Why Colin From Bridgerton Looks So Familiar

If you haven't caught up on "Bridgerton" yet, what are you waiting for? There have been many period pieces that have captivated audiences, but this Netflix show might take the cake — especially when you consider how dashing Luke Newton's character Colin Bridgerton looks, now that his mile-high coif has been tamed into waves. Season 3 focuses on Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), who is ready to find a husband, and Colin who strives to help her do so after his sudden return from Greece. Of course, you'll have to tune in to find out if things go to plan.

Although he's been on "Bridgerton" since its release in 2020, viewers are looking at Newton a little differently since his character's glow-up, and perhaps realizing that he looks pretty familiar. The actor has seemingly become a household name overnight since the series began, now boasting 2 million followers on his Instagram, but he's been in the industry for much longer than anyone realized and his hard work is finally paying off. It took him about a decade of professional on-screen experience to reach this point, and Newton is now killing it. With that, let's take a look back at some of his previous roles including projects with the BBC, Disney Channel, and on stage.

The Cut (2010)

Before he played the dashing and funny Colin Bridgerton, Luke Newton got his start on television with BBC Two's 2009 drama "The Cut" when he was just 17. The series, about British teens coping with school, drama, and their parents' split, ran for three seasons, with the "Bridgerton" star appearing in just the final season as Luke Atwood.

Filming was a strange experience for the young actor, as he told High Life Magazine in January 2023, "I was 17 years old and staying in the house that was the set. I slept in the character's room, which was bizarre." Newton's character was a bit of a scam artist and hustler, giving him a chance to work on his range from the get-go, albeit for only 10 episodes. From there, Newton continued working in British television for a while.

In speaking with F***ing Young during a January 2021 interview, Newton was asked how long he'd had a passion for acting. "Ever since I can remember," he replied. The actor continued, "I spent more time pretending to be fictional characters than being myself. My parents took me to amateur theater groups where I started to perform in local productions. I was spotted in a show by an agent who sent me to my first audition. I booked that job and it soon became clear that it was specifically acting that I wanted to focus on moving forward."

Sadie J (2011)

From a young age, Luke Newton found himself falling in love with theater, partially due to the fact that his aunt performed on the West End. He did eventually go on to find his place on many stages himself, as well as a handful of television spots, before landing "Bridgerton." It was all thanks to a production of "Les Misérables" that Newton saw when he was 5 that encouraged him to set forth on his acting journey, as he was especially drawn to the character Gavroche.

In May 2024, while speaking with Man About Town, the actor explained, "I was like, 'I'll put up with the terror of people being shot if I can see these people performing,'" referring to the loud sound effects during the musical. Newton added, "And I think that's where the bug came from." He worked consistently to achieve his dream, taking on small roles to build expertise. Newton hadn't been acting professionally for long when, following his 10-episode stint on "The Cut," he landed another British teen television show.

The actor was 18 when he played Brad on a single episode of "Sadie J" in 2011, a series about a young English girl navigating school, mean girls, and family. It was a small job, but Newton was just getting started. A couple of years later, he would enroll in the London School of Musical Theatre and gain even more expertise that would serve him well down the line.

Mr Selfridge (2013)

There are a lot of things the cameras don't show you on "Bridgerton," like what the actors do to prepare for their roles or the habits and rituals they have to do before they film a scene. Luke Newton had likely just been figuring his acting quirks out when he secured his third on-screen role in 2013 on "Mr Selfridge." It was an ITV production about the founder of the titular department store in London, and Newton played Richard Brackenbury, yet another minor role that would eventually contribute toward his path to stardom.

One of these so-called quirks Newton maintains to this day is the fact that he needs to brush his teeth before filming a scene. "It's so random when they call me to travel to set and must be so frustrating for the assistant directors. But it's a reset moment," he quipped during his January 2023 interview with High Life Magazine. Of course, it's a habit that probably serves Newton well on "Bridgerton," given all the intimate scenes his character now has. Needless to say, Newton's time on the Netflix series is a very different ballpark from the projects he used to take on.

Doctors (2014)

Like many of his "Bridgerton" co-stars, Luke Newton was still early in his career by 2014. For example, Jessica Madsen (who plays Cressida Cowper) and Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton) were just beginning their acting careers at this time. Plus, "Bridgerton" actor Hannah Dodd (Francesca Bridgerton) didn't even have any credits to her name until 2019.

