Simone Ashley interview: ‘Bridgerton’

“It’s been a journey,” declares Simone Ashley about joining the cast of the Netflix drama “Bridgerton.” The second season of the Regency-era drama follows Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as seeks to find a wife based on suitability rather than love. His search leads him to Miss Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), a young woman whose older sister Kate, played by Ashley, disapproves of the match. Over the course of the season, Kate and Anthony’s animosity blossoms into a love that both try to deny. Check out our exclusive video interview with Ashley above.

The actress describes Kate as someone whose own heartbreak has made her more of an outsider, which is what drives the character to be such a fierce advocate for her sister’s happiness. “She wants the best for her sister and truly does want her to have the kind of life that Kate never had growing up,” she argues. “I think it’s also a sense of self-protection. I think Kate has had her heart broken from the loss of her father and the kind of childhood she’s had.”

As Kate begins to realize her own feelings for Anthony, the audience sees the fear in Kate’s eyes. Ashley points to a moment in the season’s third episode when the characters touch after Kate is stung by a bee, sending leading Anthony to recall the bee sting that killed his own father. “The moment the touch barrier is broken and they have that moment…there’s no going back,” she says. “It’s out in the open even if it isn’t spoken of and put into words that they share feelings for one another, and it’s terrifying.”

Ashley describes the instant chemistry she felt with co-star Bailey. “It was truly a partnership in that sense,” she says. “We do have such amazing chemistry together and I think that gave me such confidence into playing a romantic story with these two characters that fall in love. I went in, very luckily, with a lot of confidence and excitement.”

Ashley has felt gratified by the response from the show’s legion of fans. “It’s been positively overwhelming,” she exclaims. “The response, especially from the Indian community and young women and men… just how much they rooted for Kate and Anthony’s love story and for Kate as this strong, self-realized woman in the 18th century. That’s been incredibly interesting because I heard that there were deep fans of this show, but only until it came out and I experienced the response that I really understood.”

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UPLOADED Jun 13, 2022 10:37 am