A Look At The Life Of Actor Phoebe Dynevor

If you have been at all interested in pop culture over the last few years, then you have certainly heard of "Bridgerton," and are at the very least familiar with Phoebe Dynevor's face, if not her name. The British actor had been working steadily for years in her native United Kingdom before breaking out in the United States with the smash Netflix hit, which came from Shondaland (the company founded by Shonda Rhimes). Since then, she has appeared in her first feature film, dated a high-profile celeb, and become the face of a number of beauty brands. That's the power of Shondaland, ya'll — just ask Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington, or Kate Walsh.

Dynevor's first screen role was in the British TV series "Waterloo Road," when she was in her early teens. Her first American project was "Younger," the TV Land sitcom starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. Dynevor appeared in 17 episodes as an Irish expat who falls for Nico Tortorella's Josh, Liza Miller's (Foster) ex. Not thrilled with her lack of momentum, Dynevor was headed back home when she landed the part of Daphne Bridgerton. Season 1 of "Bridgerton" was released on December 25, 2020, and the rest is, as they say, was history. Here is a look at the life of actor Phoebe Dynevor.

She was born into a show business family

While it might seem to Americans like Phoebe Dynevor burst onto the scene out of nowhere, she is actually from a well-known show business family in the United Kingdom. Dynevor grew up in Altrincham, a small town that is part of the Greater Manchester Area (via Harper's Bazaar). She has two younger siblings who have yet to crack into the entertainment industry, but many who came before her are seasoned vets. The family's biggest claim to fame is Phoebe's mother, Sally Dynevor, who has been in the industry since the mid-1980s. Sally Dynevor is best known for starring in the British soap opera "Coronation Street," a gig she has had since 1986.

In addition to the famous mother and daughter duo, there are other notable entertainers in the family. Tim Dynevor — Phoebe's father — is a screenwriter, mostly known for his work on "Emmerdale Farm," another British soap opera, and many of Phoebe's extended relatives also work behind the scenes, in a variety of roles. "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," Dynevor explained to You Magazine. "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." Phoebe is now the most famous of all the Dynevors, clearly keeping up with a longstanding family tradition of working in the arts.

She began acting as a teenager

Having been born into a creative family, it makes sense that Phoebe Dynevor would have caught the acting bug early. According to an interview she did with The Guardian, Dynevor had her first audition at age 11 when she saw an open call for "The Golden Compass," a 2007 film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. "I didn't end up getting the role, but I had the best day of my life, and from then on, it was like, 'Right, what's next? How are we doing this?'," she told The Guardian. "My mum and dad couldn't stop me."

Dynevor landed her first gig in 2009, at age 14, when she was cast in the British television series "Waterloo Road." She appeared in 20 episodes over the course of two years, and then continued to work in TV throughout her teenage years, in programs such as "Prisoners Wives" and "The Village." She had considered drama school, but because she kept getting work — in two more series, "Dickensian" and "Snatch," specifically — she opted against it (via Harper's Bazaar). She then headed to the United States with hopes of breaking through, which she somewhat did with her first role stateside, appearing as a recurring character on the sitcom "Younger."

She was about to leave Los Angeles when Bridgerton called

Having had some success in England, Phoebe Dynevor expected an easier time upon her arrival in the United States. However, after spending the better part of a year auditioning, she decided that perhaps it was not going to work out. "I had been living in L.A. for about nine months, and I was kind of at that point where I was ready to go home, and sort of throw in the towel," she told Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show." It was right when she was about to head back to Manchester — the flight was booked and all — that she received a callback about "Bridgerton."

According to Harper's Bazaar, Dynevor first auditioned for "Bridgerton" in February 2019, and then went months without hearing about the job. So, we can't really blame her for booking a flight, not knowing that in time she would be asked to meet with showrunner Chris Van Dusen and producer Betsy Beers. They then asked her to come in and read with Regé-Jean Page, who was already cast as her character Daphne Bridgerton's love interest and eventual husband. "It was a blur. All I remember is being like, 'Oh, that's Shonda Rhimes,' and getting a bit nervous. And meeting Regé and being like, 'Oh, he's stunning.' And then leaving Regé and being like, 'Well, good luck! I hope it goes well'," she recalled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I just didn't think I was going to get the part."

She is a huge fan of Beyoncé and Jhene Aiko

In many of her interviews, Phoebe Dynevor has made it clear that she is very into music and, like many of us, said that she uses it for many purposes, such as for inspiration or to hype her up. She has named-checked Beyoncé as a favorite numerous times and, in an interview with Sky TV, said that she likes her because "she's empowering in all her songs." In a video interview for Harper's Bazaar UK, Dynevor once again mentioned being a part of the Beyhive. When asked who she would be most starstruck by, she immediately uttered Queen Bey's name. "Goes without question. I grew up to Beyoncé and I just absolutely love her," she said.

