An interview with Golda Rosheuvel

INTERVIEW BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY CHARLEY GALLAY/GETTY IMAGES FOR NETFLIX

We spoke to the luminous Golda Roshuevel to give you lovely DIVAs the scoop on her thoughts about Queen Charlotte. If you’re anything like us you’ve probably already binged the series and have been watching fan edits of the best scenes (I mean… King George exclaiming “My heart calls your name”? I was sat there in tears) — so let’s find out what our reigning queen has to say.

DIVA: What was the most exciting aspect of showing Queen Charlotte’s backstory?

Golda: I mean, you do the work of an actor and you build a character and you put it out there and you hope that people like it. But to be able to have a spinoff done about the character that you play, I mean, that’s like, it’s thrilling! You know, that kind of private side of her was really, really joyous to play, and I think Queen Charlotte really kind of taps into the private, the mother, the human, the lover, the wife, and all the complexities that go along with that.

Did seeing Charlotte’s backstory change the way you perceived her?

Yeah, that’s an interesting question. So I had the backstory in Bridgerton of a family, husband, children, all of that kind of stuff. And Queen Charlotte gave me my physical children, so it really emphasized the physical that related and connected to the imagination that I had in Bridgerton. So that layer is really interesting to have! It just puffs her out a little bit more and puffs me out a little bit more because I have some more stuff to play with. And in Queen Charlotte, obviously, we have scenes with the children and there’s a whole dynamic and really weird kind of amazing relationship that she has with the kids. So, yeah, it kind of adds a little bit more, but it was always there.

Favourite couple in the Ton?

Can I say myself and Brimsley? We are a badass double act.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. (L to R) Hugh Sachs as Brimsley, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in episode 102 of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023

One thing that really struck me in the spinoff is seeing how most of Charlotte’s feelings were portrayed through her silences as she got older. Where do you think that comes from?

I think that comes from her being unapologetic and being confident of who she is. We all grow in confidence as we get older, don’t we? And when we’re younger, it’s all about placing ourselves in the world. It’s all about not necessarily the fight to acquire our self and our confidence. So you learn, don’t you, as you get older, that you may not have to stand or speak all the time. Listening and seeing is really important as well. I know for me, as Golda, I’ve definitely learnt that silence is really powerful. To be the observer is really powerful. With Charlotte, it’s very powerful, but she uses it as well for naughtiness. There’s a wicked sense to her observation, which I think is really great. But yeah, that kind of silence and observation becomes more useful, maybe, as you get older.

What do you hope viewers take away from the queer representation in Queen Charlotte?

I think a sense that we all are here. I’m very privileged to be in a situation where I can be in a period drama, and those conversations are talked about through storytelling. I think it’s a really interesting platform to discuss those possibly difficult situations for some people. And I think if you take the heat out of it a little bit and present these characters that are relatable, that seem to be just like me and maybe love a person of the same sex — that opens up a world where people can exist as one community. Do you know what I mean? That it’s not so them and us. 

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. (L to R) Sam Clemmett as Young Brimsley, Freddie Dennis as Reynolds in episode 103 of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023

Do you believe that the success of Bridgerton might encourage more period dramas to portray more inclusive stories?

Yeah, I think it already has. I’m seeing that happen, and I think not only for period dramas. We should have it in sci-fi, in horror, in romcoms, in fantasy — that we start seeing people of colour in roles all over the place. What I want to see is that it not be explained… They’re just there living their lives, loving, hating, being happy, being sad, being sexy, wearing amazing, wonderful costumes and wigs and all of that stuff, that it’s just there. The stories are out there to be told. You just get people from different races and all different genders mucking around together and it reflects the world that we’re living in.

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