“Bridgerton” star Golda Rosheuvel — best known for playing the illustrious Queen Charlotte on the Netflix hit series — recently revealed that a lesbian director once advised her to stay in the closet.
“We were talking about being out and proud and representation and whether I should say I was gay in interviews,” Rosheuvel told Marc Melkin on his “Just for Variety” podcast. “And it was an absolute no: ‘You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It could or it would ruin your career as an actor.’
The out actor further reflected on that advice Saturday, during a backstage interview at the Human Rights Campaign’s New York City gala, where she was presented with the LGBTQ rights organization’s annual Equality Award.
“It’s not an unusual story, especially in the acting industry,” she said. “People are still told that it will damage their career. It’s a real thing. But for me, it was just so interesting that (the director) was out. I didn’t really understand the ask or the definitive ‘no’ that she was talking about, because there seemed to be this difference. There’s a private life and there’s a public life and never shall the two meet.”
Before becoming a household figure, thanks to the success of “Bridgerton,” the 52-year-old actor was mostly known for her acclaimed theater work in the West End, leading numerous celebrated productions including “Macbeth” and “Othello” (where she played a lesbian Othello.)
“But for me, it was always about being authentic,” she said on why she refused to stay closeted. “It was always about being who I am and what I want my journey to be. My parents brought me up to know that anything was possible, and in the tough times, to grit down, bite down, move forward as best as you can. So I feel very lucky in that respect, that I’ve had that positive journey. It’s not like that for everyone.”
Rosheuvel — who has been with her partner, Shireen Mula, for nine years — explained she isn’t blindly advocating for everyone to simply come out. But she said she wishes Hollywood was more accepting of actors to be out earlier in their career … if that’s what they want.
“Coming out after the success, it’s more of a ‘wow’ moment than somebody who’s just getting on with their life, who happens to be queer and who wants to come out as they get higher and higher,” she said. “I think we have to stop the ‘wow’ moment. We don’t need it. It’s not necessary.”
Rosheuvel said she proudly shares her story for the benefit of LGBTQ youths.
“To be able to speak my truth honestly is everything to that little girl, that little boy, that nonbinary trans kid who’s struggling and who’s in the darkness,” she said on why she tells her story. “They haven’t stepped into their light yet.”