Dynevor appears to have a wide range of musical interests aside from just Beyoncé. In December 2020, she filmed a video for MTV in which she answered questions about the music she gravitates toward in different situations. She said that Taylor Swift's "Folklore" was her go-to for "keeping cozy in the winter," and that Avril Lavigne (and yes, Beyoncé) reminded her of her childhood. She also noted that her playlist for gearing herself up for "Bridgerton" scenes was mostly classical music, which makes sense given the show's setting, and that her favorite artist of all-time is R&B artist Jhené Aiko. Music plays such a huge role in "Bridgerton" — instrumental versions of modern songs like "Thank U, Next" are often heard in the background — and it is nice to know that Dynevor geeks out over it as much as we do.

She learned multiple skills for Bridgerton

An actor has much to learn whenever they get a new job — they must plot out their character's history and motivations, learn their lines, figure out where they are going to stand in each scene, and so forth. But with some roles, there are extra hurdles, like an accent or a special skill. For example, Natalie Portman learned ballet for her Oscar-winning turn in "Black Swan," and Jennifer Lawrence learned to chop wood and skin squirrels (ew) for her breakout role in "Winter's Bone" (via Backstage). With the quality of television now rivaling film, as well as increased production timelines for streaming series (vs network ones), it is not surprising that TV actors now sometimes have to do as much prep as film actors.

Phoebe Dynevor had a number of skills to learn for her role in "Bridgerton," none of which seem very fun to practice in the show's elaborate period costumes. While Dynevor lied in her audition when she said she had ridden horses in the past, she became a pro horseback rider by the end of her training (via Glamour). She was also required to undergo lessons in dancing, piano, and etiquette, per Harper's Bazaar. "I just remember a lot of very low curtsies, and Jack [Murphy], our wonderful choreographer, just giving us little notes on how to sort of pull our shoulders back and, 'Lower, Phoebe, lower for the queen!'," she recalled in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. "I remember being really nervous about it."

She dated Pete Davidson

We don't know a ton about Phoebe Dynevor's dating history, or even how much history there is (she is rather young, after all), but one high-profile romance did make waves in the media. It is kind of impossible to date Pete Davidson and not have people pay attention to it — just ask Cazzie David. Or Ariana Grande. Or Kate Beckinsale, Margaret Qualley, Kaia Gerber, and Olivia O'Brien — not to mention Kim Kardashian and that whole hoopla. Dynevor is just one on a long list of Davidson's relationships and, even though they were not together an especially long time, the time they spent together seems to have been special. At one point, they even wore matching necklaces with their initials ("PD"), so they were clearly into each other (via People).

Reports of a potential Davidson and Dynevor pairing first surfaced in March 2021, with sources claiming they were just "spending time" together, per Page Six. Within a couple of weeks, Page Six made the claim that they were dating, but maintained that it was "not too serious," even though Davidson reportedly flew to see Dynevor on a set in a small English village completely off the grid (via Page Six). The romance burned for a few months before abruptly ending in August 2021, five months after it began. "It was wild while it lasted and they both really care for each other. But the distance has put a strain on them," an anonymous source told The Sun.

She did not think Bridgerton would become so big

There is simply no denying it: "Bridgerton" was a huge hit. In just its first 28 days on Netflix, viewers spent a total of 625.49 million hours watching Season 1 of the show, propelling it to the top of Netflix's charts (via Variety). Season 2 surpassed these numbers, though we do not know up-to-date totals beyond these initial periods when the show was in Netflix's "Top Ten Rankings," since Netflix does not release data beyond that. But regardless of which season was bigger, Season 2 only came out of the gates so forcefully because of the success of Season 1, which became a true cultural phenomenon. A lot of people expected it — but not its central star, Phoebe Dynevor.

On numerous occasions, Dynevor has sworn that she never foresaw the show being as large and life-altering as it became. "As soon as you see Netflix, you know people are going to see it because it's Netflix. It's a big platform," she told Glamour, roughly a month after the show's December 25, 2020, debut. "We knew people were going to watch it, and we knew it had a fan base in the people who love the books. But to see it blow up like this really, really was unexpected." She did not even realize how famous she had become until the COVID-19 pandemic improved and she started leaving the house again (via Harper's Bazaar).

A fellow celebrity reached out to discuss sudden fame

Sudden fame can be very jarring, and many celebrities have expressed having struggled with their first onslaught of worldwide attention. And one product of reaching worldwide fame is that you start to get people sliding into your DMs. Interestingly, one of the famous people who messaged Phoebe Dynevor after the release of "Bridgerton" was none other than Kim Kardashian, who would later go on to date Dynevor's ex-boyfriend Pete Davidson. In a June 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dynevor said she had received messages from the famous reality star "a few times," presumably because Kardashian enjoyed the show.

Another famous person who reached out to Dynevor was fellow Brit Daisy Edgar-Jones, who shot to fame with the 2020 miniseries "Normal People," also during the pandemic lockdown. "She reached out, and we FaceTimed the first-week Bridgerton came out. I didn't know her at all, but it was really lovely, because we were in a very similar position. It was us talking about it with each other and being able to relate," Dynevor told Harper's Bazaar

At Harper Bazaar's At Work Summit in November 2021, Edgar-Jones said that she reached out because she saw Dynevor was getting similar questions from the media surrounding intimate scenes, and because she wanted to connect and digest their feelings about fame. The two actors appear to have established a true friendship, and they have been spotted hanging out together in London.

