'Queen Charlotte' Star Golda Rosheuvel Speaks On Bridgerton's "Revolutionary" Treatment Of Black Hai
If you're anything like us, you've been devouring episodes of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story since the 'Ton prequel became available on Netflix last week.
Source: Courtesy / Netflix
The limited series tells the story of how Queen Charlotte's marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world inherited by the characters in Bridgerton. Starring Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), India Amarteifio (Young Queen Charlotte), Corey Mylchreest (Young King George), Arsema Thomas (Young Agatha Danbury) BOSSIP's Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with the cast about the tremendous change wrought by a Black Queen marrying into British royalty, the impact of beautifully styled textured hair onscreen and the archaic treatment of mental illness as portrayed in the series.
Golda Rosheuvel Describes Unique 'Bridgerton' Treatment Of Black Hair
In her interview with BOSSIP Golda Rosheuvel described how her role as Queen Charlotte marked the first time in her long career that she felt truly seen. While Rosheuvel's wigs have been a hot topic of conversation following the previous Bridgerton releases (based on Julia Quinn's eight Regency era novels) she explained how, in addition to the remarkableness of her hairpieces, the way that the hair department collaborated with her on the production gave her a feeling she had yet to experience in her career.
Source: Liam Daniel / Netflix
Rosheuvel explained how when she first won the role, she had in-depth conversations with the hair department about how her own natural hair would be worked into the character's styles, which would turn out to be a variety of wigs that also used afro hair, deadlock, and plaited styles.
"One of the first conversations that I had with hair and makeup for this character was the fact that they were going to tease the front of my hair out to form the front of the wig, to have my hair blending into these amazing extraordinary dreadlock looks," Rosheuvel told BOSSIP. "Textured hair looks, you know plaits, all of that kind of stuff. That was the first time as an actress that I had had those conversations. It was the first time that a character, I think had been seen. The first time that an actress had been seen, a woman of color had been seen in that way. It was a really emotional experience for me."
"I've been in the business a long time, so to have this only be discussed with me four years ago was something that was really extraordinary, but revolutionary," Rosheuvel continued. "Then to see India in bed with a hair wrap you know, I think it's really important to be able to tell these stories of how we look after our hair because it's different, so to incorporate all of that into these Black stories that will now be airing is hugely important."
Isn't it interesting that the whole premise behind diversity in Shonda Rhimes' vision of Bridgerton is that the King's marriage to Queen Charlotte is what led to other people of color being accepted into society? Meanwhile here we are in contemporary times, where seeing Black women wearing crowns atop textured hair is a fairly new thing - so much so that the talent is able to acknowledge how witnessing Black Queens in a Regency-era production will lead to normalizing natural Black hair and our treatment of it.
Big ups to Golda Rosheuvel, Shonda Rhimes and the Queen Charlotte cast.
The series has been a huge hit with audiences thus far. The show has more than 22M views in its first week (148.28M hours viewed divided by 6.49 runtime hours). Critics are also loving Queen Charlotte - the Shondaland Bridgerton-verse prequel had a Certified Fresh score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and appeared in the Top 10 in 91 countries.
And for those of you who enjoyed our question about the symphonic treatment of some of modern music in the series, the Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story soundtrack, which includes instrumental covers of modern pop classics from Alicia Keys, Beyonce, SZA, Whitney Houston, is also currently available for your listening pleasure.
Stay tuned for more interviews with this incredible cast.