Adjoa Andoh wasn’t allowed in friends’ houses as a child because she’s mixed race.
The Bridgerton actress admitted her childhood seemed idyllic but as she and her family were the only non-white people in the area, they faced racism and hostility.
She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I grew up an enthusiastic and curious kid in the Cotswolds, in Gloucestershire in the 1960s. My childhood was like Cider with Rosie: blackberry picking and climbing trees.
‘I’m really glad to have experienced that sort of English childhood, but there were certain people’s houses I wasn’t allowed in: “We can’t have that coloured girl in. What would the neighbours say?”
‘You have to learn to navigate your feelings about those things. We were the only black people within 50 miles.’
The 58-year-old actress returned to the area she grew up in to film Bridgerton at Badminton House, where she discovered a piece of historical art that she wishes she’d known about when she was young.
She explained: ‘Funnily enough, Bridgerton was filmed at Badminton House, which is a spit from where I grew up. We did all that going to watch the horse trials stuff.
‘There’s a scene in the show where Lady Danbury is having a ladies’ night. In the room where we filmed there’s a painting of Queen Charlotte, whom many historians believe to be the first mixed-race, African-heritage royal person on our throne.
‘Here was this painting, five miles from where I grew up. It would have been great to know about that piece of history when I was a girl and to have known, “It’s all right, there’s nothing new or special about you.” ‘
When Adjoah decided to embark on an acting career, she knew she was unlikely to land roles that needed her natural English accent because of her skin colour, so learned various dialects.
She explained: ‘I loved literature as a child, but I realised pretty soon I wasn’t going to get to play the kind of characters I’d grown up reading. I also knew nobody was going to cast me talking in my own, Cotswolds, voice.
‘I had to brush up on all the accents black people would be cast in. Things have changed, but you’d hope so in 35 years.’
Credit: Original article published here.