She found her solo Bridgerton sex scene the most difficult to film

Sex scenes are always awkward to film, and most credible productions now employ an intimacy coordinator when these scenes are required by the script. Intimacy coordinators help to ensure that sex scenes are deliberately staged, and that the actors feel respected, comfortable, and in control. Because so many of the Season 1 sex scenes in "Bridgerton" involved Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page, the actors were lucky that they had instant chemistry (via "The Tonight Show"). Still, they relied on a professional to help them coordinate. "We did the intimate scenes like stunts — we blocked them out, so you have yoga balls in between you and all sorts of things that never make you feel exposed in any way. You always feel safe," Dynevor told Glamour. "I'd rehearse with Regé so much that we both knew what we were doing. It felt very practical."

For as many sex scenes as she had with Page, Dynevor has said that the hardest scene to film was one where she was alone in her lust. The scene — which occurred in Season 1, episode 3 —depicts Daphne Bridgerton (Dynevor) masturbating for the first time, after Simon Basset (Page) tells her to touch herself. It was listed as one of the show's steamiest scenes by Cosmopolitan, and it too required the help of intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot. "The stage directions are very specific: You have to [perform having] an orgasm. It's a difficult thing to rehearse, which means you don't. You just do it," Dynevor said in the Glamour interview.

She did not star in her first film until 2021

Despite being a working actor since 2009, Phoebe Dynevor did not appear in her first feature-length film until 2021. Up until then, her roles had been exclusively in television, with the exception of two short films in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, she played ceramic artist Clarice Cliff in "The Colour Room," marking her first big screen role. "I always wanted to go into film eventually," Dynevor said during a Q&A at a Harper's Bazaar event. "I've been doing TV work since I was 14, so going into film was always something I really wanted... It was great just having one script! And one director. And it just feeling a lot more intimate. I think that's what really excited me about the medium of film."

Now that she has broken the seal and established herself as a bonafide movie actor, Dynevor has no shortage of films in the works. The majority of her upcoming projects are feature films, including the lead in "Fair Play," in which she will play a woman working in finance whose life begins to unravel after a promotion. She also has "Bank of Dave" in post-production as of this writing, a film about real-life self-made millionaire Dave Fishwick. And then there's "I Heart Murder," a film that will have Dynevor playing a true crime podcaster who gets to close to one of the cases she covers. This is all in addition to the upcoming Amazon series "Exciting Times," in which she will star and executive produce (per Deadline).

She uses meditation and other tools to tackle her anxiety

Self-care is important for all humans, but we cannot imagine how crucial it is when you are catapulted to fame seemingly overnight. For Phoebe Dynevor, it takes a number of tools to ensure she is living her best and most even-keeled life. These include meditation, therapy, yoga, long walks, and even self-help books. "The first self-help book I ever really read that resonated with me was a book called 'Letting Go' by David R Hawkins," Dynevor once told Vogue. "It was the first time I realized the power of letting go of all the sh*t that you've been through, and to continually release negative thoughts. That's my favorite, and I recommend it to everyone as a starter book."

"I worry about everything," Dynevor declared in a Harper's Bazaar interview. "I'm full of anxiety. I have a fear of failure, letting someone down, contradicting myself." Meditation has been one of the most valuable tools in Dynevor's toolbox, and she has said she came to meditation around the same time as reading Hawkins' book, which also coincided to a period where she was living a simpler life in Spain (via Vogue). She tries to do 15 minutes of meditation each morning, though she admits that she does not always succeed due to her intense travel schedule. Dynevor also swears by decaf coffee, plant-based meals, and solo trips to the movies (per Harper's Bazaar).

She has had multiple endorsement deals

Like most celebrities — especially young, in-demand female ones — Phoebe Dynevor has been courted by many brands seeking her endorsement to sell their products. Thus far, she has been rather selective with the brands she has chosen to work with, but she has partnered with a number of companies in the beauty industry in particular. For instance, she has advertised eco-friendly hair brand weDo/Professional, which she has said appealed to her not just because of the beauty aspect but also the message it sends about sustainability. "I want to do my bit for the environment, the same as everyone else and that's what brought me to weDo/," she said in a PR Newswire press release.

In addition to hair care, Dynevor has also committed to being the face of a skin care line and a cosmetics brand. She became Sunday Riley's first brand ambassador, despite the skincare brand having been around since 2009, per Grazia. She was also the first celebrity ambassador for cosmetic company Charlotte Tilbury, starting with their 2021 winter holiday campaign (via Forbes). "I fell in love with Phoebe as I watched her in 'Bridgerton,'" said company founder Charlotte Tilbury. "I was certain she was wearing a Pillow Talk lip — and when I found out she was, I knew it was written in the stars!!." Pillow Talk is a collection from Charlotte Tilbury, which was used for Dynevor's character at the discretion of the "Bridgerton" makeup artist on set (per Forbes).