Queen Charlotte star praises Golda Rosheuvel’s proud queerness
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story actor, Arsema Thomas, has opened up about how co-star Golda Rosheuvel helped her fully accept her identity as a queer Black woman.
In the hit Bridgerton spin-off series, we discover the origins of Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifo)’s friendship in 1761 with the young Agatha Danbury, played by newcomer Thomas.
Although Bridgerton fans have previously criticised the Netflix series for its lack of LGBTQ+ representation, Queen Charlotte is changing the narrative. Not only has the prequel introduced fan-favourite gay couple Brimsley and Reynolds, but also Rosheuvel, who reprises her role as the elder queen in a secondary plot set in 1817, has brought representation to the screen as a “gay, Black woman”. So it’s no surprise that Thomas – who identifies as queer herself – quickly bonded with her co-star.
“We weren’t actually that close while filming just because we never filmed anything together,” Thomas told The Hollywood Reporter. “But we went to Cape Town to promote the show and my mother was there, and it was a beautiful moment of this meeting of so much feminine, powerful energy.
“We discussed so much about specifically being queer women in spaces, and in not-African spaces, but in culturally Black spaces that can sometimes, [but] not always, accept that, and what it means to understand and be fully accepting of our identities. It was beautiful.
Thomas continued: “She’s one of the greatest human beings. I see her walk and behave with such kindness, but still rooted in her Golda-ness. She looks everybody in the eye and asks them how they’re doing. That’s something that a lot of people don’t do.
“To see her be kind and talented and unapologetic and still be winning, so many people say: ‘Don’t be nice because you’ll lose, and people will take advantage of you. You don’t have to say all of the things you think about politics or controversial issues because you’ll lose a fan base’.
“And to see her do those things and be loved and revered, gives me hope for what society embraces. But it also shows me that I can be me, and being me will attract the people who I want by me.”
Thomas also revealed her appreciation of Rosheuvel’s wisdom on Instagram where she thanked the actor “for being you and giving me the confidence to be me”.
Rosheuvel has had to fight for her right to be herself. In an interview with Out magazine last year, she talked about the disheartening advice she got from an “out and proud” lesbian actor.
“I remember being told…that [being out] was going to ruin my career,” she said at the time. “I mean, it’s bulls**t.
“It revealed a lot about her and her insecurities and what she was going through. But I think it really empowered me, it made me look at myself and go: how do I want to be? How do I want to represent myself in the world?”
All episodes of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story are now streaming on Netflix.
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