There were too many questions about the love triangle and the excitement for season 2 of Bridgerton at the press conference, but it also included questions about the newly arrived family in the Ton, the Sharmas. Charitra Chandran who plays Edwina, the younger Sharma sister was more than happy to answer the questions on South Asian representation on the show, Bridgerton.
Simone Ashley & Charithra Chandran answering my question about South Asian representation in Bridgerton S2 at the press conference:
Simone Ashley: "I remember filming the Haldi scene so well…I never really imagined we would be on the set one day performing a scene like that" pic.twitter.com/GfCiGetP9B
— Kat Moon 孟祥悅 (@katxmoon) March 21, 2022
Fans of the book were mildly surprised with the arrival of the Sharmas. They weren’t expecting Sharmas but Sheffields. So what happened? In a bid to include more diversity within the cast, Shonda Rhimes changed the name to Sharma and gave the Sheffields, a new identity, and new heritage. They are Indian immigrants, who have traveled all the way from Bombay to London.
“What’s really fascinating about the Sharmas is that essentially, they’re immigrants. They’re different not because of their skin color but because they come from a different background, they have different customs,” says Chanran. Like all immigrants, they are away from their familiar land and transplanted into a new place. They are trying to adapt to the London lifestyle.
“That’s sort of transplanted into London, and they’re trying to fit in and be as successful as possible within that community. They’re trying to be as London as possible.”
Charitra Chandran’s character stays true to her Indian heritage on Bridgerton
The Bridgerton writers have retained certain mannerisms that are a nod to Charitra Chandran’s character, Edwina’s heritage. For example, Chandran calls her elder sister, Kate (Ashley Simone) Didi. It’s an endearment term for an older sister. You can see they are raised differently from the way they drink their tea. They often find comfort in their culture when they are deeply upset and even in moments of celebration. Like the Haldi ceremony, where you can see a glowing Edwina. “When Edwina’s particularly upset, what Kate does to make her feel better, it’s very traditional Indian things like oiling your hair. And in moments of jubilation, like the Haldi scene, that’s what you see,” Chandran explained.
“I remember filming the Haldi scene so well…I never really imagined we would be on the set one day performing a scene like that,” adds Chandran.
The buzzworthy drama makes a return to the streaming giant on March 25th.