Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte on What Unmasking Lady Whistledown Means for the Ton

bridgerton golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte
Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte on What's NextLiam Daniel/Netflix

At the end of the third season of Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte—played by Golda Rosheuvel—seems to finally get what she wants, as her longtime rival, the gossip columnist using the pen name Lady Whistledown, is publicly unmasked. But as any fan of the show can tell you, just when one mystery is solved, another tends to pop up in its place. Which is to say, don’t expect complete tranquility on our next visit to the Ton.

Rosheuvel has played the Queen across all three seasons of the series (as well as in the spin-off, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story), and has become a fan favorite thanks to her imperial mien, architectural hairstyles, and delicious delivery. Her Queen is sharp, cunning, and absolutely allergic to boredom—an ideal figurehead for a community that’s obsessed with the rules of proper behavior and very prone to ignoring them.

bridgerton golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte
Golda Roushevel, at center, plays Queen Charlotte on Bridgerton. This season, the monarch has finally seen her rival, the gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, unmasked.Liam Daniel/Netflix

Here, the actress—a musical theater veteran who’s also appeared in Luther and Dune—tells T&C about finding her way to Queen Charlotte, and what the future might hold for her highhanded majesty now that her greatest foe has stepped out from the shadows.

Going into this season, what were you excited about for your character.

Because we'd had Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, the spinoff, it was good to be going into a new season of Bridgerton with all that backstory for Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, and Violet Bridgerton, because all those questions were answered. As actors, we do know our characters’ backstories, but having 13 human beings sitting in front of me and playing my children was amazing. Then I took those faces into Bridgerton, so they came along for the ride with me; although they're in the imagination and not seen, to have all that stuff banked is great. Also, to have these two characters, Penelope and Colin, be front and center was a beautiful moment. The energy was different because instead of new people coming in, it was the characters that we have seen grow into the people that they are. This year was about wallflowers coming into their light, and that was exciting.

Roushevel, seen here with Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury, uses art and music to help her get into character. On Queen Charlotte’s playlist? India.Arie.Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix

You’ve said that you create books for each character you play. What’s in Queen Charlotte’s book?

It's like a little Bible with all my scenes in there. My journey is that first I read the script all the way through, get the whole thing, and then I cut out all my scenes and I put them in a book. Along with that comes pictures, ideas, little sayings, drawings—I put them all in. So, I do that first, and then once I start shooting, that book gets left behind. Sometimes I go back into it if I need some kind of inspiration, a little tidbit. I create a playlist for my characters, as well. I'll find some music to coincide with the emotions that I'm feeling from learning that scene, and then once I've learned everything, I find music that is more relaxing, more a celebration of finding the character. I also go to galleries and learn lines. I use art as an inspiration, and it all gets put into the books.

What pieces have been helpful for Charlotte in this season?

Charlotte is India.Arie, always, always, always. The Worthy album is one that I'll listen to when I'm learning lines. I don’t know why; it just seems like there's a rhythm to India's work that's really interesting for the Queen.

What was the most fun part of filming for you this season?

The balloon scene. Although I wasn't in it that much, it was just a joyous day. And we were very mischievous on that day: We all swapped seats in one of the scenes, when we were deep in the background, so we were playing a lot. I also love filming in the historical places we do, and I always look forward to filming the balls because we’re all together. That’s when we can catch up, though it’s an absolute nightmare for the directors because it’s like herding cats.

bridgerton golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte
Among Roushevel’s favorite scenes to film, she says, and the series’ balls—the rare scene when most of the stars get to be on camera together. (And, of course, make mischief.)Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix

This season, Lady Whistledown is unmasked. And while the Queen thinks of her as a nuisance, there’s also a kind of begrudging respect.

It's kind of the first time that things are being written down in a gossip column, the first Hello magazine. For a community that is very ordered and very restrictive in its design to have somebody come and shake that up… I always think of it as a Christmas globe where the snow's falling and you have a scene, but then this kind of chaos of beauty is falling. Whistledown has a lot to do with that and helps the Ton shake itself up.

What will change after her identity is revealed?

I don't know! Do the Queen and Whistledown become allies? Does the Queen morph into Whistledown? That's up to the writers. But I'm excited to see what happens.

Is there anything you’re hoping happens for the Queen in the next season?

Nicola and I have always wanted an afternoon tea scene together where she's summoned to the palace, and we have a showdown—a bit of Dynasty coming in.

How could Whistledown’s identity being revealed impact the other characters?

I would hope that the Ton would be empowered by the reveal. There's a lot that has happened, and the stakes are always high, but we manage to come together, and things are resolved or not. I really don’t know, though. We're always surprised by the twist and turns of the writer's room.

Does being part of Bridgerton make you want to try different types of projects when you can?

It's opened doors that otherwise I would not be able to walk through, and that's a real joy. I look for things that are a million miles away from Queen Charlotte. As an actor you want to do all sorts of things and be pushed in all sorts of directions, so I feel very blessed that Bridgerton is opening those doors for me.

You Might Also Like