Among the cast of Bridgerton prequel Queen Charlotte is the titular monarch back when she was just Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, promised to marry the young King George III. The spinoff premiered on Friday, and it has already been lauded for the stunning costumes, the heart-wrenching love story, and the stellar performances of the cast of largely newcomers. Leading it all as the young queen, India Amarteifio (pronounced "ARM-AH-TEA-FEE-OH" per her Instagram bio) proves herself a star to watch as she perfectly embodies the fictional monarch's early days. Read on to learn about the breakout star.
She began her acting career as a child.
The 21-year-old actress grew up in Twickenham, England, and attended the Richmond Academy of Dance starting at age 11, followed by the Sylvia Young Theatre School. As a child actress, she appeared as young Nala in a West End production of The Lion King, as well as the musicals Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
She landed her earliest television roles in 2015 on The Interceptor and Doctor Who. Other notable roles include playing Thandie Newton’s daughter in Line of Duty, giving birth to an alien in The Midwich Cuckoos, and making her Netflix debut in the first season of Sex Education.
She embraced her natural hair in 'Queen Charlotte.'
To play the Bridgerton queen, Amarteifio wore several stunning hairstyles, all utilizing her natural 3C curl pattern. In an interview with Teen Vogue, the actress gushed over her experience starring in a period piece while wearing her hair in its natural state.
"[We’re] reestablishing the fact that our hair is beautiful in whatever texture it is, you don't need to straighten it for it to be classy, for it to be sophisticated, for it to be elegant. Whatever your hair texture is, it's beautiful in whatever state," she told the outlet. "To use my natural texture and still be able to emulate these styles was everything. It gave me so much joy."
She also opened up about her previous experiences in makeup and hair styling for past jobs.
"I think people are becoming a little bit more aware that afro hair is not something to be frightened about,” she said. "But any show where I was having to have my hair in it, it was a bit of added pressure in the morning. I'd wake up a little bit anxious like, 'God, am I going to get heat damage this morning, or are they going to take a chunk out of my hair?'…It's also about making me feel comfortable, because if I feel like my hair's been ruined as India, I'm not focused. That shouldn't be something that I come into work worried about, that I might not come out with my hair."
She binge-watched 'The Crown' during filming.
In an interview with Bustle, Amarteifio shared that she was a big fan of Bridgerton before landing her role; she watched Season 1 when it first came out and binged Season 2 when it was released during Queen Charlotte rehearsals. She also revealed that she watched another Netflix royal show while filming her own series, upon the advice of one of her co-stars.
"Corey [Mylchreest] actually recommended [that I] watch The Crown because we were doing the coronation scene [in Queen Charlotte]," she said. "In Season 1 [of The Crown], the Queen is going through a coronation, and it was interesting to see how that was done—because it’s a ritual, it’s a very similar experience, and to see the behind-the-scenes elements that they showed in The Crown was actually helpful."
She also shared that between playing Queen Charlotte and watching The Crown, she now has a better understanding of the royal family.
"I definitely understand the royal family more, in the sense of knowing who people are in relation to other people—that’s because when I was filming, I binge-watched The Crown," she said. "So I feel like I know them all. I know their secrets. But [Queen Charlotte] didn’t give me any further insight into them because we don’t delve into that. We’re taking from history, but we’re retelling it."
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