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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley happy with the focus on her character’s journey

Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma in series two of Netflix hit Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix/PA)

Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley said she’s happy the show focuses on her character’s “journey” rather than her “heritage”.

The 26-year-old plays Kate Sharma in series two of the hit period drama. She also plays Olivia Hanan in Sex Education.

Bridgerton, based on the series of books of the same name by Julia Quinn, follows eight siblings as they attempt to find love in Regency-era England.

Speaking to Tatler magazine, British-Indian actress Ashley said she is impressed no one talks about her character’s heritage in the show.

“Kate comes from India but what I love is no one comments on that. You follow the character’s journey, not her heritage,” she said.

Bridgerton became the most watched show on Netflix when it was released on Christmas Day 2020, thanks in part to its risqué scenes and opulent costumes and sets.

Ashley was new to the show for its second series and, reflecting on joining after it had already gained such popularity, she said: “I’ve heard it described as being like the new girl at school but everyone was really welcoming.”

Ashley and her on-screen lover Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, take the lead in series two – filling the shoes of Regé-Jean Paige and Phoebe Dynevor, whose characters’ love story dominated series one.

Bailey featured in series one alongside Phoebe Dynevor who plays his on-screen sister Daphne Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix/PA)

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Bailey, 33, featured as Dynevor’s on-screen brother in the first series but now takes over the lead role.

Speaking to Tatler, he said: “It feels like you’re taking the torch and next season it will be someone else’s turn. We’re like a rugby team.”

Bailey also joked about the comically large sideburns his character has.

“As for my sideburns, they’ve developed personalities of their own, like the Spice Girls,” he said.

The second series of Bridgerton will be on Netflix from March 25.

The April issue of Tatler featuring the full interview with Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey is on sale now.

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