Exclusive: Bridgerton star on how show changed "whitewashed" period drama

ruby barker, bridgerton
Bridgerton star on "whitewashed" period dramaNetflix

Bridgerton star Ruby Barker has explained how the show changed the landscape for "whitewashed" period drama.

Speaking to Digital Spy to discuss the panel show Breaking Through with Zeze Millz, the actress, who plays Marina Thompson on the hit Netflix period show, opened up about being cast in Bridgerton.

When asked how it felt to be a part of breaking down the perception of Blackness in period drama, Barker said: "It's been incredible, and it's been very eye-opening as well.

ruby barker
Getty Images

Related: Bridgerton star opens up about the Black experience in the industry

"There's been this idea, you know, that people of colour only took up a particular space throughout history, and during those times. Actually, a lot of the Black experience has been hidden, and has been whitewashed. You know, we have so many stories that have not been told.

"I thought, you know, I would probably never do a period drama when I was younger, even though I would have killed to do one, because there was a film already made about Dido Elizabeth Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, right? So I thought: 'I'm never going to have that moment. Gugu got it.' Wrong! And then Bridgerton came along – Shonda's creation.

"So it's been really amazing. The most amazing opportunity, memory, moment, and beat in my life. I know that it's been so inspiring for little girls watching the telly. And for women. Everyone. It's just been wicked."

ruby parker in bridgerton

Related: Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh reveals character that inspired her growing up

Since appearing in Bridgerton, Barker said she has been encouraged to try out for more roles that she previously thought were barred to her because of her race.

"Since Bridgerton, I'm a lot more open, and I'm not as pessimistic or negative or making presumptions about what a casting director or director's intentions might be when it comes to the casting of someone, you know? That's been cool."

Breaking Through with Zeze Millz is available to watch on ITVX. Bridgerton seasons 1-2 are streaming now on Netflix, along with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

You Might Also Like