If Bridgerton actor Simone Ashley looked somewhat familiar, then you’re right. You have seen her back in Netflix’s popular series Sex Education as Olivia Hannan, one of the first clients of Otis Milburn’s infamous sex therapy and one of the most popular students in Moordale Secondary School.
In the second season of Chris Van Dusen and Shonda Rhimes’ period drama, Ashley will be playing the role of Kate Sharma, the fierce and spirited love interest of Anthony Bridgerton.
The show is a Regency-era period drama that amassed a massive fan following with its opulence and grandeur that focused on aristocratic London’s social manners and etiquettes while focusing on the courting season.
Based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous novel series, the second season is based on The Viscount Who Loved Me. Anthony is initially supposed to court Kate’s sister Edwina but is gradually attracted to Kate instead.
Despite her initial disapproving nature, Kate, too, begins to feel a growing attraction towards him. The trailer promises unbridled sexual tension, an abundance of raunchy scenes and a forbidden attraction.
Ashley had portrayed a very different character on Sex Education. A cruel bully, she is up to no good. She recently opened up about the differences between filming the sex scenes in the two shows and how the objectives were different.
She called the period drama “hot and sexy and steamy” but talked about how the “objective” was totally different for Sex Education is meant to be an educational watch.
She explained, “We wanted to show 16-year-olds or adults in the show having real sex and facing real-life problems, and whatever might happen. Bridgerton’s more romantic than that.”
For her role as Kate Sharma, Ashley worked with an intimacy coordinator who, according to her, was a life-changing experience as her previous roles usually involved inexperience and insecurities, making it a difficult act for either party.
She said, “I learned some stuff from her [Lizzy Talbot]. Whatever the position might have been, she would say, ‘Well, let’s make sure that this is happening so that the woman comes as well.'”
Ashley is one of the many new additions to the second season, including Charothra Chandran, Shelley Conn, Rupert Young and Calam Lynch.
The reprising cast for this Emmy-nominated show includes Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan, Adjoa Andoh, Phoebe Dynevor, Lorraine Ashbourne, Bessie Carter, Harriet Cains, Ruth Gemmell, Martins Imhangbe, Florence Hunt, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Luke Thompson, Golda Rosheuvel, Polly Walker, Will Tilston and Julie Andrews.
Bridgerton season two will arrive on Netflix on March 25th, 2022.