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Simone Ashley, soon to be seen as the new female lead in Netflix’s hotly anticipated second season of Bridgerton, has signed with CAA.

The British actress, who had a recurring role in another of Netflix’s hit U.K. shows, Sex Education, moved to CAA from the Gersh Agency. She continues to be repped by the Identity Agency Group in the U.K., Derek Kroeger at Myman Greenspan, and Rogers & Cowan PMK.

Set to air in March, the second season of Bridgerton will see Ashley star opposite Jonathan Bailey, with the two effectively taking over from Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor in Shondaland’s hit Regency-era period drama. Page and Dynevor, of course, became global stars as Simon and Daphne in the first season.

Round two will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Bailey), with Ashley playing his romantic interest Kate Sharma, a headstrong young woman newly arrived in London. In a continuation of the reimagined multiracial world of early 1800s British high society, Sharma’s family was conceived by the Bridgerton producing team as being of Indian descent.

Alongside Sex Education and Bridgerton, Ashley, whose first credit was the teen fantasy drama series Wolfblood, has appeared regularly in British TV over the past few years, with credits including Neil Cross’ limited series The Sister and the third season of hit drama Broadchurch.

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Filming wrapped on the second series of Netflix smash period drama Bridgerton over the weekend, with the show set to air next year.

Creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen posted a photo of himself of himself hugging leads Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, declaring a “wrap on season two.”

“So proud of this cast and crew who brought their A-games to work each and every day in this very challenging year,” he wrote. “And these two in this photo with me right here. Words are not enough. Coming in 2022.”

Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, also posted a photo of himself at the wrap party on Instagram, saying his “heart was full.”

The season two premiere has already aired for cast and crew, according to another of its stars, Nicola Coughlan, earlier this month.

The eight-part series will pick up with a fresh set of scandals following the conclusion of season one, which became Netflix’s most-watched show of all time and has only recently been eclipsed by Squid Game. A third and fourth series of Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland drama have already been commissioned.

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Growth is something Ashley relishes about being an actress, which is good being that the British up-and-comer, who is of Indian heritage, is on the rise. A bit part in Warner Bros. feature Detective Pikachu and a cadre of episodes in U.K. series like Casualty and Broadchurch, predated a recurring role in Netflix’s Sex Education. The latter, which has been a recurring fixture in Netflix’s Top 10 over its three seasons, offered a “confidence boost,” says the actress. Next up is an almost assured breakout role as the female lead in the second season of the streamer’s global hit Bridgerton, an experience that Ashley says has her already feeling “like a different person.”

If I weren’t an actor, I’d be … “A marine biologist.”

If a superhero franchise was based on my life, my superpower would be … “Making brunch.”

If I had a theme song, it would be … “Dela” by Johnny Clegg

If I had to live in a world from a movie or TV show, I would choose … “Napa Valley, California, in The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan, or Barcelona in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”


Written by Ashley Cullins & Mia Galuppo
Published November 4, 2021
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When Simone Ashley received the script for the second season of Netflix’s Bridgerton, she was wrapping the final episodes of the comedy-drama series Sex Education in London. On the verge of being a “technically unemployed actress again,” Ashley, a native of Surrey, England, landed the lead role of Bridgerton’s Kate Sharma. Ashley describes Kate as an “independent, competitive rule breaker, who comes across as quite strong and brave and has that fighting exterior, but she is also incredibly vulnerable.” (“Kate is also really witty and I’m not really like that,” she adds.) Ashley says she developed “really, really great chemistry” with costar Jonathan Bailey, who plays her love interest, Anthony Bridgerton. “Kate really puts her family first,” Ashley teases of the new season. “When the stakes of love come with family as well—it’s very different.”


Written by Ariana Yaptangco
Published October 19, 2021
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