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May 18, 2023 45 mins

Series Director and Executive Producer Tom Verica re-examines the series' characters, aesthetic, and scope through his unique perspective as a key creative contributor. We wrap up with casting director Kelly Valentine Hendry who introduces us to the cast’s new faces, and what special moments led her to finding the right fit. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Queen Charlotte the Official Podcast is a production of Shondaland
Audio in partnership with iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:18):
Well, well, if.

Speaker 1 (00:19):
It isn't all my Queen Charlotte fans out there, have
you binged the whole series? Uh huh, yeah, I know,
I know you're still reeling from the premiere of Queen Charlotte,
A Bridgeton Story on Netflix. It's a lot and it
was great. On Queen Charlotte the Official Podcast, We're going

to talk about what made it special for you. We
will talk through all of those feelings, all of the
excitement of the visuals. So here's what we're doing. On
this first episode. We'll be diving into the latest edition
of the Bridgeton Universe, Queen Charlotte Bridgerton Story now streaming
on Netflix. And if you're reeling from the first episode

and you ran over here, well, first I say thank
you for starters, and yeah, I'm laughing with you because
I know, I know, right, that was a lot. There's
a lot to look at, there's a lot to get
lost in. I'm your host, Gabby Collins, and on this episode,

we'll start off with a sit down with executive producer
and director Tom Verico. We love that Tom lets us
get into his head. There is no corner of his
thinking that he doesn't let us tap into, and the
first episode of the series leaves us with so many
stones to turn. He'll be right by our side. Also,

casting director Kelly Valentine Henry will pop in. She's going
to introduce the brilliant cast and we'll hear from her
more throughout the podcast season. But let's go. Let's just
get all up into this first episode. It is my
absolute pleasure to introduce our first guest of the season,

the kind and accomplished executive producer and director of Queen
Charlotte of Bridgerton Story, Tom Verica. With a career spanning
well over two decades, Tom has been a driving force
behind some of the most groundbreaking and iconic television shows
of our time. He was behind the lens of Queen Charlotte,

raising up young actors and empowering creatives on set, and honestly,
we are just more than honored to have him with
us today and share his insights and let him walk
us through the series. Lords and Ladies, the BFD himself,
Tom Verica.

Speaker 2 (02:52):
Welcome, Thank you very much.

Speaker 1 (02:54):
Hello Tom, you have been on the Bridgerton Podcast before.
This is Queen Charlotte. It's a whole new thing. It's
really good to be talking with you. I just wanted
to jump right in and start off with the end
of episode one with Charlotte. Young Charlotte is sitting there
on her bed and she's saying to herself, should have

gone over the wall. I should have gone over the wall.

Speaker 2 (03:21):
She's probably regretting getting into the carriage in the first
place in Germany.

Speaker 1 (03:26):
And it all just makes me start thinking about starting
to tell her story in the first place.

Speaker 2 (03:31):
Yeah, she's quite a force. There is obviously a lot
of history behind Queen Charlotte as we know her. Where
we jump in, we extracted sort of parts of our
story to make it fit into our Bridgiton world, a
little bit of reverse engineering from the character that Golda
Raschavella has created. So this is obviously some time before

that how she came into her power, and that was
something that Shonda discussed early on, being very curious about
how she becomes the woman that she is today in
the Bridgeton World. As she started throwing that idea out
there and we started doing research and seeing what elements
we want to take. There's actually quite a few elements
that are a lot of fact, and there is a

disclaimer you see at the beginning that we've bent it
a little bit into our world. Queen Charlotte's was not
quite as accurate latter years, but it was really important
to capture the reality of this confident young woman who
was very strong and living in her own world in Germany,
quite successful. Many avenues will be an art or science

or working with the poor, philanthropic in a lot of ways.
She wasn't this broken down nobody who married the king
and became somebody. She was in her own right. You
talk about that opening scene, it was very deliberate. I
wanted to keep her a little bit of a mystery
as long as we could, and that's why I started
on the back of her, starting on her dress, showing
her barreling down this hallway.

Speaker 1 (04:55):
So sure put it too.

Speaker 2 (04:57):
Yeah, India the actress is just extraordinary. She has such
poison presents about her, which immediately we all gravitated to
and decided to cast her in this. You see the
profile of her face and then you see her through
the crack of the door, and it really isn't until
she steps away, and she turns around and reveals about
what her life is going to suddenly change, which we
don't know yet. That we get a glimpse of full

on who she is and the fear of the vulnerability
and everything that suddenly kicks in. So it was very
deliberate to try to tell us who this person is
just in the way she walks, and then we literally
turned the table on her pretty quickly. That was Shonda's
clear nod to show the audience that this is someone
who is a fighter and she's not going to go

down easy, and that's something that was established pretty early on.
But still as she steps into the carriage, when she
is going off, you get a sense that this is
someone who's still very confident in feeling very sure of
herself and ready to tackle anything that she'll come up against.

