London’s Leicester Square was transported to The Ton for the screening of Netflix’s garden party theme Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Rainfall gave way to sunshine just in time on Friday night as the newest members of London’s high society graced the red carpet for the Bridgerton prequel series, which follows the origins of a mischievous Queen Charlotte and her arranged marriage to King George III.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Rhimes said The Hollywood Reporter about what makes her stories so special —from Bridgerton first season was watched a total of 625 million hours in the first four weeks after release. “Just so I know we’re really trying our best to make shows that we want to see, things that we’re passionate about… I’m always amazed that other people like them too.”
With no foot-high wigs or Regency-inspired petticoats to contend with, the cast, including India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest — who play a young Queen Charlotte and her sovereign suitor, respectively — waved hello to fans of the hugely popular period series, one that features Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page and Jonathan Bailey shot to stardom.
“I spoke to Regé at a party and Jonathan was very nice on the phone,” revealed Mylchreest THR when asked about following in colleague’s footsteps Bridgerton men and his future as a heartbreaker. “And they both said, ‘Don’t worry.’ It all seems very unreal… But I mean, Freddie (Dennis, fictional servant Reynolds) will be targeted a lot more than me.”
Other newcomers to the cast, including Arsema Thomas as a young Lady Danbury and Sam Clemmett, a young Brimsley, made their way through an impressive set-up that required guests to walk on immaculately cut grass – fit for a game of croquet – and avoid colliding against a striking golden carriage.
“Witty, gleeful, powerful,” said Clemmett when asked to describe the season, directed by Tom Verica, in three words.
Based on characters written by Julia Quinn, the series focuses on Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel in Bridgerton), her rise to royalty and eventual love story with a dashing young king.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better scene partner,” Amarteifio said of her character’s chemistry with Mylchreest. “So confident, so talented. A friend for life.”
But Amarteifio’s introduction to Bridgerton’s original and proper world wasn’t so formal — she admitted she found out she’d gotten the part when she got in the shower: “Shower cap on, got a call, realized I should probably answer and luckily, I did,” she said.
Amarteifio also spoke of feeling like Queen Charlotte “represents things to a lot of people” and “has a lot of weight” – a sentiment echoed by Rosheuvel.
“Charlotte really is a character who knows her own mind,” Roshevuel said THR about becoming the queen. “The only advice I (India) gave was ‘Take it, make it your own.'”
“I think it’s a genre that has shut a lot of people out for a very, very long time that has now basically opened the door and created a bigger space to represent the world we live in,” she added. “And I think that’s a testament to Shonda Rhimes.”
As for the future in the series, a clenched Rhimes couldn’t confirm or deny anything about the anticipated season three of Bridgerton, which will focus on the relationship between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. However, Rhimes teased that filming is officially over.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will air on Netflix on May 4.