Warning: Spoilers about Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story incoming. Once I requested Arsema Thomas how they perceived the position of the British monarchy in trendy society, she responded by citing a query that’s clearly been put to them earlier than: “At any time when individuals ask, ‘What would you do should you have been queen for a day? I might say I might dismantle the monarchy.”
With the doubtful relevance of royal households extra below the microscope than ever since Queen Elizabeth II’s demise in 2022 and the distinction by which Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story tackles the topic of race, Thomas advised StyleCaster that it simply “doesn’t make sense” to have fun what’s, finally, “a social hierarchy that’s based mostly solely in your race and the household that you just’re born into,” particularly when you may have Nigerian and Ethiopian heritage; two nations that “decimated by a selected Empire.”
Certainly, the Netflix sequence of simply six episodes—a prequel to the hit Bridgerton—paints a extra tumultuous and subsequently impactful image as a result of, by the point its chronological successor sequence begins, range inside the Ton has largely been accepted. With as a younger Girl Agatha Danbury, we get to see the court docket in its infancy, and, as Shonda Rhimes advised ET: “We mentioned race and it’s not swept below the carpet. You’re launched to those actually robust … subjects from the start. It simply feels nice to be on a mission that’s [on] the forefront of main that change.”
We study that Agatha’s ladyship is given to her by King George’s mom, Princess Augusta (Michelle Fairley) in an effort to broaden Charlotte’s court docket and in doing so, ushers in a royal-adjacent cohort that’s far more consultant. StyleCaster spoke with Thomas about studying who Girl Danbury is and exploring the catalyst for changing into the confident powerhouse we all know her to be.
Have been you a fan of Bridgerton earlier than you bought concerned on this prequel?
I’d by no means really watched the present previous to auditioning, I had simply been all the time a fan of Shonda Rhimes. I watched Scandal and Methods to Get Away with Homicide, and so when the audition got here in my electronic mail, and so they stated that it’s from Shondaland producers, it was like, ‘I don’t care what it says, I’d like to be part of this storytelling.’ [laughs] It’s a sort of storytelling that I take pleasure in, which is that this refined political dialog within the subtext of the dialogue.
I do need to discuss concerning the second by which Lord Danbury dies in an nearly comical manner—throughout one among your quite disagreeable intercourse scenes. What are you able to inform me concerning the significance of that second?
I feel Agatha acknowledges that, due to the gender norms, she can not really do something with him bodily there. I feel it’s Princess Augusta, actually, that begins to… Virtually power her to talk up for herself and also you see that of their interplay in episode two.
As she begins to comprehend how tough her husband is being when it comes to participating with progress, she sees that it’s solely with out him that she will be able to turn into her truest self. However there’s like grief and disappointment afterward, so it was such an attention-grabbing factor to play with. I feel she was simply shocked. The ridiculousness of it—the way in which he died—and the truth that in her thoughts, she’s pondering ‘I’m free, I can do no matter I would like,’ after which realizing later that even with no man life remains to be fairly tough.
It’s attention-grabbing as a result of within the subsequent scene, we see her when she’s older and it’s clear she’s nonetheless making selections to spite him.
Yeah, it’s attention-grabbing as a result of, in an actual manner, it’s like he’s stolen her youth and her childhood.
The bond between Girl Danbury and Queen Charlotte is kind of particular, how did you and India Amarteifio work on that chemistry?
There’s something wonderful about seeing the directionality that Agatha offers Charlotte when it comes from a spot of selflessness and authenticity. Her want to inform her the reality on methods to lead, and methods to create change for a segregated society due to the place Charlotte comes from.
That additionally creates this stunning complexity of their relationship, as a result of there’s this energy dynamic, even within the visible storytelling of Charlotte being light-skinned, and Agatha being dark-skinned. There are clearly two totally different Black ladies narratives taking place alongside one another dispelling the parable that to be Black must be a part of a monolith. To be appearing additionally throughout one other Black girl, there’s something stunning in that as a result of there’s an isolating feeling, being simply personally ourselves on this world as actors.
There’s a second the place you may see the beginnings of the world we see in Bridgerton and it’s that dialog the place Girl Danbury tells Charlotte: “The palace partitions are too excessive”. A brief however very important trade.
Sure, it’s one thing actually impactful since you’ll additionally see then that Charlotte repeats these phrases to George. What it actually does is create the trail for the various Bridgerton world that we take pleasure in, as a result of it’s true, the partitions of the palace have been too excessive.
It’s a tough factor to form of need to course of and there’s an act of reminding that she must undergo and I feel nobody else is doing that. So, the honesty that Agatha offers her in that second, can be actually impactful to see as a result of she does take a threat. That is throughout a time whenever you may be beheaded for speaking again to the Queen.
I need to speak about your stunning costumes. Are you able to discuss me by the mechanics of getting dressed?
We do hair and make-up first and that takes two hours. Then they wait till the final second as a result of being in a corset for for much longer than you could be isn’t favorable to anybody.
Then it’s a factor of placing on the corsets then placing on the underskirts and placing in hip pads or a bustle, like one thing that provides the skirt quantity relying on the fashion. Then an overskirt, then one other corseted costume on prime of that, and, typically on prime of that, a cape, then a hat and gloves.
I’m exhausted simply eager about it. How a lot would you guess all of that weighed?
I might say, my heaviest costume was perhaps—I’m being hyperbolic— however I might say a very good 15 kilograms (33 kilos), simply due to all of the embellishment. And it’s loopy as a result of the heaviest costume is the costume that I needed to put on throughout the largest dance scene. Corey [Mylchreest, who plays King George] was stepping on it your complete time. And I used to be like, ‘I hope this doesn’t make it onto the digicam’. [laughs].
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is obtainable to stream on Netflix.
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