Speaker 1 (05:56):
Was the queen's brother, Adolphus played beautifully by time Cassim
was he in on the great experiment at this point
of the story of.

Speaker 2 (06:06):
Dolphice was really her life. She really has a chance
to really make change for the Granted, she's going to
be queen and what she can do in that position
is enormous and that will go beyond the limitations of
the very lovely life that they had in Germany. But
there was real opportunity. So not only for his sister,
given the opportunity to have this power position his selfish reasons,

I'm sure, for being the broker between Germany and England
and elevating his status to his place in the world.
It probably wasn't so uncommon with a lot of people
who were married off, and particularly a young woman too,
that she's going to have to be married off with
someone and why not the King of England. Yeah, so
he may have felt he was doing her a.

Speaker 1 (06:49):
Solid, So Anthony Bridgerton of him to see pre Anthony,
pre Anthony.

Speaker 3 (06:58):
You were chosen.

Speaker 4 (07:00):
This is a great honor.

Speaker 2 (07:01):
It is not an honor.

Speaker 5 (07:02):
And you could have told them to choose someone else,
someone stupid enough.

Speaker 2 (07:05):
To want to day.

Speaker 4 (07:06):
She doesn't want someone stupid.

Speaker 2 (07:07):
They wanted you, Adolphus.

Speaker 1 (07:08):
Think why mey in this moment, We're about to see
that she's finding her power in the midst of all
of this.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
Yeah, she's about to step into not only the relationship
but royal institution.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
You're seeing her literally through your lens. It's a marriage
between India's performance and the way you frame her. Actually,
there's this moment when Princess Augusta is sizing up young
Charlotte and she's you know, she's checking her out. Even
the way India presents Young Charlotte in that moment is

really interesting.

Speaker 2 (07:43):
When Augusta was first looking at Charlotte when she first
meets her, and we're extra close on Charlotte to see
what's going through her mind. It was a little bit
closer so we can really be inside her world as
opposed to being an observer from one of the other
members of the society there who were watching her. That
happens with each one of her characters. We were very

clear about whose perspective it was because it was more
personal journey. I think for this show.

Speaker 1 (08:12):
There are times too where I felt like I was
one of the portraits on the wall. I felt like
the institution looking down on Charlotte and you know, I'm
thinking about those long dining table scenes where she's always
let down.

Speaker 2 (08:29):
Yeah, and that was really about her loneliness and that
all eyes are on her. Like you said about the portraits,
it's about the institution looking at her as if somebody
did have her on surveillance.

Speaker 1 (08:41):
You also have shots throughout the series where you see
India in the same way we talked about seeing Golda
the last time we spoke. We talked about how Golda
filled a room, these tall, huge rooms with her energy,
her presence, and I felt like young Charlotte carried that

same kind of air.

Speaker 2 (09:07):
It's easy to get for any actor to be swallowed
up in these spaces because they are enormous, and when
any of us walk in, it's quite a lot to
bite off. When you're processing the history, the artwork, the
volume of these spaces, and with the symphony of every
department coming together, be it costumes or production design or

props to support that, it really becomes the actor's ability
to not have it dominate. Golda certainly commands wherever she's at.
India has that as well, but we had to find
those beginning steps and those vulnerabilities. So while she is
in these seemingly smaller person in these large spaces, she's

figuring it out. So it's her journey and foreign land
that she's literally stepped into, as any one of us
when we walk into a new environment, assessing what's before us.
The framing of that was very specific to help tell
that story of how she may have been a bit smaller,
she may have been a bit more behind that she
started to try to find her and then progressively as

she goes on, whether it's camera angles that is all
designed to sort of parallel her power, she discovers it
and she where's it.

Speaker 1 (10:18):
You also did quite a job on capturing young Charlotte
as ten.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
And seven ten in seven years.

Speaker 1 (10:30):
There's this moment where she's invited an entertainer in and
by the way, I also read that Queen Charlotte, the
real one might have invited Phyllis sweet Lee to read
some poetry in real life. I don't know if that's real.
I gotta do some research. But anyway, back to the show,
she's pressed up against the window Tom and she's just
trying to get a good one at her new husband

out there.

Speaker 2 (10:53):
She's still a young woman, she's human, and I think
that is mark of Shonda's right in the mark of
the actors. We all have images, preconceptions of the royal
world and what that looks like and getting a peek
in that, but really finding those human elements how one
reacts to power, and that's quite intimidating. So it was

very important, very specific, help give little peaks and windows
as to they're just like anybody else and they had
the same feelings. In fact, sometimes tougher because they're so
sheltered from the rest.

Speaker 3 (11:25):
Of the world.

