Netflix‘s latest hit series Bridgerton is starting to take shape and actor Simone Ashley, known for her work on shows like S** Education and Because the Night, has landed the female lead role opposite Jonathan Bailey.
Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, the show is set in the competitive world of Regency London high society’s Ton during the season, when debutantes are presented at court.
While the first season, which premiered on 25 December, revolves around the romance and marriage between the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page), the second season will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Bailey), as chronicled in the second book of Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
As per reports, Simone Ashley will fill the role of Kate Sharma (Sheffield, in the novels), a love interest for Jonathan Bailey’s highly eligible Anthony Bridgerton.
Kate, played by Simone Ashley, is a character of Indian descent. She is described as a smart and a headstrong new arrival in London“who suffers no fools — Anthony very much included.”
“We’re really going to be [focusing on] the eldest Bridgerton brother next season, Lord Anthony Bridgerton,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen revealed last month on the Today show. “We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market.”
Speaking ahead of his Bridgerton role in the show’s next season, Jonathan Bailey previously told Vogue: “The robust universe that’s been set up by Shonda [Rhimes] and Chris [Van Dusen] will just expand, and keep pushing boundaries in a way that’s quietly subversive. There’s just going to be more of what everyone loves, I think. There’s loads of little Easter eggs for all of the characters. I’ll say this: watch out for the bees.”
Quinn’s series focuses on a different couple in each book. The series, created by Chris Van Dusen and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, will follow that lead. Van Dusen told The Hollywood Reporter that he “would love to be able to see” season one’s leads, Phoebe Dyvenor and Regé-Jean Page, again as the series moves forward, even if they’re not the main drivers of the story.
On its debut, Bridgerton received positive reviews for its diverse cast and a Jane Austen novels-meet-Gossip Girl plot. In addition, Page and Dynevor shot to international fame courtesy of their sizzling chemistry on-screen.
The series also stars Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson), Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton), Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton), Ruby Stokes (Francesca Bridgerton), Will Tilston (Gregory Bridgerton), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth Bridgerton), Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet Bridgerton), Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington), Harriet Cains (Philipa Featherington), Polly Walker (Lady Portia Featherington), Ben Miller (Lord Featherington), Sabrina Bartlett (Siena Rosso), Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich), Kathryn Drysdale (Madame Genevieve Delacroix) and Lorraine Ashbourne (Mrs. Varley).