Bridgerton Season 3: Adjoa Andoh on Lady Danbury’s Past and The Whistledown Revelation

Lady Danbury actress Adjoa Andoh shares her thoughts on Bridgerton season 3 and what's next for the ton.

Bridgerton. Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury in episode 305 of Bridgerton.
Photo: Liam Daniel | Netflix

This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton season 3 and Queen Charlotte.

While Bridgerton season 3 part 2 focuses heavily on Penelope and Colin’s friends-to-lovers romance, these episodes also acontinue to explore the backstory and current developments that began on the prequel series Queen Charlotte.

By the time Lady Whistledown made her observations in print, Lady Agatha Danbury already knew everything about everyone in the ton. Season 3 introduced her brother Lord Marcus Anderson, both as a reminder of her past and also a potential love interest for her best friend the dowager Viscountess Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemell). Bridgerton season 3’s conclusion sees Lady Danbury telling Marcus how she felt about his role in not preventing her marriage with the deceased Lord Danbury. In addition, she and Violet finally discuss the unspoken truth of how they met. In Queen Charlotte, it was revealed Lady Danbury had a brief affair with Violet’s father. 

Den of Geek interviewed actress Adjoa Andoh to find out more about Lady Danbury’s observational powers, the past trauma that Lord Anderson brought back to life, and what she would want if she had the chance to write her own Bridgerton episode.

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Den of Geek: Lady Danbury had an inkling that Penelope was Lady Whistledown. What clued Lady Danbury in earlier in the season?

Adjoa Andoh: I think quite often the storytellers, the ones who are taking it all in, they can’t be in the story and tell the story. In any given gathering, is Penelope in the middle of the action? No, she’s on the edges observing. You know Lady Danbury watches everything. She’s like, “Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.” So just as the queen is obsessed about who Lady Whistledown is and the whole town is obsessed with it, so too is Lady Danbury. She looks at the quiet ones and she’s like, “Hmm.”

We know from having seen Queen Charlotte, that at one point, Lady Danbury had no power. She was in what I would say was verging on a domestically abusive marriage. Agatha had been married off by her father to a man who was not a love match, who was nowhere near her age, and shared nothing in common with her. His only interest in her seemed to be fixing things up so he could go to the golf club or whatever it was he was trying to do, and being available for sex when he wanted it, and giving him children.

During all of that, Lady Danbury is a sentient woman with a huge brain who believes ‘that’s not my life.’ I believe that after Lord Danbury died, she was even more powerless because now, as a widow, she has no agency. The only agency she has is the knowledge and the way she can exercise that and trade it as she does with Princess Augusta, King George’s mother. She understands the power of knowledge to protect and save. And that’s kind of what Penelope is doing in a life where she’s been written off. She has no power. She’s expected to stay home, be a spinster, and grow old and look after her mother.

Lady Danbury has always had the Queen’s ear. This season we see Alice and William Mondrich after their son inherits money and a title from a distant relative moving toward the Queen’s inner circle. Does Lady Danbury see Alice as a friend, a foe, or something in-between?

Lady Danbury is like ‘come on in babies!’ She advises them, doesn’t she? As soon as they’re first in court circles, she’s absolutely there to be their friend, supporter, and cheerleader. I love that element of discussing how British society is predicated on the class system. It’s really interesting to see how the Mondrich family move from the working class into the elite of society. I love the observations that Will and Alice make of the unspoken social rules that govern the ton. I love Emma Naomi (Alice) and I love Martins Imhangbe (Will). They are fabulous humans, fabulous actors, and it’s great that the Mondrich family are getting their storylines expanded in new and interesting ways.

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Season 3 introduced Lady Danbury’s brother Lord Marcus Anderson. There’s clearly some tension there due to their past history. Does she regret not making amends to him earlier in her life?