Speaker 1 (11:27):
Yeah, you guys, unpack the real real Some of these
scenes and moments are pretty deep. I mean even just
the disappointment of the wedding night.

Speaker 2 (11:39):
Yeah, the wedding night. If you look back, this is
certainly different from Bridgerton than some of our other shows.
There was so much visual storytelling that we were given
freedom to do. We'd put some music to it. We
had Chris Bauers, who's a master, just brilliant. We had
a very specific idea and images that we drew upon. Jeff,
Joe and I in a look book of the images

from films that inspired us. That glare that we had
throughout that wedding amidst royalty pomp and circumstance of all
the lords and parliament and all the people of importance
who were there to really just escape into the world
of two people who were seeing falling in love. And
that's really what we set out to do with Corey

and India. We talked a lot about kind of what
they were saying, and I had them say certain things,
and sometimes I had them don't speak at all, just
do plain all of the eyes and with a look
and find a little laughter in this moment, to really
break down the formality that has put upon all of
us as we watched that, but to really draw the
audience into those little subtle moments that those who've been

through marriage or in a relationship when they're falling in love,
those moments that step out from the environment, whether you're
at a nice restaurant or at an altar of a church,
where something happens and you look to that person and
you're looking at one another, holy crap, we're doing as
we're doing to really kind of get to that yeah, yeah,
And it really gets into who she is as a person,

coming into this position of power and the pressures that
she has to perform a certain way, but finding those
little elements in how she approaches her friendships, how she
approaches her relationship, how she navigates her mother in law
with each of those moments, So there was oftentimes we
would have a take where we grow out convention a
little bit and explore the unpredictable, and these actors really

enjoyed that, and having the freedom to do that allowed
us to really discover some truly connective moments that may
not be on the page.

Speaker 1 (13:37):
I definitely noticed those moments Tom, and I wondered if
these were moments in the stage direction.

Speaker 2 (13:43):
Yeah, Sean knows very clear about each of those moments.
How we first meet the Dan barryus. She is very
specific in her stage directions about how that's going to
look and how she wants that to feel. And oftentimes
it's as specific as a particular visual or it is
a feeling. And I think that's the partnership that Shanda
and I have for over the years, is that there's

a shorthand that we have with one another, and I
know if it's a look or what she's feeling just
by what she writes on the script of what she's
looking for her script that is the blueprint that creates
the ability for all that to happen.

Speaker 1 (14:19):
You mentioned the dan Berrys. I have to say, Lady
Danberry was my favorite character before. She's only become my
favorite tourist character again with her backstory.

Speaker 2 (14:34):
I mean, yes, wow.

Speaker 1 (14:37):
And I thought it was so funny How we meet
the Dan Berrys. I really did. Later on, you get
to the most fortunate conversation. You know, Violet had the
opportunity to have a love and an intimacy that she enjoyed,
and Lady Danburry not so much. So you know, I
have to go back and watch it, and.

Speaker 2 (14:59):
That will be controversial. It was controversial as we were
writing it as people read it. There's certainly no glorification
of it. But I think we do a deeper dive
into the complexities of this relationship and with that there's
an edge and there's a rawness to it that is
really exciting to play it. And various marriage was fairly

common of the time. I'm sure there were some true
love stories, but a lot of them were arranged and
they went with it because that's what everyone did and
doing the deed. We had numerous discussions about how to
carve out the different time of when these moments happened
and levels of repulsion.

Speaker 3 (15:37):
I have your bathwaiting, mom. You gave me no waning.
I had no warning.

Speaker 1 (15:40):
You always have a warning, not this time spontaneous. Is
it not enough? Then I must end you with that. Now,
I must end you that without warning.

Speaker 2 (15:49):
Arson and I talked about when the camera is capturing
one's face and what they're going through, it might read
as something different. So we really experimented with different tasks.
The act is happening, but she's multitasking that moment.

Speaker 1 (16:05):
Young Agatha says, I was able to work out some correspondence. Yes,
I'm like, oh, wait, she's talking about during sex.

Speaker 2 (16:13):
There you go. You caught that. Yep.

Speaker 1 (16:14):
Okay, she just had that.

Speaker 2 (16:15):
That's exactly right.

Speaker 1 (16:16):
Yep. She was staring out. She wasn't looking stern or angry.
She just was fixated on her task. She was writing
a list.

Speaker 2 (16:26):

Speaker 1 (16:27):
Oh, maybe I'll get some special stationary to.

Speaker 2 (16:29):
Write exactly she was a trooper. She was a trooper
because people laughed out loud the table reader when they
first read it. So in the execution of that, we
again very specific about how we see the headboard first
and then discover her face and wondering what the hell's
going on? I still laugh out loud.

Speaker 1 (16:54):
Tom, Let's talk about Brimsley. Mister, five steps behind your hymns,
walk with me.

