Thursday, December 22, 2022

“Bridgerton”: Adjoa Andoh has custom-made wigs for her role as Lady Danbury

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Lady Danbury is one of the main supporting characters in Bridgeton. Much of this comes from the writing, particularly Adjoa Andoh’s captivating performance. But the woman who has seen it all wouldn’t be what she is without that look. Especially their wigs.

Bridgeton has a concept that requires eye-catching looks to convey the opulent lifestyle of its subjects. The lavish sets, the elaborate costumes, the regal performances—everything has to exude wealth. And for characters like Lady Danbury, that means creating their costumes from scratch, including their iconic hairstyles.

When Lady Danbury speaks, other characters in the scene tend to shut up and listen. Within seconds of their first appearance Bridgeton, she immediately reads as someone who knows far more about life at the head of the monarchy than most. Andoh’s withering looks and warm smile are enhanced by the character’s always striking looks.

According to an inside look at the show via Shondaland, these looks need some work. And one of the most important elements are the wigs specially made for Andoh. “My hair is about a millimeter tall,” the veteran British actor clarified.

Her main wig – highly styled, dotted with ornate but tasteful jewelry – is an important part of the process of transforming her casual real-life look into Lady Danbury’s lavish appearance. “[The wig] allows me to tell the story visually,” she emphasized.

Lady Danbury uses multiple wigs depending on the scene. However, according to the insider, she is usually seen in her primary, custom-made wig. Sometimes the character appears in casual wigs or in a slightly different style, but this is rare. Still one more scene Bridgeton where the character no longer has a costume, that means developing a new hairpiece for Andoh to wear.

Unlike many of the characters on the show, who tend to wear extensions and hairpieces, Lady Danbury’s look calls for a full wig. While the character has slightly changed and softened over the course of the series, she tends to appear with her hair fully styled.

One benefit of a full wig, thanks to Andoh’s short natural hair, is that much of this styling work takes place without the actor sitting in the makeup chair. While it’s not an easy task to get her wig adjusted properly, it saves her from having to spend so much time poking around her hair.

Bridgeton has been filming since summer 2022. Season 3 will have new leads and antagonists, new locations and, yes, a whole new set of costumes and wigs. You can’t do the unique style of this show without finally surprising the audience with some new looks for this year’s courtship season.

Part of this unique style is how often looks are deliberately distracted a way of the historical appearance of the monarchy. Marie Claire reports that modern hairstyles are an intentional part of the alt history show’s atmosphere. Inspiration comes from old Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn, and new pop looks like Beyoncé’s afro era.

The visual storytelling is more important than anything else. Lady Danbury only needs a handful of wigs with a primary look. She has a simpler, classic European look. Dozens of wigs are created for Queen Charlotte every season. She cannot appear twice in the same look lest the royal opulence her character represents be undermined.

To the Bridgeton, making leads look good is not enough. Some of the most expensive costume work is supporting characters or even background actors. The Netflix drama spares no expense when it comes to building the unique, dreamlike atmosphere of its candy-colored ancient history tale.

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3: How the Books Continue Kate and Anthony’s Story

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