‘Bridgerton’ season 2 star says friends told her she was only hired because of her ethnicity

Netflix

A big part of what helps Bridgerton stand out from the crowded genre of Regency-era romance is its commendable commitment to diversity, with the Netflix smash-hit earning much love around the world for its depiction of a multicultural 19th century London. This weekend’s season two will only double down on that by introducing the Sharma sisters, reimagined versions of the Sheffield sisters from the original novels by Julia Quinn.

Both Edwina (Charithra Chandran) and Kate (Simone Ashley) have already been embraced by the fandom, but unfortunately Chandran has revealed that she received some “harmful” comments from those in her real life when she was first cast. While speaking to The Telegraph, the 25-year-old actress admitted she was told by certain “friends” that she was only hired as Edwina because of her ethnicity.

“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.”

On a more positive note, Chandran went on to praise Bridgerton for its casting choices, comparing it to mega-successful Broadway musical Hamilton.

“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.”

Having said that, Chandran stressed that she would love to see things get even more inclusive behind the scenes and hopes that more people of color are hired as part of the crew on future seasons.

“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 concluded.

As based on the second novel The Viscount Who Loved Me, Bridgerton season two will follow eldest sibling Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as he attempts to find himself a wife. He’ll set his sights on this season’s “Incomparable”, Chandran’s Edwina, and will find himself coming up against her protective and quick-witted older sister Kate (Ashley). But maybe it’s Kate, not Edwina, that Anthony’s really destined to tie the knot with.

Eight new episodes of Bridgerton land on Netflix this Friday, March 25. Seasons three and four have already been commissioned, along with a prequel spinoff series focusing on Queen Charlotte.