Speaker 4 (17:02):
I have a question that is not how has it done,
your highness?

Speaker 2 (17:05):
What do you mean?

Speaker 4 (17:05):
You walk there and I walk back here?

Speaker 1 (17:08):
You cannot talk with me.

Speaker 4 (17:09):
I'm always with you, highness. Five paces behind, five paces behind,
five paces behind, always, your highness, what is your name, Brimsley, Your.

Speaker 5 (17:16):
Highness, Brimsley, tell me about the king.

Speaker 4 (17:20):
He is the King, your highness, Yes, And he is
the ruler of Great Britain and Ireland and the colonies.
Your highness, yes, he has been Mony Rimsley.

Speaker 1 (17:27):
You have told me he is the king, He is
the ruler, and he is the monarch.

Speaker 5 (17:31):
Those are all the same things, are they not?

Speaker 4 (17:33):
They are all facts, your highness.

Speaker 1 (17:35):
The first time walking five paces behind, Charlotte, can you
talk about what that space is, that location and how
you accomplished that shot?

Speaker 2 (17:43):
Sure? That is Saint James Palace is the location in
the story. Saint James Palace really consists of a couple
of different locations, primarily Hampton Court Palace, which is where
we shoot here in London. That's where we film a
lot of what doubles as are Saint James Palace, but
the church itself was in Oxford. We also shoot down

in Wilton as a piece of Saint James. So there's
numerous different places, but that particular stairwell is in Saint
James Palace and definitely is of the period, and we
use that. When you really think about the scene right before,
when Augusta is getting her, it's a completely different it's
two hours away where that next scene takes place. But

this was initially written as a hallway, and I pitched
it to Shanda. I said, I think we have a
number of hallways. What I would love is that if
she's going up to get her wedding dress on and
go up to her suite where she's being dressed, it
would have been on an upper floor. So I showed
her pictures that sent Shonda pictures of this location, and
I thought this stairwell was very visual and she was

completely She says, yeah, that as long as it works,
and I said it might actually really highlight the five
steps behind on the stairs, to which she completely agreed.
So it went along three wall that went up and
we had this crane that kind of just panned as
we boomed up with it with them as they moved,
and I wanted them when they finally had their conversation

to be on that little landing that was between that
final stretch of stairwell, and I wanted servants coming down
behind them, and I know there's two servants that come
down and give about to slightly start to introduce the
world that people need to bow to her, and she's
completely a knowing of that's happening around her. But the

scene that was one of the first rehearsals we had
with these two actors, with India and Sam, and we
just rehearsed it in this rehearsal room, which was in
a circle. So I told them what I was thinking
about doing and be much clearer and much easier once
we get into the space. But they worked out what
those moments were.

Speaker 1 (19:50):
In a circle.

Speaker 2 (19:51):
Yeah, in a circle. That's what it was initially because
it just needed to move five steps and then stop.

Speaker 1 (19:56):
That's not maddening at all, No, not at all.

Speaker 2 (19:59):
It was a little bit like musical chairs. It's like
we're going around these chairs. But it really what we
were really tapping into is the dynamic of him Brimsley,
young Brimsley, protecting the king and not wanting to reveal
too much, but really having his duty. He's been raised
and we came up with he's finally got the assignment

and the detail of the queen. So this is a
big deal that he doesn't want to mess up so
at all costs, he wants to give her whatever she
needs and be the perfect, the perfect wingman for her.
So he was quite nervous about making sure that he
was has done everything that he's been brought to for
this moment to handle the Queen. So that you have

two people who are really figuring out their roles and
trying to understand what that is. And his nervousness of
wanting to stay by the book and be not try
to be friends, not try to show much, but really
just deliver what is expected of him, and he gets clustered,
which is really wonderful when she tries to get him
to get a little dirt. We were talking about the

show and the Brimsley character and how Hugh Sacks oftentimes
in the Bridgington world, He's often can be perceived as
set dressing, just always being there for the Queen. But
I choose to really look deeper and look at those layers,
and I will do a close up of him because
his point of view of judgment on this whole of

what's happening before the Queen really comes alive. When you
give focus or give lens to that bystander.

Speaker 1 (21:37):
I think collectively viewers saw Brimsley in the first season
where the Queen would always tell him to scoot away
when they had business, whistle down business to discuss, and
I'm like, Okay, he talks too much, But I see
him on a whole different light now.

Speaker 2 (21:51):
Those where all the bodies are buried.

Speaker 6 (21:52):

Speaker 1 (21:52):
Yeah, his progression and the way this entire series leaves
so much much for us to fill in was incredible.
I'm so happy to because Shondaland does a good flashback.
Just in my own viewing experience, some of my favorite
TV flashbacks and flash forwards are from and I know

I'm not alone, but my favorites are from from Scandal.
I am not the only one that freaks out over
Olivia's bangs in a flashback, but I was wondering if
there is something in the secret sauce or in the
creative huddles that you all have because Shonda crafted flash

forwards like a delicacy.

