Queen Charlotte's Alsema Thomas knows what Lady Danbury will do today

Athema Thomas already had a wealth of experience before playing the young Lady Agatha Danbury in Netflix's Bridgerton : Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. The well-traveled child of two diplomats earned a master's degree in public health from Yale University and even spoke about foreign aid on the TEDx stage before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. But one thing the American-born actor didn't do was watch "Bridgerton."

Thomas, 28, apparently made up for it after being cast and soon realized she had signed on to play one of Bridgerton 's most iconic characters: Lady Danbury, a member of London's high society A senior member of the cast, she used her influence to direct some of the show's most hilarious love matches. "I was so scared and felt the pressure of trying to embody this woman who was unlike anyone I'd ever met in my life," Thomas, who uses "she/they" pronouns, tells Bustle. "You know, this incredibly powerful magical creature that almost floats above the ground."

But Queen Charlotte is set decades before Bridgerton , and Lady Danbury is in a very different situation. She is the young queen's budding confidante, but not yet the all-knowing social glue. "It's like, 'Oh, this is at least accessible to me,'" Thomas said. "Being a person who hasn't found her voice yet, and then developing a step-by-step plan for how to empower myself as a woman." It also helped that she had support from the original show's cast — including Lady Danbury herself, Adjoa Andoh (Adjoa Andoh), who makes it clear that young Agatha was Thomas's playmate.

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The more Thomas got to know the character, the more they realized they had something in common with her. Like Danbury, Thomas knows how to offer advice without being paternalistic — a takeaway from their experience in public health. As Thomas explains, "Instead of telling [people] what I want, it's actually about leaving a space for them to realize what's good for them."

If Danbury lived in the 21st century instead of the 18th, Thomas thinks she would share their passion for painting — which the actor became more passionate about than ever while filming "Queen Charlotte." "There was something about Agatha that made me think she wanted to be in a big studio with a high ceiling and lots of paintings that she used to evoke a lot of emotion about her political system," Thomas suggests. "I could see she was wearing dirty work clothes. No shoes and her hair was in a bun."

While Danbury may not have been a painter, she left her mark on the world of Bridgerton - and so did Thomas.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Learn more about Thomas in the Bustle Booth questionnaire below.

in a noisy stall

What was your coffee order?

Oatmeal latte with a shot of espresso and a splash of maple syrup.

What weather locations are saved on your phone?

Cape Town, Marseille, Modfontein, Dublin, San Francisco, Johannesburg, New York, Paris.

What is your logo?

Gemini, Moon in Scorpio.

Favorite overused movie line?

"I'm too old for this anymore."

What was your favorite cartoon as a child?

Codename: Kids Next Door .

What’s a movie or TV show that you’re currently obsessed with?

Wendell and Wilder.

Who is your celebrity idol?

Erica Badu.

If you had to be on a reality show, what would you choose?

Renegades or RuPaul’s Drag Race .

Karaoke songs you often listen to?

"Sk8er Boi" by Avril Lavigne.

What has inspired you recently?

Bell Hook's optimism.

How would you like people to describe you?

I want people to say I'm relatable.