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Golda Rosheuvel Shares All on Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story


Film

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Golda Rosheuvel is an actor that we have grown to love throughout her time on the popular tv series Bridgerton, a romantic period drama executively produced by Shonda Rhimes, that made headlines when from its debut in 2020, highlighting the real life of our 18th-century queen.


Fans have fallen head over heels with characters such as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Lady Agatha Danbury and Queen Charlotte, and now we finally get to see them in their youth in Bridgertons most recent instalment, and we must say great spin-off, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which takes place 50 years prior to the main storyline. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story highlights themes from George III’s illness, how Charlotte became queen to present-day matchmaking efforts with having one of her 13 children produce a royal heir.


We had the pleasure of sitting with Golda Rosheuvel to discuss her character and all things Bridgerton related.


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We all love Bridgerton but there's something unique about prequels. What can fans expect from Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story?

What can they expect? Ooh, definitely a more intimate look at the loved character Queen Charlotte. We're giving them a kind of backstory, we're kind of drawing the curtains back and revealing who she is and the character that we see in Bridgerton. We kind of answer the why’s, how’s, who’s, and when questions that hopefully people would have had from watching her in Bridgerton, it’s kind of a deep dive into a more intimate look at this character.


Now India Ria Amarteifio is playing Young Queen Charlotte in the new series. What is it like seeing someone else play the Queen and what advice, if any, did you give your co-star to help prepare her for the role?

I think it's brilliant seeing a young actress come up and really deliver some amazing performances. I'm a real advocate for new talent and artists and supporting them. I really champion young artists, it's a difficult world out there. Do you know what I mean? I really want to kind of be that person who paves the way for the future and India is no different as far as I'm concerned. It was an absolute dream and pleasure to really give her this role and allow her to bring herself into the role. The kind of advice that I gave her, was to take it and make it her own and embrace it for herself, it was a real thrill.


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On the topic of young actors, what are your earliest memories of being on set and how has your acting career changed over the years?

Sometimes when I'm sitting in the makeup chair, on Bridgerton and then Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, I always remember those first days of sitting in the makeup chair on like, oh, gosh, what would it have been, The Bill or Holby City back in the day, when you kind of wished that you could get those little roles on television. Then you start to get those little roles. That’s also why I'm an advocate for really teaching, paving the way and showing young artists, because nobody really showed me. I kind of learned it the difficult way by watching, listening and being present in those new moments in my career as a young actor. I didn't have anybody to give me direction, it was kind of like sitting in a chair and going oh, okay, and just watching and learning.


I often look back and I'm sitting in the chair of Queen Charlotte and kind of go ‘wow’, you know, ‘how much I have learned?’. If you're open to learning and being a sponge, you know that you can learn quickly and really get some amazing foundations for yourself.


So for those that are fans since the debut, how has Queen Charlotte's character developed since season one, and what do you hope next for her character in the Bridgeton world?

I think the development is a personal one for this character. I've said in interviews how through Bridgerton, the actor creates the backstory, right? So, in Bridgerton, I created my family life, and how I was with George and how I was with my children, but they're very much in the darkness of my imagination. So when people see the family and the children in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Shonda has kind of shone a light on the backstory that's always been there for me. Which I think is really amazing and thrilling and a real kind of real big development of this character. I know that people have gone back and watched Bridgerton now having the information that they have on this character through watching Queen Charlotte.


That's really, really empowering for me and going forward. It's a real support and an empowering moment that you can kind of take a character and the wholeness of her has been presented to the world. So now going forward, in hopefully more seasons of Bridgerton, the audience and also myself will have that whole person to go on a journey with.


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Queen Charlotte puts much pressure on her children to produce an heir. What pressures were placed on Queen Charlotte by the queen's mother when she first became queen?

There's always pressure isn't there when you marry into a family. You know that kind, the mother-in-law, but I think at that time there was duty. There was all of that stuff that we don't really have now or it's kind of been modernised in some way. Charlotte was a princess in her own right, she had status. So in terms of getting used to a different culture, different scenarios, different situations, that would have been difficult for her to manage, but I think Charlotte, as we see her in Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, knows her own mind. She's very firm in her own self, and how she sees the world and I think, through the kind of trials and tribulations of the first meet and the first introduction to this family, she still has a grip on who she is. So she can navigate these difficult situations, on her own terms, and ultimately, carve a beautiful loving life with George.


Bridgerton has an amazing lineup of cast and crew. What has been your favourite scene to film so far and why?

I think all the scenes with Brimsley in Queen Charlotte have been really beautiful. Hugh Sachs and I are best mates. We hang out, we laugh, and Brimsley is very much a silent character in Bridgerton and Hugh and I have done that work. We've done that work on that relationship, but it's a very silent one in Bridgerton because we never speak about it and the most he says is, ‘Yes, Your Majesty’. So to now be able to show that relationship and really present that relationship to the audience and fans of the show is something really beautiful. In the first scene that Hugh and I ever filmed, which was the one where I tell him, go and stand over there. I don't know whether you've seen it, it talks about the Queen’s daughters, and I asked him why they hadn't married, and you know, I got upset with his answer. We got so emotional Hugh and I, and that was the first time that he had spoken. And it was such a beautiful moment for our friendship as Golda and Hugh, we've been wanting this and then we'd sit in the park and go, God, wouldn't it be lovely if we had a scene together that we actually could show this relationship and this kind of real support that these two characters have, she needs him as much as he needs her. And the history that relationship has. We often talked about that when running lines, so now to be able to film it and to show it to the world is everything to me, and I know everything to Hugh.


