Romance, rumour and regency? Yes, that’s right—Bridgerton is finally back on our screens! It was the most-watched series of the moment when it first premiered on Netflix in December 2020, with over 80 million viewers binge-watching the period drama soon after it hit screens. Back for a second season, the newest episodes of Bridgerton offer more passion, scandal and drama than ever before. Schön! sat down with Martins Imhangbe, who plays boxer Will Mondrich, to talk all things inspiration, next steps and, of course, Bridgerton behind-the-scenes!
Hello! So nice to meet you. How has 2022 been treating you so far? What have you been up to?
Nice to meet you too! I’ve been anticipating the release of the show, but also kicking back and spending some good quality time with friends and family.
You’ve been acting from a young age — how did you first get into it?
I studied drama at school and attended a youth arts centre called Second Wave, so I just kept busy and had great opportunities to be a part of productions and be inspired by other artists. I then got inspired to venture into drama school in order to pursue acting as an actual career. It’s been fun.
What have you enjoyed most about transitioning from theatre into television?
The opportunity to story-tell through this medium. It has its uniques challenges, and I very much love the process.
Who is your biggest inspiration within the industry today and why?
The man in the mirror. I’ve received so many ‘no’s’ in this industry and rejection is never easy, but the tenacity to keep going is everything, and I commend everyone that keeps pushing through, myself included.
Congratulations on a second series of Bridgerton! How does it feel to be on such a popular show with such a strong fan base?
It’s incredible to know that the work we do in storytelling can have such a heartfelt impact on the world. Such a beautiful gift for both us and the fans.
What was it that drew you to Bridgerton in the first place?
The opportunity the portray the character of Will Mondrich, who is based on Bill Richmond. And getting to work with Shondaland.
You play a boxer in the show; how do you prepare for such a role?
I had a personal trainer and I also studied the nuance of boxing in those days. It was very different to what it is today.
You mentioned Bill Richmond, one of Britain’s first Black sports stars and the person on whom your character is based. Does it feel special to portray such a prominent historical figure? What does it mean to you?
It means that we get to shine light on such a prolific figure in Black history, who I believe deserves a lot more recognition. Hopefully it encourages people to look into who he was and the influence he had. Very inspiring individual.
Boxing is quite different from your day job, but can you relate to Will Mondrich in any way?
Yes, of course. He was much more than a boxer. Boxing is just a means to an end. He’s a family man, a gentleman and very wise. We’ll get to see more of that soon. We also get to see a more entrepreneurial side to him this season.
Can you give us a bit of behind-the-scenes gossip? What is it like on the set of Bridgerton?
No gossip from me — we’ll leave that to Lady Whistledown. The set was fun. Even with all the COVID restrictions, we still managed to have a great process and rapport.
Looking back, what’s your favorite memory from the making of season two?
Seeing Will’s bar for the first time. My jaw literally dropped, and I was in completely awe. I needed a moment before I could concentrate on my scenes.
Similarly, what’s your favorite moment from this season on-screen?
Without any spoilers, my scenes with Rupert Young. I can’t say what character he plays, but we have some great moments.
We know seasons three and four have been confirmed — what aspects of your character do you hope get explored further in these seasons?
The family man.
What are you looking forward to right now?
Maybe a visit to the Caribbean or west Africa for a lovely sunny retreat.
Season two of Bridgerton is currently streaming on Netflix.
This Schön! online exclusive has been produced by
photography. Vicky Grout @ Soho Management London
fashion. Yasmine Sabri
talent. Martins Imhangbe
grooming. Charlotte Yeomans
photography assistant. Dom Fleming
fashion assistant. Romel Doyle
studio. Method Studio
words. Ella Citron-Thompkins