‘Bridgerton’ scene-stealer Adjoa Andoh on Lady Danbury’s ‘instinct for survival’ and ‘appetite for life’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

In the Netflix period romance “Bridgerton,” Lady Danbury has “an instinct for survival and an appetite for life,” according to actress Adjoa Andoh. Because early-19th century England could be unforgiving to women to say the least, she wants to “get the most joy and delight from a life that is truncated by many factors outside of her control in the era that she’s living through.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Andoh above.

Based on the novels by Julia Quinn, “Bridgerton” explores the intersecting lives of families jockeying for position, status, and advantageous marriage in the Regency era. But Lady Danbury is past that. “She’s widowed, so she has no husband telling her what she can and can’t do because at this period women were the property of their husbands,” Andoh explains. “He’s left her with a fortune … So she is free and clear. She’s a high social flier. She knows how things work and she has the finances to support and back her up at every turn.”

And “Bridgerton” is unique in presenting a Black woman in such a powerful position in that era. But while the series takes liberties in its portrayal of the period, European history also wasn’t as ethnically homogeneous as media often leads us to believe. Queen Charlotte (played in the series by Golda Rosheuvel) “was of mixed ancestry. That’s just historical fact. So we sort of expanded on that story.”

Andoh adds, “The multiracial nature of the society that we present in Britain is a fictionalized sort of warp-factor-10 version of a historical reality of the country. So for me, it’s really important that we have that conversation in the show, that people didn’t think we were doing colorblind casting. I am not pretend-white. I am this color, very happy to be. I’m very happy to put that notion into a historical drama where usually we are just whitewashed out.”

With her snappy dialogue and stylish wardrobe, Lady Danbury also has plenty of “swagger,” and there’s more where that came from as the series progresses (it has already been renewed through season four). “There are such rich stories to come,” Andoh teases. “Because you know she’s got some stories. A woman that gets the girls together for a night of gambling and smoking and drinking and carrying on … You know she’s got some stories.”

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