Speaker 2 (22:39):
That is really Shonda. She has a touch and a feel.
So that was all clearly scripted and almost exactly as
it was scripted. This is probably the closest we stayed
to what the final product was and what the script was.
And I think that's because Shonda wrote just about all
of it that she had in her head. So a
lot of it is really kind of a taste for

what she feels might be overdone or gratuitous or when
the time to transition. That that really becomes the crafting
about when to pop out. You have quite a blank
canvas to paint when you've only gotten to know Queen
Charlotte and the Bridgeston world just through that prison, but
when you start diving into her personal world when it

comes back, we had the guidelines of what history was.
Really the crafting of the story of what Shanda created
really allowed her to play with the timeline. She is
a master at doing them. I think she writes them
brilliantly and her storytelling is just one point.

Speaker 1 (23:41):
All right. I've got to ask you about working with
the Queen's children. Talk about the tone. This is a
much darker tone than we're used to in the Bridge Reverse.

Speaker 2 (23:53):
Yes, which says sorrow as prayers. Her ability to flip
flop between comedy and drama is amazing. Who played young George?
It was a terrific and gifted and we wanted to
keep levity wherever we can and bringing them through, and
he certainly brought it. He and as evidence in some
of the later episodes, Jeff Jure and I are director
of photography. We had images oftentimes and we pulled from

where it was one of those sort of Vegas like
moments in a painting where there were so many little
things happening. So I had a very visual thing in
mind when we come into that room with Queen Charlotte
to see your kids for the first time. The introduction
the pockets part of the story is I need to
loosen them up and have them smoking. Some of them

had their jackets off, so I really wanted to muss
them up a bit and in a fun way, I
really kind of wanted to create this mess of this
royal kids.

Speaker 1 (24:49):
It's so funny. Hugh Sachs as he plays Brimsley, the
way he reacts to the Queen's children, the queen's adult
children are. They know it's dead on and it is.
It's so funny.

Speaker 2 (25:00):
A lot of people wouldn't cover that character normally or
just feel him there, but I wanted very much his
judgment of this. So even moments like I remember at
the end of one she says, make me a baby,
and she storms out of the room and he follows her.
And I said, Hugh, throw a look back. I want
you to throw a look back. Get your shit together
you And he did it, and he did it beautifully,

did it perfectly. It was so good.

Speaker 1 (25:24):
The way he throws his head over his shoulder, Oh
my goodness. I love it so much. I don't know
what to call that relationship between.

Speaker 2 (25:31):
Dependency and then take care of each other enormously on
and off.

Speaker 1 (25:36):
Shoo, and that that definitely reads on camera. The scene,
the scene where the Queen tells Brimsley, you know, stand
over there.

Speaker 2 (25:46):
Yeah, yeah, that was three.

Speaker 1 (25:47):
I really like what he said.

Speaker 2 (25:48):
He hit her with some truth and caught her in
a way that she wasn't expected. But he knows her
better than anyone, He's seen how she does. He resisted,
He didn't want to hurt her feelings. He wanted to
protect her. But that little truth and that little share
moment of vulnerability and reality, she didn't want him to
see her kind of get choked up. So yes, she
just resorts to what their positions are. Stand over there,

face the other way. Oh so good, so good.

Speaker 1 (26:12):
Right in that moment too. It sounded very shondalind to me,
do you think that the cast came in knowing already
familiar with the style.

Speaker 2 (26:23):
There is a style and a language that we bring
to it that most of these actors do not know,
and I've had conversations with them because they're classically trained.
They're trained in a certain type of behavior and a
way in which to carry yourself, so in cadence in

how sharp the tongue might be is just different with
Shonda's writing and whether we work it with pace, But
stylistically they're used to it now, certain actors who've been
doing it for a while in the Bridgeston world, but
we definitely have to work them into getting that rhythm
that is different from the classical rhythm. I like to
try to shake up those rhythms anyhow.

Speaker 1 (27:04):
Yeah, there is a style. There is definitely a style
that people who know shondaland can they can pick up
on it. And that rhythm is just it's just very familiar.

Speaker 2 (27:13):
I'll say that we had a rehearsal period with this
because it was essential, particularly because a lot of these
characters were brand new and they were just getting to
know each other. So that was invaluable the time that
we had for the two weeks before we were filming
to answer a lot of questions. What was their character
in the Bridgeton world, What are we portraying here? How

much are we playing with the accent? Is it mimicking that?
So there was a lot of discussions about pace and
rhythm and shaking it up, keeping it very spontaneous.

