Emma Naomi Talks … Bridgerton Season 3

Emma Naomi is a Rising British Star …

Emma is currently reprising her role of Alice Mondrich, wife of boxer turned Gentleman’s Club owner ‘Will Mondrich’ played by Martins Imhangbe in Season Three of Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton.

Emma has also reprised her starring role as ‘DI Lisa Donckers’ in the third season of award-winning crime drama Professor T for ITV. This performance has garnered widespread acclaim, earning her the title of Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series award at the National Film Awards 2022.

Emma has worked extensively on stage, including Dead Don’t Floss at the National Theatre; and Blithe Spirit at the Theatre Royal Bath.

We spoke to Emma about Bridgerton and the success of diverse casting in the series …

Please introduce yourself …

Emma Naomi, Actor born in London with mixed Jamaican/Irish heritage

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …

Ten-year-old me would be jumping for joy.

Bridgerton is one of Netflix’s biggest-ever hits and Alice Mondrich was your breakout role. Tell us how you secured the part of Bridgerton’s Alice?

I got the part on a self-tape. The casting was very different at the time, I didn’t think I had a chance.

How does Alice’s character arc develop in Season 3, especially since her family now have social standing in high society and what does it mean for the relationship between her and her husband Will whose relationship we have seen flourish over the past few seasons?

Alice has always wanted to solidify the family’s social standing but never expected it to be handed to them. It’s sudden… it’s strange. I think she and Will wrestle with their sense of identity, there is a lot of anxiety around how they should behave and whether they should leave a part of themselves behind.

James Bryan, Martins Imhangbe, Ariella Warburton, Emma Naomi & Elias Amos – Bridgeton Season 3

There seems to be a mentor/mentee relationship building between Lady Danbury and Alice as she advises Alice on what is expected of her and her husband …

Yes. Lady Danbury has taken us under her wing. We have a mutual connection with Simon (The Duke) and I think she is excited about what the Mondrich’s can bring to the table.
Bridgerton’s diverse casting, although successful has been a huge topic of conversation since the first season. Do you think it has changed, or at least expanded the industry’s approach and audiences’ acceptance of black actors in roles outside of the usual stereotypes?

Yes. I mean, look at the queen! I think Shondaland is doing a wonderful job of increasing visibility each season across the board with racial diversity, sexual orientation and those who are differently abled. I’ve read many essays from actors from the generation before us who thought it was impossible to play a lead or love interest in a period/regency piece like this. Look at us now.
Do I think it’s changed the industry completely? No, but I certainly think it’s a shining example of how it can be done, the audience wants it, and how successful it can be, how enriching it is for all of us. I came in for a hair fitting at the top of season three and walked in on a workshop about different hair types, how they react to heat, curl patterns, how to get better definition in 4C curls and how that’s different to 2B. I thought “YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!”

You have also worked extensively on stage, as an actor, what’s more exposing, walking onto the stage opening night at the National Theatre or onto a big-budget Netflix set for the first time?

Martins Imhangbe and Emma Naomi – Bridgeton Season 3

Highs, lows, solutions (tell us the high points, any obstacles to getting the project completed and how you resolved the obstacles)…

Big Budget Netflix for sure. I trained in theatre and then did years of it. You have the cushion of weeks or months of having the script beforehand, 4-5 weeks of rehearsals, bonding with the cast, time to mess up, make mistakes, and get to the other side. I don’t think everything rides on the press for theatre either; the performance develops every night. For screen, you have one shot. That can be pretty terrifying.

HIGH: Getting the job.
LOWS: The mental noise of actually trying to do the job. Is it enough? Is it too much? Have I understood the beats correctly? Am I living in this character yet or am I ‘acting’? Am I executing what I think I’m executing? There’s a good chunk of the project where I second-guess everything.
RESOLUTIONS: Solving the above. There’s no way through but to work, one section at a time.


If not this, then what?
Probably a fitness instructor or I’d own my own well-being business.

What are you watching right now?
Baby Reindeer. Finished it in a day.

What are you reading right now?
Paradise Lost by John Milton. I recently finished Tweak by Nic Sheff and The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

What are you listening to right now?
Maverick Sabre, Kendrick Lamar and Jungle are my top listens at the moment. Other than that, many audiobooks.

The last thing you saw on stage?
Red Pitch at Soho Place – Brilliant play

What’s on your bucket list?
I love to travel. See new places. Too many destinations to list but I’ll start with Bali.

Where’s your happy place?
In a good coffee shop or the gym.

Celebrate someone else (who do you rate right now?)
Adjani Salmon is absolutely killing it right now and is an inspiration on how far your own work can take you.

Celebrate yourself … (make us proud of you):
I’m not sure!

What’s Next?
I can’t say yet but it’s a fantastic project

Where can we see your latest work?
We shot season 3 of Professor T on ITV after Bridgerton. You can catch that (and catch up if you missed previous seasons) on ITV player or Britbox


Latest articles

Related articles