March 16, 2022

Buddhism Saved this “Bridgerton” Actress’s Life—& it’s Freaking Heartwarming.

Ever since I watched “Bridgerton,” I was fascinated with Eloise’s character.

For those of you who haven’t seen the series yet, here’s a small summary (and if you have, then feel free to skip the next paragraph).

In the Regency era, the Bridgerton family, made of eight siblings, navigates the elite life while trying to fit in London’s social circle and embracing their distinct identities at the same time. In particular, Eloise Bridgerton, the fifth sibling, does not resemble the rest of the ladies her age. She doesn’t seek marriage and acceptance by English gentlemen, but rather, she prefers getting an education and doesn’t even care what others think of her if she could make her own decisions.

There’s a particular scene where Eloise speaks to her brother, Benedict, convincing him to become the artist he aspires to be and make use of the freedom men have that women do not possess. She says, “If you desire the sun and the moon, all you have to do is go out and shoot at the sky. Some of us cannot.”

And so, by following many updates on this Netflix series, I got article suggestions about the actress who plays Eloise.

Most were saying how Buddhism plays an important role in her life. And as much as I respect Buddhist practices, I am not the expert. But reading about how it affected Claudia Jessie’s life, my heart swelled with a warm feeling, reminding me that we, too, can find something that will save our lives, whether it’s our own self-love, our faith, a particular routine, a friendship/relationship, or all of them combined.

According to Laura Studarus in her interview with the actress, Claudia said: “I was 17, and I was just deeply sad. And felt very suicidal. I didn’t want to be here. I’ve got the most incredible mother. It must have been so difficult for her to see me so sad for such a long time. The Buddhism I practice, we chant. We’re the noisy Buddhists, so we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. So, I know that my mom and my aunt were chanting for me.”

And I can clearly see the support system here: Buddhism, her family, and her community.

She continues by saying: “And then she made me write down a list of things I wanted, and none of them were really external things because at that time I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor. I think I probably had secret dreams about it but I never really allowed it to come to the surface and really embrace them. But most of the things I wrote down were internal, like to not hate myself, and to not have anxiety and panic attacks, stuff like that. I remember it was that day that I started, and I haven’t looked back really. The best decision I’ve ever made in my life is to practice Buddhism.”

In another interview, she revealed that she’s vegan and said, “Each day I’m trying to figure out how I can be more courageous, kinder, and compassionate.”

It’s rather heartwarming to know that a rising actress is not seeking material stuff and vain fame.

Just as practicing Buddhism saved Claudia’s life, what saved/would save yours?

~

These are the trailers of seasons 1 and 2 for your reference:

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