Bridgerton season 2: South Asian actress Simone Ashley lands lead female role in hotly-anticipated new series after finding fame in Sex Education and Broadchurch
- Simone will play Kate Sharma – the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton [played by Jonathan Bailey]
The first major season 2 casting announcement for Bridgerton has been made.
South Asian actress Simone Ashley – known for roles in Sex Education and Broadchurch – has landed the new female lead role as Kate Sharma – the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton [played by Jonathan Bailey].
Based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels, the sophomore season of the regency drama will follow the plot of Quinn’s second Bridgerton book, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
Casting announcement: South Asian actress Simone Ashley – known for roles in Sex Education and Broadchurch – has landed the new lead female role as Kate Sharma in season 2 of Bridgerton
Simone, 25, plays new girl in town Kate – a ‘headstrong young woman who suffers no fools’ according to Deadline.
The story is set to see Anthony on the hunt for a suitable bride.
The character’s name has been altered to reflect Simone’s South-Asian background, changed from Kate Sheffield.
The casting choice was also met with rapturous applause online, with The Office star Mindy Kaling tweeting: ‘The absolute coolest. A feisty young British-Tamil lady in this world! Didn’t think I could more excited for next season.’
The show has been praised for mixing up tired casting, featuring BAME cast members in prominent societal roles such as Regé-Jean Page as the Duke of Hastings, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, and Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury.
In his sights: She will play the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton [played by Jonathan Bailey, pictured]
Next chapter: Based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels, the sophomore season of the regency drama will follow the plot of Quinn’s second Bridgerton book, The Viscount Who Loved Me
Anthony and Kate’s storyline is set to replace the main love story of season 1, which featured Phoebe Dynevor’s portrayal of Daphne Bridgerton, wooed by the Duke of Hastings.
Season 2 is set to start production in coming weeks in the UK.
Last month, creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen said: ‘We have a bunch of new characters we are going to be introducing.
‘Anthony is going to have a love interest next season, and I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show.
Past roles: Simone Ashley is pictured in The Sister alongside Russell Tovey
Netflix stalwart: She features on Sex Education too
‘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.’
Jonathan revealed in a recent interview that one of the first ever scenes he filmed for Bridgerton was the ‘tree bonk’ scene and said sex is ‘so important to the story’
The actor, 32, is introduced to viewers within minutes of the show’s first episode during a sex scene in Richmond Park, London, with Sabrina Bartlett, who plays singer Siena Rosso.
Speaking in an interview with Vogue, the star also reflected on his very impressive sideburns and teased what to expect from series 2.
Soon: Season 2 is set to start production in coming weeks in the UK
What a way to kick things off! Jonathan has revealed one of the first ever scenes he filmed for Bridgerton was the ‘tree bonk’ scene [pictured in April 2019]
Chatting about his sex scene, Jonathan said: ‘One of my first scenes was the tree bonk with Sabrina Bartlett, who plays Siena, and we were shooting in the middle of Richmond Park.’
The actor continued: ‘Quite a baptism of fire. It’s [the sex scenes] all handled so brilliantly though, and is just so important to the story.
‘You learn so much more about these characters and their relationships from witnessing their sex lives than watching them promenading around Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.’
However he joked that he’s not sure the cast will get away with shooting in such a public place for the next season, joking they might have to use ‘code names’ and pretend their filming for something else like Casualty.
Jonathan also echoed the praises of his co-stars as he credited the series’ intimacy coordinator with helping the stars feel comfortable and relaxed during their scenes.
As well as catching the eye for his racy sex scenes, Jonathan’s sideburns could not go unnoticed during the series.
Jonathan said this part of his costume was ‘important’ for Anthony and a major part of his character as they projected status in the Regency era. He told Vogue: ‘It’s like the Georgian equivalent of owning a Ferrari.’
And although now impressing millions of viewers with his portrayal of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony revealed he originally auditioned for Simon the Duke of Hastings, who is played by Rege-Jean Page.
Counting down! The show has already been renewed for a second series and will focus on Anthony’s search for love (pictured L-R the Bridgerton siblings and their mother: Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), Colin (Luke Newton), mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell), Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Gregory (Will Tilson) and Benedict (Luke Thompson)
Jonathan explained how he even flew to America and had a ‘cup of tea’ with the execs from Shondaland before everyone agreed he should read for Anthony instead.
Looking forward to season two, which will focus on his own character’s love life and search for a wife, Jonathan said he’s looking forward to showing more of Anthony.
Teasing what fans can expect, he said that the show will retain its spectacle vibe and also introduce a host of new exciting characters.
It comes after Bridgerton’s author said she wants Daphne and the Duke of Hastings to return in series two, despite them not being the main focus of her second book.
Class: Jonathan said they were ‘important’ for Anthony and a major part of his character as they projected status in the Regency era. He told Vogue: ‘ It’s like the Georgian equivalent of owning a Ferrari’ (pictured with co-star Rege-Jean as the Duke of Hastings)
Julia Quinn, 52, has sold more than 10 million novels during her incredible career and penned the inspiration behind the Netflix hit – The Duke and I – 21 years ago.
However as the show heads towards season two, which will be based on book The Viscount Who Loved Me, Julia has revealed she wants bosses to deviate from the plot and include racy scenes with Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page’s characters.
Speaking about the couple making a come back in an interview with The Sun, Julia said: ‘I hope so. They do show up in the [second] book. The series doesn’t follow the book word for word – and I don’t think [it] should.
‘So I hope so, for no other reason than Daphne has the right to interfere with Anthony’s life. To deny her that chance would be criminal. I think it would be lovely to see.’
Bring them back! Bridgerton’s author Julia Quinn has said that she wants Daphne and the Duke of Hastings to return in series two, despite them not being the main focus of her second book
Julia also teased what fans can expect in the hotly-anticipated series two, which will focus on the eldest Bridgerton sibling Anthony.
She said: ‘Anthony is going to get it bad. Jonathan Bailey played him so well; you still love him, but he needs to be taken down a peg, and he is going to be taken down so many pegs. It’s awesome.’
In series one, Anthony was seen trying to be the head of his large household while infatuated with opera singer Siena Rosso (played by Sabrina Bartlett).
Although viewers got to see snippets of his story, along with bits of the other five Bridgerton sibling’s lives in the first season, it mostly focused on Daphne.
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