‘Queen Charlotte’ Star Corey Mylchreest Drew Inspiration for King George From ‘Succession’s Kendall Roy
“Queen Charlotte” star Corey Mylchreest took inspiration from the historical King George, Jeremy Strong’s “Succession” character Kendall Roy and actor Jason Bateman to bring his version of the young monarch to life in Netflix’s “Bridgerton” prequel series from Shonda Rhimes.
“There was a place in George that you can go to that is how Jason Bateman is when he’s doing interviews and press. [He] is so quick and so funny and so charming in a brilliant way. In a way that makes me think, ‘Surely that can’t be the level that you’re at all the time,” Mylchreest told TheWrap. “George definitely has that ability to protect himself and through protecting himself became this charming thing to sort dazzle or separate from or place the attention onto something else or someone else.”
George being thrust into a leadership position connects to the arc of Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy in HBO’s “Succession.”
“There was a piece of music from ‘Succession’ that I would listen to when I put the ring that George has on, and that would be the last thing I did before I started the day. It was almost like Pavlov’s dog. I remember watching ‘Succession,’ and there’s a moment where Jeremy Strong looks down, and there was this music, and I went ‘That’s him. That’s George,’” Mylchreest added. “It was an acceptance and a resignation to a life that is awaiting, and one that you desperately don’t want, that you are desperately trying to break free from, but that you know you tried everything and that it’s just going to happen.”
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The young king faces intense pressure to be perfect for England, and this involves finding a wife to produce an heir and secure his posterity. Enter Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio), who has her own indomitable spirit to match his. Mylchreest’s young George charms an apprehensive Charlotte, who demands to know everything about him before their wedding. She arrives six hours before the ceremony is set to take place, and she tries to flee over the garden wall.
Read on for our full interview with Mylchreest about his take on George and the experience of making “Queen Charlotte.”
Note: The following contains spoilers for “Queen Charlotte.”
Does Charlotte’s arrival help or complicate that “resignation” George feels about his future?
George initially hates the idea, and then he meets [Charlotte], and there’s this beautiful limbo space that they operate in, in that moment, where neither of them want to belong to the duty and pressure that they are currently being possessed by. Both of them are trying to break free and just become themselves. Charlotte is so obsessed with the idea of just breaking free, and George meets her like that and sees himself in that, and Charlotte sees herself in this guy who is adamant that he is not ‘Your Majesty.’ He’s just George. I think that’s why it’s such a strong connection because it’s a build up of necessity and desperation for their entire lives that meet in that moment.
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Would you say that King George has as close of a relationship with Reynolds as Charlotte does with Brimsley? How would you describe that dynamic?
Oh I’d say closer, but that’s partly because Fred is now my best mate. George ends the show with two great loves of his life. One of them is Charlotte, and one of them has always been and will always be Reynolds. He is his guiding rock. And if there was a North Star not for me as an actor for George, it is Reynolds. He is his compass and his rock and his light. I think that by the end of the show, Brimsley and Charlotte are halfway there. But George and Reynolds have had a lifetime together, and they have been childhood friends. Their bond is unbreakable.
How important was it, given the time period and the men trying to stop him, that George helps Charlotte through the birth scene?
So that scene was not going to be that scene. Originally Charlotte was having to calm George down because all the medical implements and stress of the situation were triggering George, and Charlotte was having to give birth and comfort him saying “You’re here, my love. You’re here. You’re in reality.” I think what Shonda thought was that we had enough of those moments already in that episode and so at the very last minute decided to write it differently. That rewriting was a brilliant decision because it’s something that we didn’t see, and it’s a chance for George to step up, but it was also a chance for me to step up as an actor because I had the lines for six hours which was actually really fun. He opens the door to that place in him and effortlessly becomes a king, becomes a leader of that room, becomes a partner for Charlotte and a teammate.
“Queen Charlotte” is now streaming on Netflix.
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