The upcoming season of the hit Netflix series Bridgerton has found its leading lady in actor Simone Ashley. As per Variety, Netflix has roped in Ashley as Kate Sharma to play the love interest of actor Jonathan Bailey's character Anthony Bridgerton in season two of the romantic period drama.
Kate's official character description reads, "Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools--Anthony Bridgerton very much included."
The second season, which is scheduled to begin production this spring in London, will be based on the sequel of Julia Quinn's romance series, 'The Viscount Who Loved Me', which follows the quest of Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) to find his viscountess.
In the novel, Ashley's character is named Kate Sheffield. However, the show's creative team previously decided her family would be of Indian descent and changed her surname.
Creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen and executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers chose to cast several of the leading roles, who are white in the novels, as Black characters, including the Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel).
Quinn's series focuses on a different couple in each book, and the series, created by Chris Van Dusen and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, will follow that lead. Last week, Bailey had teased that the second season is going to be just as "brilliant" as the first one.
He said, "Well, I feel like the campy, plush spectacle of the Bridgerton world is only going to get more pronounced in the best way possible. It's mad, and it's brilliant. There are also going to be a lot of brilliant characters introduced in this series -- and it's not just Anthony that we're going to delve into."
Bailey added, "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."
Meanwhile, Ashley is widely known for her role as Olivia Hanan on the Netflix dramedy series Sex Education. In addition to Sex Education, Ashley's credits include The Sister, A Working Mom's Nightmare, Casualty, Pokemon Detective Pikachu and Broadchurch.
The first season was well-received by the viewers and every piece of news about the show has been keeping the fans on their toes. The first season of the period drama featured actors Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page in the lead roles.
Bridgerton is based on Quinn's novels set in the competitive world of Regency-era London's Ton during the season, when debutantes are presented at court.
The first season, which marked Rhimes' first series for Netflix, released in December 2020 and is eight-episode long. The show was an instant hit owing to the killer chemistry between its lead characters Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, played by Phoebe and Rege-Jean respectively.
The first season focused on Daphne's (Phoebe) debut on the marriage market and her explosive courtship with bachelor, the Duke of Hastings (Rege Jean). Bridgerton also stars Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, and Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, among several others.