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Bridgerton's Golda Rosheuvel Reflects On 'Bizarre' Advice For Coming Out As Lesbian In Early Days Of Her Career

The queen in Bridgerton.
(Image credit: Netflix)

You may know her as the Queen with all the best Regency-era wigs in Netflix’s Bridgerton. Or perhaps even briefly recognized her as Shadout Mapes in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. But truth be told, this isn’t actress Golda Rosheuvel’s first rodeo, given her resume that spans films, TV and theater for two decades now. Reflecting back on the early days of her career, though, Rosheuvel shared the “bizarre” advice she received when it came to publicly coming out as a lesbian.

For those who don’t yet know, Golda Rosheuvel is being honored today by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ civil rights group, with the Equality Award for uplifting the community as an out and proud queer woman. And ahead of the event, she told Marc Malkin on the Just for Variety podcast that her acceptance speech includes the anecdote of how a female director of hers once urged against transparency about her sexuality. The Bridgerton alum revealed that the (unnamed) director in question likewise identified as lesbian, which made the situation “fascinating” to her but also complicated. She said,

I really admired her and … I was really confused. This is really bizarre. How come I can be out privately to my family, to my friends every day, but there's something different about being professionally out and publicly out. I don’t understand why that is different. And I was told, she told me! We were talking about being out and proud and representation and whether I should say I was gay in interviews. And it was an absolute no. 'You absolutely shouldn't do that. It could or it would ruin your career as an actor.’

Golda Rosheuvel didn’t end up following the advice. In her mind, the idea of actors having to hide their sexuality in real life simply didn't "track,” no matter who was delivering the message. The 52-year-old said she’d rather lose a job or not be in the industry at all if it meant she couldn’t be her authentic self.

Her Bridgerton co-star Jonathan Bailey – who is the centerpiece of Season 2 as Anthony Bridgerton – actually reflected not too long ago on feeling a similar pressure himself to not come out as a gay man in the industry. He recalled to GQ that, in his own early acting days, they were told by higher-ups during pilot season that they didn’t want to know two things: “if you’re an alcoholic or if you’re gay.” But ultimately, both Golda Rosheuvel and Bailey have opted to go against those kind of dated expectations, while simultaneously playing straight and gay characters alike on-screen. Rosheuvel added,

Love is love. It doesn't matter whether it's between a man and a woman when you are an actor, creating character, investigating the human nature and human desire and human love. So yeah, it doesn't compute, as I say sometimes, for me, the conversation that is being had over not coming out. It's strange.

Interestingly, fans of Bridgerton have long interpreted some bisexual subtext when it comes to the character Benedict Bridgerton. And with the next season slated to focus on him in particular, it’s been speculated in some circles that he’ll come out in that regard. The actor who portrays Benedict addressed the sexuality conjecture himself, saying that he would “love” to explore it, should the writers pursue it further.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that Bridgerton decided to buck tradition. The Netflix title has already featured more people of color than any period piece of its kind, with Golda Rosheuvel portraying the first ever bi-racial, snuff-snorting Queen of England. And to add another (peacock) feather in her cap, Rosheuvel’s Queen Charlotte is actually getting her own spinoff show, with the actress and a few other alums reprising their roles.

We’ll keep you updated on that and the various other romantic conjectures brewing about Bridgerton’s third season, along with the other titles on the 2022 Netflix TV schedule. But as for Golda Rosheuvel, she hopes to continue to represent for the LGBTQ community, saying, “My sexuality is really important to me, in terms of existing, in terms of being around the campfire and knowing that I'm important. I'm as important as anyone on the planet.”

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.