‘Bridgerton’ casts female lead for next season

‘Sex Education’ star Simone Ashley joins team

Entertainment Desk February 16, 2021

Dear reader, a new Bridgerton casting announcement has arrived that's sure to send shockwaves through the town.

Starlet Simone Ashley has landed the role of Kate Sharma on the Netflix romance, and she's going to give Lady Whistledown much to write about when she catches the eye of the eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey. 

According to the official character description, Sharma is "newly arrived in London" and a "smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included." The new love interest hails from the second book of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels The Viscount Who Loved Me, in which her name is Kate Sheffield (Anthony being the titular nobleman).

"The show was always set out to be primarily one book per season," showrunner Chris Van Dusen previously told Entertainment Weekly. In the second book, Sharma goes toe-to-toe with Anthony as the older sister of the woman he decides to wed. She attempts to prevent the betrothal believing that his past as a rake makes him poor husband material. But when sparks begin to fly between them, not even Lady Whistledown can predict the outcome.

For his part, Bailey said that he hopes his character "meets someone who is as opinionated and offended by Anthony as we all are.”
Ashley is best known for playing Olivia on Netflix's Sex Education. She also appeared in Broadchurch and Detective Pikachu.
Bridgerton is set to return to production in the spring.

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