The New Wellness

In Conversation With Golda Rosheuvel

THE OUTNET’S Head of Content, Claudia Mahoney, caught up with actor and Bridgerton star Golda Rosheuvel. In case you missed their live conversation about the show’s incredible costumes, sustainability in fashion and what’s next for the hit show — we made sure to save some of the best bits…

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Blue cashmere sweater

Claudia: Good morning Golda, it’s such a pleasure to meet you and I’m just going to start off by saying congratulations! I mean, how amazing must it feel to be part of such a smash hit? And how does that feel when you’re in this weird lockdown situation? How do you commemorate that or celebrate it?

Golda: Ooh, I mean, you kind of don’t in a way. Well, you actually celebrate it with things like this, talking to people about it, talking to magazines and journalists, and kind of bumping up on friends every now and again whenever we’re in a little square doing some kind of show and we haven’t seen each other since the wrap party. But it is a weird situation, I don’t know.

Claudia: So, I wanna ask you about the costumes! They were amazing!

Golda: Yeah, I mean, the costume department is huge, as you can imagine. And I think the kind of idea was first-and-foremost to kind of tip the hat to the genre. That period-drama genre, but also to give it a little bit of a twist; modernize it a little bit.

Claudia: I think that’s reflected in lots of other parts, that modernization with a twist. You know, the music in there, you’re listening to it and you think ‘hang on a minute, I know that…’ It was really clever the way that it was done. It wasn’t really obviously signposted; it was just a subtle but clever nod.

Golda: I think that gives the audience the kind of agency to be involved and connect with it and make it their own. When you have those kinds of subtle things that people kind of go ‘oh, I know that. I can relate to that. That’s a reflection of my life or the modern world that’s going on at the moment.’ You know, within this fantasy period-drama.

Claudia: And that inclusive lens in which they cast it; do you think that also helped with the modernity? I know that there are those references in history that people potentially think that Queen Charlotte, the character you were playing, was a woman of color. Do you think the fact that it was sort of like… it wasn’t color-blind casting it was more reimagining an equal society wasn’t it?

Golda: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there’s an interesting thing about language there just to pick up on your color-blind casting. For Bridgerton, I think we’re trying to use the word conscious. The casting is conscious. And I think color-blind casting has the word blind in it, do you know what I mean? So, there’s an immediate shutting down and shutting off and an immediate kind of what’s the word I’m looking for… laziness maybe? That might be a bit harsh…

Claudia: No, I don’t think so at all, I think it was really intentional, wasn’t it?

Golda: Yeah, when you are conscious of something, you’re celebrating it, you’re part of the world, you know that you’re celebrating the world and the people, Black and Brown people that are gonna be in it. And it’s not an apology. I think with color-blind casting there can be an apology.

Claudia: Also to have the Queen, the Queen being the person with the highest social standing, it’s such an important message, especially in the year that we’ve all just had.

Golda: Yeah, absolutely and I can’t take credit for that, that’s a Shondaland and Chris Van Dusen beautiful creation. Because she’s not in Julia Quinn’s books so how the world is created to have a Black Queen at you know, the top of the food chain within this amazing, beautiful, fantasy period drama. So, the scripts were a really important thing for me to understand the world that Chris Van Dusen wanted to create. And to have Queen Charlotte as the Black queen in this environment, I think really creates and pushes the boundaries as far and as wide as we can get them. To create the space where Black and Brown people are shown in a positive light.

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Claudia: I wanna ask you a little bit about your sense of style outside of Bridgerton. Obviously, you’re not wandering around in a corset and wig. Well, you might be, I’m not to judge.

Golda: No, they’re all locked away in a room somewhere.

Claudia: Are you someone who cares about what you wear? Do you love fashion or are you more of a sort of, ‘I’ve got my uniform I’m just going to put it on and that’s going to be my armor for the day’?

Golda: Yeah, I love fashion. Love it, love it, love it. I love clothes. I’m a vegan, so I’m really interested now in sustainability and fashion being sustainable. I’m very kind of new to the veganism kind of fashion side, I’ve been a vegan for god… 15 years now or so. I was a vegan before it was cool to be vegan. Old school, you know? So, the kind of food and kind of products, I’m still trying to manage, I’m getting there. But fashion has always been late to the table I think in terms of sustainability and eco and all of that kind of stuff.

Claudia: Yeah, we’ve got kind of that awkward question that we have to ask ourselves in that you obviously need to sell clothes in order to continue your brand and your work, and I do really genuinely believe that some designers are real artists in the way that they create things. So, if you don’t get people buying more things then you don’t keep the brand going; it’s a difficult thing to work out how to do that in a sustainable way.

Golda: Yeah, it’s really, really difficult. One of the things I’m trying to do at the moment is swap out all my plastic hangers for wooden hangers. Little things, but it’s really hard with fashion.

Claudia: Yeah, you’ve got brands like Stella McCartney that have been banging the drum for a long time and I do also think that at THE OUTNET, even the fact that we’re past-season, we’re sort of extending the life of the garment, keeping that circular economy going, and it’s still beautiful, well-designed, excellent quality clothes.

Golda: Yeah, absolutely and I think that’s really interesting what you tapped on there. This is what we’re doing, fun fact, for the second season of Bridgerton, especially with the clothes for Queen Charlotte. Mixing and matching, do you know what I mean? So, there possibly could be some stuff that you’ve seen before but twisted in a different way, matched with something else. There’s not like a brand-new wardrobe. I think as human beings we don’t understand that within our fashion that that can be something that can be really championed you know, vintage or second-hand clothes have this little kind of stigma to them. And I think to change it around and within my own wardrobe, I’m trying to see what other things I can create, and I think it is, if you’re a creative person, it’s joyous to put yourself in that scenario and try and relive some clothes with other clothes.

Claudia: So, I wanted to ask you as well about the sort of sexual content of Bridgerton and your views on it because I thought it was so well done and what I thought was interesting was there were equal amounts of female and male gaze as it were. Nobody was left out if they had a particular view on what they wanted to see shall we say. Do you think that there is a prudishness that still goes on in people’s views of how sex is portrayed on screen? Or do you think that we’re now much more liberated and accepting?

Golda: I think the main thing for me, that celebration of humanity in all its form is a good thing and I think if it’s done positively, if it’s done with a sense of maybe knowledge, of giving knowledge to a world that can be cruel at times to gays and lesbians and homosexuals and trans-gender people. I think the more that we can get everything out there, including heterosexual sex, the better. The more that we can educate, and race is in there as well and religion, the more that we can educate, the more that we can have representation and inclusivity — I think that is a really, really important thing.

Claudia: Golda, that’s such a beautiful answer. Can you leave us with any nuggets or gossip to keep us hanging until the next _Bridgerton _comes along? No spoilers, obviously.

Golda: Yeah, that’s a really difficult one! I’m going in for my costume fittings. I think there’s going to be a few balls happening, which will be great. I think all of that will be joyous, the choreography of those balls were fabulous, and all those dancers were incredible human beings. So, yes, balls will be happening definitely!

Claudia: We can’t wait, we cannot wait! It was such fun and I just wanna say thank you to you and the whole cast for really brightening the world up when it needed it most! It was really, really important and it was such a joyful thing to watch.

Golda: Yes! Thank you my darling, thank you so much for having me!

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