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8 Things To Know About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 Newcomer Simone Ashley

Photo: Cubankite / Shutterstock / Netflix
Simone Ashley, Bridgerton

Good news for "Bridgerton" fans, the long-awaited season 2 premiere is finally here! 

That means more Regency-era crushes as the show welcomes some newcomers to the cast — starting off strong with Simone Ashley.

When it was revealed that the Netflix show would be coming back to the streaming platform for its second season, fans everywhere had been wondering who would play the role of Kate, one of the main characters in Julia Quinn's "The Viscount Who Loved Me," the second book in the series on which Bridgerton is based.

On Feb. 15, Netflix took to Twitter to announce their Season 2 casting choice for Kate, writing:

“Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley, who will play Kate in Season 2 of "Bridgerton." Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included.”

Who is Simone Ashley?

Simone Ashley is a British actress best known for her role as Olivia in "Sex Education" who will now play Anthony Bridgerton's love interest Kate Sharma in "Bridgerton."

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Star Jonathan Bailey Says He Felt Pressure To Hide His Sexuality For The Sake Of His Career

This season will follow the eldest of the Bridgerton family as he attempts to navigate the path to love that his sister, Daphne, blazed through last season.

Here are 8 things to know about the Season 2 star of "Bridgerton." 

1. Simone Ashley in South-Asian.

Ashley, whose full name is Simone Ashwini Pillai, is from Camberley, Surrey in England but is of South-Asian descent.

Fans of the hit Netflix show are excited to see a woman of color — particularly, a dark-skinned South Asian woman — cast as the lead of Season 2.

In an interview, Ashley spoke about her heritage and some of the challenges she faced as an actress: 

“I try to be as positive as I can day today, and I’ve tried to channel that into how I approached the industry. Yes, colorism is an ongoing issue," Ashley says. 

"As is being typecast, being looked over because of the color of your skin, losing roles to girls that are more ‘relatable’ to target audiences and markets. But if I surrender to all of that, where would I be going? Nowhere. F*** that!"

"I really believe in myself and in other dark-skinned women, especially South Asian women! We are smart, we are talented and we all have something special to offer as artists!" 

2. Simone Ashley's first acting credit was in 2016. 

Ashley’s first acting credit was on the television show "Wolfblood," where she played the role of Zuhra for two episodes in 2016. 

Since her breakout role, she’s appeared in films like "Detective Pikachu," "Boogie Man," and "A Working Mother’s Worst Nightmare."

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She’s best known for her appearances on Netflix’s "Sex Education" and the television series, "Broadchurch."

3. Simone Ashley has a “deep love” for music.

Simone Ashley revealed that she’s a huge fan of music, and appreciates artists from all across the music spectrum:

“I have such a deep love for music. I listen to everything and anything! But I grew up listening to a lot of rock n roll, that’s due to my father. Fleetwood Mac has always been my number one," the actress said in an interview.

"The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan. My mother would always play Phil Collins too. Even though I grew up in a very conservative and quiet household, music was always playing."

"I still listen to the same rock artists, but now I’m discovering more genres like Trip Hop, I’ve been listening to Morcheeba on repeat. I love Alicia Keys, Nina Simone, Rihanna, Maggie Rogers. The list goes on and on.”

4. Simone Ashley is a dog lover.

One scroll through Simone’s Instagram will show you that she absolutely loves her four-legged companion, as she often posts pictures of her little buddy on social media.

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5. Simone Ashley is seriously stylish.

Just from scrolling through her social media pages, you can tell that Simone Ashley has some serious style — she can literally rock anything!

But the actress has said that being on "Bridgerton" has helped shape her sense of style even more. 

"Just learning all the designers, exploring their oeuvres, and understanding what makes them unique," Ashley told Vogue in December. 

"Once you know more about their voice, you think, 'Well, what can be my voice, how am I going to use this [knowledge] to express myself?'''

6. She has a knack for photography.

Is there anything Simone Ashley can’t do? The "Sex Education" actress totally has a knack for capturing beautiful, everyday moments. 

7. Fans can’t wait to see her opposite of Jonathan Bailey.

“Fantastic news! Can’t wait for Season 2,” one fan tweeted, while another said, “I’m head over heels for this. Can’t wait.

8. Author Julia Quinn is ecstatic about the casting.

Julia Quinn, who is the author of the book series that the show is based on, chimed in with her own enthusiastic comments about the Simone Ashley casting. 

“WE HAVE OUR KATE!!!!! Welcome to #Bridgerton, @simoneasshley! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate. I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!”

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter

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