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The openly gay actor Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte on Bridgerton, says that earlier in her career a director warned her to stay in the closet.
“We were talking about being out and proud and representation and whether I should say I was gay in interviews,” Rosheuvel says, without referring to the ‘out gay lesbian director’ by name.
“And it was an absolute no. ‘You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It could or it would ruin your career as an actor.’”
Rosheuvel says she found the advice confusing at the time, especially from an out colleague. “Love is love,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s between a man and a woman when you are an actor creating character.”
Rosheuvel, a well-known stage actor before being cast on the Netflix’s Regency megahit Bridgerton, gave the interview in advance of accepting an Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign. She says she plans to discuss this moment in her career further at Saturday’s gala event in New York City.
“I am in awe of Golda Rosheuvel’s extraordinary career on stage and in the internationally-acclaimed Netflix series Bridgerton and am so grateful that she lives her life publicly as a queer woman,” the HRC’s interim president said in a statement announcing the award.
During her wide-ranging Variety interview, though, Rosheuvel expressed some surprise. “I never really see myself as anything political at all. I’m not an activist,” she explained.
Still, her partner of nine years, the playwright Shireen Mula, has helped Rosheuvel to appreciate how her career and her activism are inextricable.
“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.’”
Rosheuvel is set to star in a Bridgerton prequel series about Queen Charlotte’s youth and courtship.