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Stepping Cautiously Into the ‘Bridgerton’ Spotlight

Luke Newton is yet to experience what it means to be a “Bridgerton” leading man, but he has been trying to prepare himself.

He has played Colin Bridgerton on the ornate, sexually charged Netflix show for two seasons, but for the third — which premieres on Thursday — Newton is following in the footsteps of Regé-Jean Page and Jonathan Bailey and stepping into the role of a co-lead — or chief hunk.

“I feel slightly overwhelmed,” Newton, 31, said in a recent interview, adding that he was only just starting to appreciate the responsibilities of being a “Bridgerton” lead, rather than a co-star.

After watching both Page and Bailey navigate successful seasons and, later, careers in Hollywood, Newton asked both actors for advice. Page just suggested he take a vacation as soon as the season wrapped, Newton said, but Bailey — who continues to play Anthony, Colin’s older brother, in Season 3 — was around to support him throughout. “Whatever stress there was, whatever situation, I could just call him,” Newton said.

After the last season aired, Bailey’s status — both as a celebrity and a sex symbol — skyrocketed, leading to an “extraordinary change” in his life, Bailey said. But he wasn’t worried about how his co-star would handle the same shift: He said Newton could deal with the “absurd” nature of a sudden rush of fame.

“Bridgerton,” which is based on a series of novels by the author Julia Quinn, follows eight siblings as they pine for love and reckon with relationships in early-19th-century London. The show, produced by Shonda Rhimes, has been praised both for its inclusive casting and raw approach to intimacy onscreen.

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