All About Harriet Cains, Luke Thompson’s Rumored Girlfriend and ‘Bridgerton’ Co-Star

Benedict Bridgerton might soon be in the hot seat as the next bachelor looking for his match, but the actor behind him, Luke Thompson, is rumored to have already found love on the show.

Thompson and his Bridgerton co-star, Harriet Cains, who plays Philippa Featherington, have sparked dating rumors for months. Here, what to know about Cains and why there’s dating speculation between her and Thompson.

Cains and Thompson sparked dating rumors in January 2024 after they were photographed being affectionate at an event.

The pair was spotted being cuddly at the Vanity Fair EE Rising Stars party on Jan. 31, 2024.

harriet cains and luke thompson at the vanity fair ee rising star party 2024
Dave Benett - Getty Images
harriet cains and luke thompson at the vanity fair ee rising star party 2024
Dave Benett

Neither Cains nor Thompson confirmed or denied the romance speculation themselves though, even after many outlets covered the rumors of their offscreen romance. Cains posted an Instagram from the event but ignored a comment about whether or not she was dating Thompson.

Thompson, who doesn’t have social media, explained his desire for privacy in a Vestal magazine interview. “I don’t think ‘shy away’ is the right word,” he said of his approach to social media. “For many actors, social media is an ingenious way of continuing the performance. So on some level, I’d love to get involved; I just don’t think I can make it work. I’ve realized that a constantly updating platform is not something I feel equipped to deal with; it takes a sledgehammer to my attention span. And I want to be able to focus when I need to. It also seems like a lot of effort, so maybe I’m just horrifically lazy.”

The 35-year-old actor reiterated that stance again in an interview last month with Country & Town House.I don’t really find [fame] weird. I think it can be,” he said. “I feel it’s more of a choice than people make it out to be. I think if you want to stay private, you can do it. It’s a trade-off, though. It does mean you have to turn down some things you’d maybe quite like to do. But I don’t buy that it’s something you’re subjected to.”

He added that his avoidance of social media doesn’t stem from him making a deliberate choice not to be famous: “That’s a bit of a myth. The reason I’m not on social media is that it plays into my addictive behaviors. It worries me, what it does to your attention span—I’m worried that I haven’t read a book in a long time, and that I find it difficult to focus on a film. But maybe partly I think I’m not capable of dealing with it. And it doesn’t quite square with my vision of this job. But, you know, people have different visions of the job.”

Cains proclaimed Thompson to be her favorite Bridgerton Luke in 2021.

Cains got playful on Instagram, posting that Thompson was her favorite Luke on the Bridgerton set back in 2021, hinting that the two are at least good friends. Thompson’s co-star, Luke Newton who plays Colin Bridgerton, also shares his first name. “my favourite Luke soz @lukenewtonuk,” she wrote.

Thompson addressed being one of two Lukes during a The Guardian interview in April 2024. Playing the brother of another actor named Luke, It’s OK because I tend to be referred to as ‘Lukey T’ and he’s ‘Newts.’ There’s a whole flurry of acting Lukes suddenly....I grew up thinking I was the only Luke in the village but it’s back in fashion. We’re all roughly the same age, so there must have been a Luke moment back in the late ’80s/early ’90s!”

Cains opened up about how life-changing Bridgerton has been for her in May 2024.

In an interview with Country & Town House, Cains shared her impressions of the Bridgerton cast and how her character, Philippa, differs from her in real life.

“I absolutely adore her,” she said of Philippa. “She doesn’t take life too seriously and she always lightens the mood. It’s so interesting to play someone who doesn’t think before she speaks. Usually there’s a subtext to play with but not with Philly.”

Of working with the cast itself, Cains said, “It’s a playground. I feel like I’m about to go into year 10 at school. Everyone’s very playful and the vibe is just so fun. Which is a blessing considering how much time we all have to spend together. I love working with Polly Walker and Lorraine Ashbourne. I learn so much from them.”

She also touched on how the show has and hasn’t changed her real life. “It’s been life-changing but paradoxically nothing has changed at all!” she said. “I still go about my life exactly as I did before, but just a little less worried about how I will pay my bills.

harriet cains at the bridgerton season 3, part two screening
Neil Mockford - Getty Images

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Photo credit: Avon Books / Netflix

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We’ll never hear “Give Me Everything” the same way again.

Cains is a British actress who grew up in Nottingham and lives in London.

Cains touched on her upbringing during her Country & Town House interview. “I was raised in rural Nottingham, and it was a bit slow for my liking so I guess that’s why I live in London now,” she said. “I’d have to say city but I love to escape too.” She added that she enjoys spending time at home “because I love being alone and charging my social battery, but there’s so much to do and see that I can forget this sometimes.”

She added her summer 2024 plans include “a summer of festivals and playing Zelda.”

Capital FM reported that Cains is 30 and a Virgo whose birthday is Sept. 17, 1993.

Cains trained at Nottingham’s Television Workshop when she was younger. She spoke to local outlet Left Lion in 2013 about being part of organization, which teaches acting students between the ages of 7 and 21: “When you’re in it you feel like it’s your life. You want to do well, and it’s such a family. That’s what I love about it: there’s no bull, it’s just straight down the line.”

Bridgerton has been Cains’ biggest role, but she’s been acting for over 10 years.

Cains’ IMDB page has acting credits going as far back as 2012, with Cains primarily appearing in TV projects. Cains started acting in Bridgerton way back in the first season. Back when she booked the pilot, she told Overdue, “I didn’t really have any [expectations], because I’m also not the biggest fan of period drama. I wondered who was going to watch it… I was also told that my character didn’t feature too much in the book, so there wasn’t much I needed to know beforehand. I just thought that I’d have a great time doing it, which I did!”

Cains watches a lot of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and listens to Britney Spears to get in character as Philippa.

Cains spoke to Overdue about how she readies herself to play her Bridgerton character three seasons in. “At this stage with Philippa, she’s pretty much under the surface and accessible to me as soon as my wig and costume go on,” she said. “I don’t so much immerse myself in the [Regency] period because the world is an abstract version of the era. I listen to a lot of Britney Spears—I think it’s good for Philippa because she’s really girly—and I watch old episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

She added that quite early on in the first season, some of the producers mentioned that the Featheringtons are the Kardashians of their time, and I thought that was a really good reference point because there wasn’t so much on the page character-wise. Then, during a costume fitting, the designer at the time kept going for labels that would be quite new money, and I thought that the Kardashians encapsulated all of this.”

Cains spoke about her style, saying it’s very different from her Bridgerton character’s.

Cains discussed her fashion versus her Bridgerton character’s to Overdue. She explained, “We have very different palettes to put it politely. I’m a streetwear gal—comfort is key to me. I love my chunky trainers and boots, and I wear a lot of black—never heels or pink or purple. It’s just not me. I guess we both enjoy a good accessory, but I’m more of a 925 silver woman, and she loves her jewels. That said, I love that I get to wear it vicariously through her.”

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