Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran says regarding minority actors as onscreen box-tickers is “unbelievably invalidating”.
The actress who plays Edwina Sharma in series two of Netflix’s raunchy period drama said minority actors inevitably felt pressure to represent their entire community.
The new series will see the Bridgerton family’s eldest son Viscount Anthony Bridgerton caught up in a love triangle between Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley, and her sister Edwina (Chandran).
Speaking to the Radio Times, Chandran said she had had previous experiences early in her career that made her “doubt everything”.
“Minorities are often alluded to as being there to tick boxes, to fill a quota,” she said.
“I cannot tell you how unbelievably invalidating that is. It penetrates our minds and makes us feel like we’re not worthy of success.
“I had people at university tell me, ‘You only got the lead in that show because they needed to have a person of colour in it.’
“It makes you doubt everything.”
She continued: “If I’m being really honest and vulnerable, in my head I’m like, ‘Oh God, if people don’t like me in this or if I’ve done a bad job, I’ve ruined it for my entire community.’
“When you are a minority you invariably feel the weight of representing your entire community.
“That’s not imposed by anyone – but it’s something I feel.”
Bridgerton became the most-watched show on Netflix when it was released on Christmas Day 2020, thanks to its risque scenes and opulent costumes and sets.
At the time the streaming giant said the show was viewed by a record 82 million households in 28 days.
The highly anticipated second series arrives on Netflix on March 25.