Bridgerton Season 2: Simone Ashley Cast as Female Lead

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Looks like Bridgerton Season 2 is further into development than first thought.

Netflix's biggest show has just cast Simone Ashley as the female lead for its second chapter, in which she will co-star with Jonathan Bailey.

Ashley is set to play Kate Sharma, an independent woman who is new to the high-class world the series is set in.

Simone Ashley

It was previously confirmed that Season 2 would be toplined by Bailey as his character, Anthony sets off to find the love of his life.

Ashley is coming off a recurring role as mean girl Olivia in Netflix's Sex Education, but she has also starred in The Sister, Casualty, and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

Chris Van Dusen, the smash-hit series's creator, recently opened up on the Today Show about the second season.

“We’re really going to be [focusing on] the eldest Bridgerton brother next season, Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey,” Van Dusen dished.

Simone Ashley Poses

“We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market.”

Van Dusen went on to add that the series will be introducing “a bunch of new characters” in Season 2.

He added that this new romance will be as “sweeping and moving and beautiful” as Season 1’s central romance between Regé-Jean Page’s Simon and Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne.

Bailey himself has opened up about the second season in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"I just like to have an idea of what the emotional journey will be. But it all really made sense to me, Anthony, from the get-go," he said before opening up about how his character was perceived by his close friends when they watched the show.

Bailey, Jonathan

"It's funny when some friends watched it, and they're like, 'Oh God, he's really obnoxious and horrible.' And it was a bit of a surprise. I mean, of course, he is."

"Anthony represents something very particular. Because if he was just a rake flaunting around just seemed to me that there was a real opportunity to show something that was a bit more commenting on masculinity," he added.

"And despair and love and the line between the two. When you get someone to the breaking point, that's really when someone hopefully can come into their life and they can flower."

"They can just expect a lot from everyone. It was such an amazing introduction to the world via Daphne and Simon," he said of what the fans can expect.

Jonathan Bailey Attends Baftas

"But there's so many brilliant characters that have got so much going on, so my tease would be enjoy your year and don't get comfy and thinking you know what's going to happen."

"We'll all be back for more romance, hopefully next Christmas, maybe further away."

Netflix officially renewed Bridgerton earlier this year as it became the streamer's biggest launch.

"Dearest Readers," opened the latest edition of Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, a storytelling device used on the drama series.

It continues: "The ton are abuzz with the latest gossip, and so it is my honor to impart to you: Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season. I do hope you have stored a bottle of ratafia for this most delightful occasion."

Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey

“The incomparable cast of Bridgerton will return to production in Spring 2021," reads the pamphlet, which could mean that another Christmas Day launch could be on the horizon.

"The author has been reliable informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season. I will have my pen ready to report on any and all of his romantic activities."

"However, gentle reader, before you set the comments section alight with requests for more sordid details, know that I am disinclined to report on the particulars at this time."

"Patience, after all, is a virtue," it concludes.

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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