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Bridgerton's Simone Ashley says she 'loves' that her Indian legacy isn't discussed on the show


Bridgerton newcomer Simone Ashley has revealed that she ‘loves’ the fact her character’s Indian heritage isn’t the focus of the series. 

Simone, 26, has joined the cast for season two playing Kate Sharma, the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, 33.

The Netflix hit is a romantic drama set in Regency London which re-imagines the period as one where all races were equal. 

Newbie: Bridgerton newcomer Simone Ashley has revealed that she 'loves' the fact her character Kate Sharma's Indian heritage isn't the focus of the series

Newbie: Bridgerton newcomer Simone Ashley has revealed that she ‘loves’ the fact her character Kate Sharma’s Indian heritage isn’t the focus of the series

Speaking about her new role, Simone told Tatler magazine: ‘Kate comes from India, but what I love is no one comments on that. You follow the character’s journey, not her heritage.’ 

She also discussed her nerves at joining the show, saying: ‘I’ve heard it described as being like the new girl at school, but everyone was really welcoming.’ 

Netflix’s vice-president of inclusion strategy previously said Bridgerton’s racially diverse cast was the result of an ‘inclusion lens’ being applied to casting decisions.

Verna Myers said the company supported diverse lead producers and showrunners for the series as well as its executive producer Shonda Rhymes.

Hot new couple: Simone, 26, has joined the cast for season two playing Kate Sharma, the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, 33

Hot new couple: Simone, 26, has joined the cast for season two playing Kate Sharma, the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, 33

She told The Guardian: ‘We’ve got to get folks in front of the camera and behind the camera. When that happens you’re going to get something you’ve never seen before. Bridgerton is something we have never seen before.’

‘We help out all of our creative folks in content and marketing with what we call an inclusion lens, when they’re casting and when they’re green lighting: see who’s there, see who isn’t.’

Verna added that the historical lack of black employees in the technology and entertainment industries is down to industry trends and said Netflix has put special emphasis on recruiting black employees.

She explained: ‘We had a special person to think about recruitment, specifically for underrepresented groups, and we started with people of colour, and we really emphasised black.’

Get used to it! Elsewhere in the chat with Tatler, Jonathan quipped that he has spent so much time in britches that he'll never be able to wear jeans again

Get used to it! Elsewhere in the chat with Tatler, Jonathan quipped that he has spent so much time in britches that he’ll never be able to wear jeans again

Elsewhere in the chat with Tatler, Jonathan shared his thoughts on becoming the show’s lead for season two:

‘It feels like you’re taking the torch and next season it will be someone else’s turn,’ he said. ‘We’re like a rugby team.’ 

Out now! The April issue of Tatler, the Bridgerton special, is on sale now

Out now! The April issue of Tatler, the Bridgerton special, is on sale now

He also quipped that he has spent so much time in britches that he’ll never be able to wear jeans again, adding: ‘As for my sideburns, they’ve developed personalities of their own, like the Spice Girls.’  

Bridgerton was renewed for a second season last January, followed by an early order for Seasons 3 and 4 in April. 

Ahead of the show returning to screens, Netflix described Simone’s new character Kate as ‘a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included.’

In the first look trailer for Bridgerton, Kate defiantly confronts lothario Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan in a bid to call out his objective views of women.

Showrunner Chris Van Dusen told Today With Hoda & Jenna that viewers should expect a romantic storyline between Anthony and Kate that’s ‘as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show.’ 

Bridgerton fans can expect more sex, more scandal and even more romance from the returning show according to the Valentine’s Day trailer released last month.

Sharing the trailer on social media with the words ‘love never plays by the rules,’ it opens with the voice of Lady Whistledown, the infamous gossip columnist narrated by Julie Andrews, as she says: ‘Dearest gentle reader, did you miss me?

‘As the members of our ton questioned my identity and means, this author has been doing but one thing. 

‘Honing my skills. No, even better. I’ve been sharpening my knives. For all of you.’

Lady Whistledown was in the finale of season one revealed to be Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).

Identified: Lady Whistledown was in the finale of season one revealed to be Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)

Identified: Lady Whistledown was in the finale of season one revealed to be Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)

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