Speaker 1 (27:47):
We'll be right back with Tom and Moore on Queen
Charlotte the official podcast. The way the footmen, servants and
even the portraits along the dining walls were like all

peering down over on Charlotte. What I was wondering though,
and maybe this is in the script, maybe this was
in discussion, but are they looking at Charlotte like she's
an oddity? Or are they looking at her like does
she know there's something that's not quite right, that there's
something more to the fact that the King is not

with her? How are they actually perceiving her in that moment?

Speaker 2 (28:35):
Our footmen are not know and it's probably all through
perceptions because it's really from her point of view that
she's seeing that. But what we constructed them to do
is they are by the book, She's the queen, and
they serve the queen as they do. There's no judgment.
The only time we had them break is when they
weren't quite sure what to do, like when they started

to get busy on a dining room table. They start
to look at one another. I love that moment. But
oftentimes they're really they're eager to please, so if she's not,
if something is slightly off as the build happens, I
think they look to one another as to how do
we correct this, how do we get this right? What
are we doing wrong.

Speaker 1 (29:15):
It's interesting because I felt almost in the way you
can feel secondhand embarrassment. I felt like this secondhand curiosity
because we're fresh off of how Princess Augusta smudged her cheek,
just wondering if that's a thread for everything.

Speaker 2 (29:31):
I think that's probably real. I mean there was certainly discussions,
so I think that in a moment when you show
a close up of someone like that, you can't help
but project onto that.

Speaker 1 (29:40):
Are there any locations that presented crazy challenges?

Speaker 2 (29:43):
There's so many. The biggest challenge there were scenes where
actors were never in that scene with the other two actors,
and we put them against a green screen and filmed
them a month and a half later and drop them
into that scene, the one that comes most of mine,
and it was with the Ledgers when we first meet
young Violet and her mother and she's talking to her

father who's sitting on the chair and he's reading the
paper and she's daddy questioning him all about society and
the mother's kind of judging who Agatha is and everything,
and they were never in that scene together. We had
one day at this location. The night before we found
out one of our actors had tested positive, but we
couldn't lose his location. And I remember sitting in a
bar with Jeff Jure and Anna, our producer, and we're

deciding do we cut bait, lose his location and put
this on the edge of the schedule and try to
get it when we have the actors together. Nope, we're
gonna go through. We're gonna do it. And they thought
I was crazy, but I talked him through exactly, said
here's what we can do. Each of those scenes. There's
probably about three or four scenes where our care Charles,
our actor who plays Lord Ledger, was not in those scenes,

and we filmed him on a green screen later These
are the things that challenges the reality of production, challenges
that we have. I'll give you one more. The scene
in episode three where Charlotte and George when she comes
in and they're having dinner at the table, and she says,
will you stop that breathing? You annoy me. Everything you

do annoys me. He gets up, he comes over to
her and then they start having sex on the big table.
Everyone's looking around and all the servants are.

Speaker 1 (31:16):
One Another's so funny.

Speaker 2 (31:18):
Our young Brimsley was never in that scene.

Speaker 1 (31:20):
How did you do that?

Speaker 2 (31:21):
I shot him against a green screen. He was supposed
to be in the scene, but he couldn't work that day,
and so we shot him against the green sea, so
all his looks to Reynolds when he looks to Reynolds
and he's ushering people out of the room. That's the
magic of filmmaking and the challenges that we have to do.
And it is amazing how it looks.

Speaker 1 (31:41):
Seamless does And that's one of the biggest lol moments.

Speaker 2 (31:46):
I laughed so hard when I saw the first cut
of that. I laughed out loud. I laughed out loud.

Speaker 1 (31:53):
It's so funny.

Speaker 2 (31:55):
These are the elements of the puzzle that I love
as a director, trying to figure out how do we
pull this off, of how do we do this? Working
with Jeff Juror, he and I have a shorthand he's
just brilliant at lighting in the visuals of what we had,
the spontaneity that we constantly stay committed to. Lynn Pallow
and her work on costumes was just extraordinary, very clear
decisions about George's ring, and there were so many elements

the jewelry of the royals, and there's so many specifics
that are in there that you could see that probably
can get lost, but again upon rewatch you can see
a lot of layers as to what we did. I
loved one of our sequences was the funeral procession and
the VFX that we talked about because again, we can
only have so many background actors, so we did tiling
and created kind of streets of people just lined up

when we didn't really have that. Those are very specific
visuals that we storyboarded and knew exactly shot for shot
what we were going to do with that, ending with
a close up of Golden through the glass as she
peered out and saw the whole crowd, and that what
she was going through the work of this crew. I'm
just incredibly grateful, appreciative of what I brought to this
and I'm very proud of what we did.

Speaker 1 (33:02):
It was a pleasure watching the series several times, and
it's really an honor and a privilege to be speaking
with you.

