The second season of tantalizing period drama Bridgerton lands on Netflix this March, which was recently announced in a video by the cast of the hit Shondaland series. The video – which was uploaded on Dec. 25, the anniversary of season one’s release – featured newcomer Simone Ashley alongside Jonathan Bailey, who plays her love interest Anthony Bridgerton. She plays Kate Sharma, who is said to be “a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools”.
This isn’t Ashley’s first time in a Netflix standout show. In her breakout role, she’s played Olivia Hanan in Sex Education since 2019. Speaking to Wonderland about the differences between the two shows, Ashley noted: “With Bridgerton, it’s much more intense than Sex Education in the sense that if I’m not filming, I’m horse riding, training or in rehearsals. I’m in accent training or I’m in a fitting.”
The 26-year-old has previously opened up about how her fellow Bridgerton co-stars welcomed her, especially season one lead Phoebe Dynevor. Ashley told People, “There was one week I was feeling quite stressed out about certain things and she took me to a reformer Pilates class and that was really nice. And we just had some girl time.”
Ashley’s acting credits date back to 2016, with appearances in Wolfblood and Freeform series, Guilt. She played Dana in BAFTA award-winning Broadchurch, as well as featuring in one-off episodes of Doctors, Strike, and Casualty. She has also voiced Lori in animated short Bulldog, which is currently in post-production.
As much as we’re all burning for Ashley’s upcoming projects, here are four past roles to dive into ahead of March 25.
Ashley is best known for her role as Olivia, who is part of The Untouchables group alongside Ruby (Mimi Keene) and Anwar (Chaneil Kular). Olivia struggles with her relationship with Malek, and often turns to Otis for help.
Kill Ben Lyk
2018 action thriller, Kill Ben Lyk, follows a race against time when three people have been murdered in London, all by the name of Ben Lyk, within 24 hours. Scotland Yard decides to gather together all the other Ben Lyks located in London until they can figure out who's after them and why.
ITV series, The Sister, is a psychological thriller following a devoted married man whose life is turned upside down when a ghost from his past turns up on his doorstep with some shocking news. Ashley plays Elise Fox, who is missing and presumed dead for many years. She stars alongside Russell Tovey, Amrita Acharia and Bertie Carvel.
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
Ashley has a brief role in the 2019 adventure comedy starring Justice Smith and Ryan Reynolds, credited as playing ‘Girlfriend’. The film tells the story of a boy who comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.