Excuse me? What amends is she supposed to make to him? As far as Lady Danbury was concerned, she had a moment where she might not have had to go through that loveless marriage with that man producing all those children. She had a moment where she might have had some agency over her own life and she feels that her brother’s intervention meant that that couldn’t happen. I think what’s there is Lady Danbury’s younger self’s trauma which she associates with Marcus. So as far as she’s concerned, she has no amends to make. 

Does anyone else in the town know about Marcus? No. Why? She hasn’t mentioned him. Why? She does not want him to be part of her story. She’s reconstructed who Lady Danbury is in the way that people do when they’ve dug themselves out of some trauma. They don’t always want to talk about it or be that person anymore or any of that stuff.

When he appears, he’s taking her back to that place where she’s the sister who can be married off and you do what dad says and that’s how things go. So she doesn’t want him in her life. She thinks he’s duplicitous. She certainly doesn’t want him in the life of her dear friend that’s the daughter of her beloved Lord Ledger. And so she’s very protective of who she is. She’s very protective of Violet especially.

Do you believe Lady Danbury’s relationship with Violet can survive if Violet doesn’t take the hint that Lord Marcus played a role in her past trauma?

It could possibly. I think we see a sort of reconciliation between siblings by the end of the season. How that will play out going forward is maybe above my pay grade. I think that the important thing for Violet and Agatha in this season is that they resolve the conversation about Lord Ledger in the way that they do, which is in a very delicate and understated way. It’s not fireworks and guns blazing. These two love their friendship. They treasure it and value it and they want it to sustain.

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The conversations about Lord Ledger are done in a delicate way so that they can sustain that friendship. And there is a slight nod towards the conversation about Marcus, and again, done in a delicate way because when you find those people in your life who become your friends and the long friendships, you lose those at your peril. They are what will sustain you through your life. Good friendships are, you know, they’re worth their weight in everything.

What was your relationship like with Ruth Gemmell (Violet Bridgerton), with Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte) and Daniel Francis (Lord Marcus)?

Well, I didn’t know Dan before we started the show. He’s great. He’s clearly great. He’s a very nice man. I mean, it’s a very boring thing to say, but I’m in a show where it’s beautifully cast. When I’m directing things, one of the things that I’m always interested in when I’m casting is, “Is this person going to be a good team player? Are they going to be a joy to work with? Are they going to be generous with their colleagues? Are they going to be nice to the runner?” All those sorts of things. And season after season, that’s what Kelly Hendry, who casts the show, achieves. It’s a happy cast, it’s a collegiate cast. We work hard, we work long hours, and we work with kindness. They’re really good actors.

Has playing Lady Danbury changed your perspective on the earlier roles in your career? 

No. You be who you be when you be it. No regrets. Don’t forget about it. Lady Danbury gets the benefit of all the experience I’ve had from all the other characters I’ve played. So when I read the sides for Lady Danbury, I was like, “Yeah, I know what to do with her.” That’s about the characters I’ve played and that’s about the life I’ve lived. So you bring all of that to bear, and that’s one of the brilliant things. Just like a football player or soccer player in their first season will be doing something, by their fifth season they’ll be doing that something plus other loads of somethings as well. You bring all that experience to bear.

If you were to write an episode of Bridgerton where Lady Danbury was the star of the show, what would you have her do?

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I would probably feature more conversations from the housekeepers and other staff members. I would hang out with Lady Featherington. I would probably have big literature chats with Eloise. You’d see more of Lady Danbury having one of her salons where all the women are there and you’d have the poetry and the music and all of that fabulousness. There would always be a bit of smoking and drinking. I like that for her.

I hear a lot from fans that they want Lady Danbury to have some romance in her life. I’m interested in how you navigate being a strong, independent woman who makes that heart space available to accommodate somebody else. How do you do that? It’s a conversation I have with girlfriends all the time in my life. So it’s all of those things. I’d also probably have some aliens and a car chase.

All episodes of Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte are currently streaming on Netflix.