‘Bridgerton’ star Golda Rosheuvel says she ignored director’s advice to stay closeted

A woman in a green dress and upswept hairdo poses for photographers
Golda Rosheuvel attended the Season 2 “Bridgerton” premiere in London last month.
(Joel C. Ryan / Invision/Associated Press)

It’s a scenario that’s perfect for the gossip-fueled “Bridgerton”: Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte on the Netflix series, was once told to keep her sexuality a secret. By a director who was also a lesbian.

The Guyanese British actress found the advice “mind-blowing” — and not in a good way.

Rosheuvel, who was known primarily for her U.K. theater work prior to “Bridgerton,” said on this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast that she and the director had been discussing being out and proud and whether she should say in interviews that she was gay.

“[I]t was an absolute no: ‘You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It could or it would ruin your career as an actor,’” the 52-year-old said.


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The advice was mind-blowing to someone who would rather lose a job than be fake about who she is, Rosheuvel said. She didn’t heed it, and this weekend the “Dune” star will accept an Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2022 Greater New York Dinner.

“My partner always says, ‘The mere fact that you’re on the screen. The mere fact that you’re in ‘Bridgerton’ as a Black, biracial, cis-gender, lesbian playing the first Black queen of England. The fact that you’re there is immense,” said the actor, who has been in a decade-long relationship with playwright Shireen Mula.

A woman in an elaborate royal costume sips a cup of tea
(Liam Daniel / Netflix)

Queen Charlotte — and Rosheuvel along with her — will be stepping out in a “Bridgerton” limited-series spinoff that covers the period when she, Lady Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury were on the verge of social prominence. Younger versions of the queen, Bridgerton and Danbury (first name Agatha, in the books on which “Bridgerton” is based) will be played by new faces and appear along with the older characters played by Rosheuvel, Ruth Gemmell and Adjoa Andoh.

Rosheuvel said in this month’s edition of Tatler that in 2018 when “Bridgerton” was in preproduction, she was originally called to audition for Danbury. A bit later, producers asked her to send them a tape auditioning for the role of Queen Charlotte. She knocked it out in a mere half-hour, calling it “the easiest tape I’ve ever done.”

And the Danbury role wound up going to her good friend Andoh. So, victories all around.

Netflix is developing a spinoff of its hit period drama, ‘Bridgerton,’ centering on characters Queen Charlotte, Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury.

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“I’m a great believer in waiting,” Rosheuvel continued, “in biding my time, being confident enough in my craft and who I am as a person to know that it will happen, that one day someone would see me and go, ‘Right, you are perfect for playing the queen of England.’”