Bridgerton's Charithra Chandran Said Her Friends Called Her a Diversity Hire
One of the reasons that Netflix's Bridgerton looks and feels so different than other period pieces is the show's cast, which includes actors that are Black, Asian, and white, a marked difference from other shows that throw back to Regency England. And those casting choices continue on the show's sophomore season, though not everyone seemed to feel as celebratory as some fans.
Actress Charithra Chandran, who will make her debut in the show's second season on Friday, spoke to the Telegraph on Sunday, saying that some of her close friends claimed that she only got her role of Edwina Sharma because she was brown. She added that the comments were "harmful."
"I've had friends say to me, 'Oh you got that because you're brown,' and that really hurts," Chandran said. "[And] What's really scary is that you can start believing it."
In Julia Quinn's novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, Sharma's character is white, but like other characters, creator Shonda Rhimes diversified the cast. It's something that critics have called "inaccurate," but other viewers have lauded the choice — and it's one reason that makes Chandran proud to be a part of the show.
"I think that Bridgerton has done for TV what Hamilton did for theatre," Chandran added. "It encouraged a totally different audience to watch period drama and romances. And it made us feel seen on screen."
She went on to say that she hopes that the behind-the-scenes crew at the show follows suit, bringing in a more diverse team so that the show's inclusivity doesn't just feel like "window dressing."
"I would love to see more crew who are Black and brown. I think that's really important. We should be careful about just sort of window dressing," she finished.