Speaker 2 (33:08):
Thank you, Gabrielle. I love speaking with you. I love
your questions. I love your investment and thoughtful and introspective,
and I really appreciate talking with you and appreciate your insight.

Speaker 1 (33:20):
After the break, casting director Kelly Valentine Hendri drops in.
She's going to introduce us to more of the Queen
Charlotte cast. Kelly Valentine Hendri, casting director of Queen Charlotte,

of Bridgerton's story, We're so thrilled to have you as
a special guest, and you're responsible for bringing together this
amazing cast and helping bring this story to life. So
let's just start with discussing your overall thoughts. What's been
going on with you since being in the throes of casting.

Speaker 5 (34:04):
Since the last time we spoke, It's gone rather well,
hasn't it. Bridgison has continued to become a global phenomenon
with the most beautiful, kindest cast and the showrunners and showmakers.
It's just one big, happy family which I'm just so
honored and proud to be part of. And then when
you get a chance to have their little children, which
is what I consider Queen Charlotte. This byproduct of an

already incredible piece of work. For it to have completely
its own identity within something that has got its own
identity anyway, it's quite special that it's been able to
do that. So yeah, I've just been really busy. I've
been very lucky. I think everyone have watched this by now,
so I'm excited to see what the world thinks of
what we've been doing. And we've made some new stars
as we've gone along, which is great.

Speaker 1 (34:48):
When did your process begin? So?

Speaker 5 (34:50):
I remember we started out early quite rightly, and I
work with another casting director on the show called Cole Edwards,
who used to be my associate, who also helped cast
the last season of bridges In. So this shot late
January February twenty twenty two, and the two of us
started in November time in twenty twenty one. We were

out of lockdown, but it was still very much not
in person, certainly not in the UK, and I remember
very clearly standing in my kitchen and having a call
with Betsy and Shonda and we had our first discussion
about what Queen Charlotte was going to be about and
what were the expectations for a young Queen Charlotte. And

at that time we were very much focusing in on
young Queen Charlotte and young Lady Danbury and how we
would go about approaching I think I'm not wrong in
saying iconic figures now with two very specific actresses, you know, yeah,
Golda and Adu are lot your every day fines. They
are so unique in who they are as actors they're

incredible and who they are as people as well. And
that's one thing that Colon I always love to do
is we always tend to find people are quite close
to the personalities of the character, so that a lot
of that reality is based already in that person's soul.
So when we're being told to cast a young Goalda
and a young Adua, let's just say the challenge was

a big one. So we started the process. And the
truth is, at that point scripts were still being written,
but we had the beauty of having these two very
well drawn out characters already with two wonderful actresses playing them,
so we knew that we had an essence to go from.
So Cole and I felt very confident in being able
to go out and start the casting process with if

I'm honest, fake sites, the audition pages and all them sites. Yes,
So we went out and it was a long time ago,
and I'm pretty sure we use sides from the original show,
so there was an essence of the character. I double
checked through our breakdowns actually recently, and there was no information.
They knew that it was part of the Bridgeton world,
but we were genuinely looking for an actress of this

age with this type of accent, and that was it,
and who was free obviously key to the process that
is actually available. And so we went off and we
started with our massive search, as we do with Bridgeton
in general, and we start with the self tapes. And
I'm not just saying this, it's when the tapes of

the people that were eventually cast the very second, three
seconds into their reads, we knew that who would end
up casting because they were perfect.

Speaker 1 (37:33):
How many had you seen?

Speaker 5 (37:34):
Oh that would be telling, wouldn't it. We always see
a good couple of hundred at least. But when India's
tape landed, that was one of I'll never forget that
she is young Queen Charlotte. She is young, golder. And
here's the thing. India had a body of work already.
She had done some excellent shows in the past, and

she'd cut her teeth and she'd done line of duty
just like Claudia had, So she wasn't new to us.
But when Arsoma's tape hit, that's someone I'd never seen before.
And ars as quite an extraordinary young woman, as you
can tell. American also, which kind of threw me. I
was like, oh gosh, are we going to cast an
American accident in person to play Lady Danbury, who's got

the most English accent I've ever heard. So Yes, So
that was the timeline you were going to say.

Speaker 1 (38:25):
Something was a blessing? What was a blessing? Finish that thought.

Speaker 5 (38:29):
We've been living Bridgeton for a long time and we
care so much about it, and we invest so much
in these young actors. And that's one of the things
I'm most proud about the casting on Bridgeton in general,
is that there are a lot of young actors there,
and older actors too, who I really feel have worked
their entire life and not been recognized for it. And

I think the global appeal of Bridgeton has thrown these
people into the limelight and I've seen people's career change
in front of us. Every single person that is on
the set of Bridgeton is an incredible actor. And we're
blessed before we even start because we know the material
is going to be excellent. We know the directing is
going to be the best that we ever can be.

