The actress will play Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest, Kate Sharma in Season 2.
Since it’s release, the Regency-era period drama Bridgerton has been watched by over 82 million accounts, making it the streaming giant’s most popular release till date. As fans anxiously wait for Season 2, Shondaland, the creators of the Netflix hit have recently announced that British-born Indian actress Simone Ashley will be starring as Kate Sharma, one of the new co-leads in the next season of the show, giving us all even more reasons to be excited.
The decision to cast Simone was approved by author of the book series Julia Quinn herself, and the announcement has been met with positive responses worldwide with netizens showing their appreciation that the show is fulfilling their promise of hiring people of colour in starring roles. No stranger to the silver screen, if you’re wondering where you’ve seen Simone before, she’s made appearances as Olivia on another one of the streaming giant’s big hits, Sex Education, as well in 2019’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynold’s voice talents.
In addition to her onscreen work, here’s all the information we’ve been able to dig up about the up-and-coming South Asian star.
Currently 25 years old, Simone Ashley was born on March 30th 1995 in the United Kingdom and is a British actress of Tamil background. She attended acting school in Chiswick, London, before choosing to pursue the art professionally. She’s been candid with the media about how her family were not entirely onboard with her decision to pursue the arts. Speaking to Veylex, she said: “They still find it quite scary and unsettling. There is no crystal ball, no security, no guarantee. Which can be a parent’s worst nightmare. But they know I’m a smart lady. You can’t spend your life going with what your parents want, or your friends, teachers, lovers want.”
In the announcement by Netflix, her character Kate Sharma is going to be a new addition to the ‘ton’ and is expected to be a “smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included,” which suggests that she will be playing Anthony’s love interest in the new season (move over Siena!). In the second instalment of Quinn’s book series The Viscount Who Loved Me, Anthony’s love interest is originally written as Kate Sheffield, but the creators have adapted the character especially for Simone.
Netflix has yet to announce when we can expect the second season of the hit programme, but if you’re having Bridgerton withdrawls, check out our article on what to binge while you wait, available here.