Martins Imhangbe Talks … Bridgerton x Between Riverside & Crazy

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 is upon us!

We speak to British-Nigerian actor Martins to discuss the evolution of his character Will Mondrich from bare-knuckle boxer to entrepreneur and man of the manor, shifting perspectives of Black characters in period dramas and hitting the stage in the theatre production Between Riverside & Crazy

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Martins Imhangbe and I am a creative. I act and I am currently on stage doing a play at the Hampstead Theatre and also on Netflix in Bridgerton.

Please share a word or sentence which best describes your life right now.

A lot of learning and growth.

Telling the people most significant to you that you were going to be an actor was like …?

I think the people most significant to me were aware that I had a lot of time and energy for creative things and I thrived more in that space, so there was a lot of support. They never got in the way, which I am very grateful for.

We last spoke to you just before the release of Bridgerton Season 2. How has Mondrich’s character arc developed in Season 3 …

The Mondriches inherit a new title when Alice Mondrich’s great aunt passes away, our son inherits the title “Baron Of Kent“. Due to this, we are now thrust into high society and have to navigate what that means and how it will impact our lives moving forward. Some not-so-straightforward decisions will have to be made.

Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich and Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich in Bridgerton – Image Credit: Netflix

How has seeing Black men in high-status roles, like Will Mondrich, Lord John Stirling, and Lord Marcus Anderson, changed how you view our history and our place in it, beyond just being in the lower ranks of society?

I think it’s about time, and I hope we see more. We have often been erased from history or undermined in period dramas and historical productions in general, so it’s a great thing to be able to honour those who lived and paved the way for us, to be able to do what we do today. My character is based on someone who existed and was highly successful in those times Bill Richmond.

The Mondrich family have inherited a title, land and money through Alice’s family line, with Will being a man who prides himself on being self-sufficient how does this new life change the dynamics between the relationship with his wife and children?

I think Will and Alice both handle the situation with care. They consider what this would mean for them and their children with real delicacy. As much as it appears to be a positive life-changing opportunity, there is still a lot to learn and understand. What are the rules and etiquette? And could all of this potentially disappear? There is also imposter syndrome, and not feeling entirely comfortable or qualified. Does this mean we have to change who we are to fit in? Why does Will have to give up the bar? So many questions.

Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich and Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich in Bridgerton – Image Credit: Netflix

You are currently in the theatre production ‘Between Riverside & Crazy’ in a lead role, what is the production about from your perspective, who do you play, what’s their position in the World of Between Riverside & Crazy’ and what’s your character’s ultimate goal?

The play is about injustice, set in New York on Riverside Drive in 2014. Walter (Pops) Washington is a retired ex-cop who was shot by a rookie cop 6 times whilst off duty at an after-hours bar and 8 years later still fighting for justice from the NYPD. I play Junior, his Son, a former drug addict who’s been in and out of jail, to the shame of his father. We have a rocky relationship, full of toxic father/son issues due to generational poor communication. My character’s ultimate goal is to truly connect with his father who he loves deeply. Also, they are both grieving the loss of Mom, Delores.

You play opposite Danny Sapani who plays Walter ‘Pops’ Washington an ex-cop, what was it like working with Danny and the rest of the cast …

Danny Sapani is a powerhouse, with a very commanding presence and a big beautiful heart. ‘Pops’ is an extremely demanding role and the fact that he had only one day off after playing King Lear is crazy, but it just shows his level of devotion to the craft which has certainly been inspiring to witness. The rest of the cast are great and it’s been interesting seeing how everyone has wrestled with and brought these characters to life.

Martins Imhangbe as Junior and Danny Sapani as Walter ‘Pops’ Washington_ image credit: Johan Person

Tell us about a challenging moment during this production that you had to dig deep to get through…

My character is going through a lot in this play… ex-drug addict, divorced, in and out of jail, father is an ex-cop, grieving the loss of his mom, girlfriend is pregnant… and so on… so whilst considering all the given circumstances, it was a lot to process, and often, left me stuck as an actor, and only hitting a sad, angry depressed tone. So I had to trust that all of that was there and that didn’t have to force the emotions, it’ll be there for me in the moment when I need it. So I had to trust the process and honour my objectives, to tell the story.


If not this, then what?

Maybe a Psychologist, I’m always fascinated about motivations and what makes people do what they do.

What are you watching right now?

I am watching The Vince Staples Show and Shogun.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, by Phillipa Perry

What are you listening to right now?

I am listening to Tems’ new album Born in the Wild

The last thing you saw on stage?

Shifters at the Bush Theatre

What’s on your bucket list?

A big family vacation

Where’s your happy place?

When I meditate on gratitude, my mind.

Celebrate someone else (who do you rate right now?)

Solomon Israel will soon be starring in a play at the Lyric so look out for him in that.

What’s next?

After this play, more screen work.

Where can we see your latest work?

Between Riverside And Crazy at the Hampstead Theatre and Bridgerton on Netflix.


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