So when we are inviting these young people to tape,
we know that they're going to be put into the
best possible space. This comforting and intelligent, and we can
put young, fresh talent in there and we know they're
going to be looked after and they're going to be
guided in the right way. And I think that is
really special, and I don't say that about many shows.

Speaker 1 (39:38):
That's amazing to hear, and I'm wondering if that is
something that for you, being a casting director and being
in this industry for so long, gives you a special
sense of pride, or gives you an opportunity to look
back on your career at this opportunity to do just that.

Speaker 5 (39:57):
The respect that is given to casting head of department
on this show is incredible, and I really feel like
everybody trusts what Cole and I thought, and do they
take our advice. When I say to them, guys, we're
not done yet here, we need to keep on looking.
They don't question it. We're given the space and the
respect to do the best job that we can do.

And I think that comes across in the casting on
the show. But Bridgeton and Queen Charlotte as a Bridgeton story,
there's a rhythm in the dialogue. It's difficulty, it's a
lot of words, and it takes an excellent actor to
just make it feel so light and airy. It's an
amalgamation of strong writing, of course, and actors that have

the ability I always call it. In Bridgeton, they dance
with the text. And when we're asking for self tapes,
I actually can see quite a lot of people that
can get through a lot of people as a result,
because people can either do it or they can't. And
when they do it, like India or Arsena, you can't
ignore it. You know that actor is going to get
really far in the process.

Speaker 1 (41:05):
I do agree. You could literally see them dancing with
their words like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

Speaker 5 (41:11):
All of cashmere.

Speaker 3 (41:14):
Ye here, cat gold dusted, catch me quite.

Speaker 5 (41:26):
I'm really excited to hear what everyone has to say
about this show. It exists so much by itself, but
so beautifully alongside. I'm so excited. I have to say.
This group of young actors are so extraordinarily humble, and
I just cannot wait to see what's going to happen

to them for the rest of their careers.

Speaker 6 (41:48):

Speaker 5 (41:48):
They deserve all of it. They're so hard working, they're
so kind, they're so patient, they're so talented and good
to each other and lesson to be learned for so
many young actors that this is exactly how they need
to behave. They're beautiful, So I applaud them.

Speaker 1 (42:07):
I think you're right to be excited. Can we applaud you? Kelly?
Thank you so much for your time today.

Speaker 5 (42:13):
You're so welcome.

Speaker 1 (42:15):
You are so welcome, all right, So I just want
to thank Kelly, Valentine, Henry and Tom Verica again for
joining us. We'll hear more from them throughout the podcast season.
They are full of insight from the early stages of development,
and you know, Tom touches pretty much every aspect of production,

So make sure you grab your favorite snacks. May I
suggest some cakes and teas and just find us here
every Thursday after you watch an episode, we can settle
in and explore everything from character development to behind the
scenes secrets with our brilliant cast and the creative teams.
And of course we couldn't talk about Queen Charlotte without

speaking with Shonda Rhymes, the mastermind behind this captivating world.
And again, some of the casts are stopping by to
take us on a journey through their characters and personal stories,
which truly come together to make this series as enchanting
as it is. This is like that extra sliver of
cake that you went back to the kitchen for. Don't worry,

I'm in the kitchen too. It's okay. We are here
for our sugary confection. No servants or footmen to stop
us or pick it for us, and we're just We're
just going to enjoy this together.

Speaker 6 (43:35):
People find it slightly ridiculous that I was on a horse.
I Freddie was on a horse. Everyone was watching, so
I had to try and play it as cool as
I could, but I boy, was I sweating?

Speaker 5 (43:48):
You smashed it though it went very well?

Speaker 2 (43:50):
Yeah it did.

Speaker 6 (43:52):
I'm glad I wasn't wearing a heart rate thing.

Speaker 1 (43:55):
Next week, actors Sam Clement and Freddy Dennis dig into
the Broomsly and Reynolds of it All and they share
tales from their auditions. Queen Charlotte is full of love
and loss. It's also full of laughter. So this will
be a really fun kickoff to some of our episode
recaps with the cast, and I really can't wait to

share Sam and Freddie's story with you. Queen Charlotte The
Official Podcast is executive produced by Sandy Bailey, Lauren Homan,
alex Alcea, Tyler Klang, and me Gabrielle Collins. Our producer
and editor is Tarry Harrison. Subscribe to the podcast anywhere
you get your favorite shows. Get the book I'm a
Crispy Turn the page, Smell the Binding kind of Queen.

But you can download it and you can find Queen
Charlotte a bridgeton story on Netflix. We'll see you next week.
Queen Charlotte. The Official Podcast is a production of Shondaland
Audio in partnership with iHeartRadio. For more podcas casts, visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to

your favorite shows.
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