- ‘Bridgerton’ star Adjoa Andoh said she was surprised to get an audition for the show.
- Andoh recalled in the new book “Inside Bridgerton” that she asked if she had a chance for a role.
- The Lady Danbury actress said black actors don’t normally get roles in historical fiction.
‘Bridgerton’ star Adjoa Andoh has said she asked the show’s casting director about his “colorblind” approach to roles when she was first called to audition for the show.
Andoh plays Lady Danbury in the first two seasons of the hit Netflix series and is set to star in spin-off series ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’.
However, according to new behind-the-scenes book “Inside Bridgerton,” from creators Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, the actor was confused as to why she was brought in to audition for the role in the first place because black actors hadn’t typically appear in period dramas in the UK.
Kelly Valentine Hendry, the casting director, said in the book, “We checked on her availability, and I held my breath because she’s not available very often. When she came in to read, her question was: ‘Kelly, why am I here??’ She meant as a black woman, a black actress. I love that she asked the question because the question needed to be asked.”
Andoh then added, “As someone who grew up in this country with the history of this country – you know, you can’t try costume dramas, you can’t go for historical romance. And so generally, actors of color think, ‘Oh, another job I won’t get.’ I needed to know that this was an opportunity to be in it – and also that I was expected to be myself, a black woman, not a black woman pretending to be white.”
The 59-year-old actor continued, “I needed to know the auditions weren’t colorblind. Because when we say we’re colorblind, what color are we blind to? I’m the color that I am. . I’m looking forward to my run and wouldn’t want to be anything else. I think I was born with a winning ticket, thank you so much.”
One of the reasons ‘Bridgerton’ stood out to audiences was its diverse cast, something that has become more prominent in recent years in films such as ‘Belle’ and ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’. .
People of color are seen in both lead roles such as Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), as well as background characters. However, when the series first aired, some of the stars had to speak out in defense of the diversity of the cast due to critics complain about historical accuracy.
In 2020, Rosheuvel told Insider that diversity in historical fiction was “long overdue”.
“For a long time, privileged people were in charge of scripts and storytelling. I don’t know if they intentionally wrote about black people because we know there were black people and people of color,” said she declared.