All things considered, Newton was finding his feet in good time when he secured two episodes on the long-running BBC medical soap "Doctors" in 2014. He played Sam Hern in the two-parter, and it was his first recurring role since his time on "The Cut." Newton had no idea that it would be just six years until he'd become known as the adventurous Colin Bridgerton. Now that he's found success with the series, his outlook has evolved and, while speaking with Glamour in May 2024, Newton described what his ideal next steps would be in his career.

"Ultimately, it's about doing something that's completely different. Because ... My story in the world of Bridgerton will continue and I'll get to live on as Colin as years go on, it's about having a range of characters. I want to look back on my career when I'm 50 and see a distinct difference between all these roles that I portrayed. And now that I've said that, I hope that we do an interview when I'm 50 and go, 'You said this, and now look," he said.

The Lodge (2016)

Believe it or not, Luke Newton can be added to the list of former Disney Channel stars who grew up to be stunning. That's right, our dear Colin Bridgerton has Disney roots, but he didn't star on one of the better-known shows from the channel's heyday. "The Lodge," which ran for just two seasons, was produced in North Ireland and distributed globally by the network in 2016 and starred Newton as Ben Evans.

As a stage actor, it's not surprising that he's also a gifted singer, but what you probably didn't know about Newton is that he was also part of the boyband South4 in 2012. The group signed a $1.2 million record deal, but unfortunately didn't make music for long before disbanding. Instead, Newton focused on his acting career, but he still managed to showcase his musical talents while filming "The Lodge."

As talented as he is, musical roles were actually something Newton had been trying to break away from. He explained this to The Standard in May 2023: "I said, 'This is the plan. I feel like I've ticked off my musical theater for now and I want to do TV and film.' And I think it was a good two years, working in a bar; I had a really tough time breaking out of that and getting opportunities, even being able to get into the door to be seen for anything that was straight acting."

Lake Placid: Legacy (2018)

Who doesn't love an exciting creature feature? 1999's "Lake Placid" was the brainchild of SyFy, known for other mindless classics like "Sharknado" and "Ice Spiders." The cult classic "Lake Placid," about a man-eating crocodile, had several sequels over the years, and despite the fourth installment being titled "The Final Chapter," two more followed. In 2018, Luke Newton found himself cast as Billy in the last film, "Lake Placid: Legacy," which received a terrible reception (it sits at 10% on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing).

Newton wasn't exactly in the position to be choosy, as his living situation had taken a turn. The actor hadn't booked anything in a while, was living on a friend's sofa, had just broken up with someone, and he'd been working at a bar to support himself. So, when he later heard about "Bridgerton," he sent in an audition tape with the hopes of securing the role of Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. While this character instead went to Regé-Jean Page, Newton became Colin Bridgerton and the rest is history.

He spoke with the New York Times in May 2024 about landing this life changing role, saying, "I was lucky enough that they saw something. ... When you come from a place of being an unemployed actor for so many years [the show's potential for a long run is comforting]." It would be difficult to imagine anyone else playing the devilishly handsome character, especially as things unfold between him and Nicola Coughlin's character Penelope in Season 3.

The Shape of Things (2023)

Luke Newton has kept the success of "Bridgerton" going while returning to his theater roots for the first time in several years with the 2023 stage production of "The Shape of Things." This version of the dark comedy, written by Neil LaBute, was a remake of the 2003 movie of the same name, in which Adam (Newton) falls for Evelyn (Amber Anderson) and begins to change himself dramatically under her influence.

During his interview with Man About Town in May 2024, Newton expressed how anxious he was to return to his theater roots. The actor said, "I remember my first day on the play, I was as nervous as when we started shooting because I'd not been in a rehearsal room in so many years for theater ... There were only four cast members, two of them were seasoned pros in plays, so I was very overwhelmed. And also just by the amount of text because on a day on 'Bridgerton,' I maybe could do three lines or one. In a family scene, I could say one line, and that could be my whole day."

With this performance, Newton proved that he's not only more than capable of starring in some of TV's most romantic scenes, but he can tap into romance on stage as well. And, given his quick rise to fame since "Bridgerton," there's no doubt we'll be seeing much more of the actor in years to come.