The American production company Shondaland is headed by the eminent Shonda Rhimes, the woman behind such colossal successes as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to get away with murder. For her first collaboration with Netflix, the producer moves on to a historical series while keeping her signature: romance, female characters brought to the forefront and mystery.
“The Bridgerton Chronicle”, was shot in the city of Bath, birthplace of Jane Austen’s novels, and is one of eight projects Shonda Rhimes is currently working on. Taken from the saga of Julia Quinn, this Chronicle on the “wedding market” boldly modernizes this period dear to the many fans of Jane Austen.
She turned this romance into a plea for equality. Her heroine, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), is certainly not a feminist – she accepts her destiny as a wife and mother without too much hesitation, but she does n ot hesitate to influence the events to her advantage. And several female characters around her explicitly take their destiny into their own hands.
It is also a manifesto in favour of diversity. After having long favored white actors, casting directors are now looking at profiles from all backgrounds, no longer fearing anachronism if it does not change the background of the story.
Even if the role of Daphne Bridgerton has been given to a white actress, other characters are played by people of color. Not only is Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) of mixed race – according to some theories, she was descended from an African branch of the Portuguese royal family – but many other leading roles are also held by actors of all origins. This is notably the case of the Duke of Hastings, interpreted by Regé-Jean Page, originally from Zimbabwe.
“The Bridgerton Chronicle”is a production that is part of the wave of so-called “color-blind” films and series, where skin color is no longer taken into account in the choice of performers.