their seats with his performances, it was from Liar onwards that Jonathan Bailey really established himself as one of the greatest actors of the current television landscape.

A Flurry of Appearances

Since Liar, Bailey has had no problem maintaining his position as a leading character in shows, playing the lead in wildly successful series such as the 2019 sequel of Liar as well as The Split and Clique. He has also made appearances as a major recurring character in such period details as Baby People and Save Me Too.

In perhaps his most ambitious move yet, Bailey will be appearing in the upcoming fantasy epic The Witcher, produced by Netflix and executive produced by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich; the same lady behind the sci-fi series The Umbrella Academy.

What Jonathan Bailey has Achieved

The undeniable success which Jonathan Bailey had achieved thus far can only be credited for his passion for the craft. Despite having a supporting character on one of television’s biggest shows, he didn’t rest on his laurels and kept trying to find jobs and projects where he was the protagonist, and this proved to be the game-changer for the actor.

His performances on a variety of different roles has allowed him to become one of the most recognizable faces today, an indication of how far he’s come. From a minor supporting character in 2011 to a major leading man in 2019, Jonathan Bailey has been on an incredible journey, and one which is just getting started.

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