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Throughout the series, there is a reference made to ‘The Great Experiment’. What is it and what are your views on it?

‘The Great Experiment’ is about two cultures coming together and the push to the modern world and how we can support each other and learn from each other. I look at Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland and they're kind of ethos of how they want to portray stories, and how, with a period drama, Shonda is able to speak to the modern world. I always think it’s really fascinating that this genre which has excluded many people that look like me, is now really embracing our modern world and our diversity and representation.


‘The Great Experiment’ is, for me, part of what we're doing now. As artists, we have this platform where we can talk about these sometimes difficult subjects of sexuality, female empowerment, of inclusion and of representation. So I think we have a duty, is the word I'm looking for, to put the stories out there when we can and show myself, and my community in their true form, such as India, wearing a head wrap, when she goes to bed as Queen Charlotte, that's what we do. Or Viola Davis in ‘How to Get Away with Murder’, we see her put on her wigs and we see her wrap her hair that's what the black community, especially women, that's what we do, so it’s being able to give that to the world and show us in our true form is, yeah, it's an extension of that.


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So what new elements of Queen Charlotte's character are explored in the prequel which involves the storyline with King George?

It's a more intimate look at her. You see her as a mother. You see her as a wife and a woman at the beginning of her married life. So it's very much a kind of moving emotional personal cycle for the queen. I think it's that drawing the curtains, seeing a whole rounded woman, and the vulnerability, we see a lot of it in Queen Charlotte. It’s all very well showing the glitz and the glamour of Bridgerton, the balls and the tea parties and all of that stuff, it's very vibrant and big. However, I love that Queen Charlotte shows the vulnerability of this character.


On to one of my favourite questions as I'm obsessed with Lady Danbury’s character as she is so sweet. So Lady Danbury became friends with Queen Charlotte when she first took the throne, what made the friendship so strong?

I think they saw each other, it was a moment where women see each other and understand each other. There is no kind of initial who are you, what's your name, all of that kind of stuff in it, but the essence of being two black women in a society that has excluded them. Now they're in this position where they can come together and be friends and really be each other's confidant. And I think this simple friendship between two women is really beautiful. I love that you see that starting and that is one of the whys, how’s and whose that is explained in Queen Charlotte, you know from Bridgerton. You see these women, Danbury, Violet and Charlotte who are really tight in Bridgerton, and to see their friendship evolving and coming together and the reason why they are together is really beautiful. It's female friendships at its core, and then black women coming together, forming a bond.


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Besides Bridgerton, are there any exciting new projects that you are working on that you can share with us?

There are some exciting projects but unfortunately, I can't share them because they haven't been put out into the world yet. I'm literally like ugh come on, let's talk about it. Watch this space.


What research did you do to prepare for the role of Queen Charlotte and what discoveries did you make in the process?

So my research is limited because right at the beginning of Bridgerton I was in discussions with the director and the writers and we were very much of the opinion that Queen Charlotte was of the world of Julia Quinn's books.


So,I knew a bit about Charlotte. I researched where she was from, and that she was married to King George. I watched The Madness of King George, the movie starring Helen Mirren, because I thought why not? I did get one moment from that movie where George goes up into the turrets of the castle and she's chasing him and then she holds him and there's a look that she gives, ‘I don't know what to do, I don't know how to help you’. It's such a brief moment and I was like that's one of my ins to this character. I wanted to not only investigate the scripts but the scripts for Bridgerton were also really important to me, they fueled who this woman was. The world was what I needed to understand, the world that she was being put into and the people in her world, so my research was all about reading the scripts and who she aligned with e.g. the Bridgerton family and the Featheringtons and how that was all connected. How society worked with regard to the Ton and who this woman was, being at the top of the food chain in this industry.


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In terms of the backstory, the emotional side of it, that moment in The Madness of King George with Helen Mirren really locked me into what I wanted to carry with me in relation to George, which was that feeling of, I don't understand what's going on, I'm not sure how to deal with this, I love you deeply but I am helpless. The George scenes in Bridgerton are very fleeting, but I always made sure in every single scene that I'm in, that I have that emotion that I'm connected to George in some way and I think of him at least once. So when you see me in a ball and I'm sitting up there in the throne, there is a moment where Golda Rosheuvel the actress has thought right okay, let me just think about George, that he's not here. Now the audience's fans will probably never ever, ever see any of that, but for me and my connection to this character, it's very, very important that I have that emotional feeling connected to what is outside. In terms of the research of that emotional side, that was a very important moment for me to see Helen have that desperate, alone, helpless feeling, because then I was like, yeah, I know what I need to carry.


To finish off Golda, what do you think makes Bridgerton so watchable?

I think the writing and how Shonda writes and how she creates characters that are so relatable, that you can put them in a period drama and people really see themselves and relate to the world that we're living in at the moment. I think it's a real guidance of the Executive Producers and Tom Verica, our director, who has such a vision with these characters and how he wants to portray them and be seen. I think it's having relatable characters and being able to really see yourself in these characters.



Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is out now



Photographer Annie Noble

1st Photography Assi Ken Liew

2nd Photography Ass Dylan Khoo

Fashion Editor Harriet Nicolson

Set designer Ian Cy

Hair Randolph Gray at Gary Represents

MUA Claudine Blythman

Retouching Marina Karaskevich

Producer Jheanelle Feanny

Words by Connor Mantle

Location & Special Thanks to The Truman Brewery




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