Simone Ashley will be starring in the new season of Bridgerton, coming sometime in 2022, as Kate Sharma, Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest. Not to gloat or nothing but I called it that a dark skinned South Asian would be cast in the role. Simone also stars in Netflix’s Sex Education, which was one of her first roles. In fact, if it wasn’t for getting cast in Sex Education, Simone would have been destitute in a way. In People’s Ones To Watch, Simone said she (like Phoebe Dynevor) was completely down on her luck when she was cast in Sex Education. Simone loved musical theater and was inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s films to go into acting. Simone even mentioned one of her pinch me moments, when Mindy Kaling reached out to her on social media. Below are a few more details and the video is below:
“I grew up singing quite a lot and studied a lot of classical music, and then that kind of led into musical theater and I fell in love with musicals,” Ashley says. “Whilst I was studying musical theater, I actually started to watch a lot of movies, particularly [Quentin] Tarantino films.”
The Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds director’s work shifted Ashley’s perspective on her career. “I was really inspired to maybe try screen more,” she says. “I started auditioning for more film and TV screen-based projects and never really continued with musical theater.”
While a return to the stage may be a goal for another time, Ashley soon booked her first big role on Netflix’s Sex Education, which premiered its third season earlier this month.
“I was a very classical actor with pennies left in my bank account,” she says of the game-changing moment she got the call for Sex Education. To celebrate, “I took myself out for sushi and tuna tacos and some sake.”
“When Mindy Kaling messaged me, because I’m a super hardcore fan of hers, I grew up looking up to her and her work and still do, that was a bit of a pinch-me moment, because I never really thought I would ever interact with Mindy,” Ashley says. “She just said congratulations and was just really lovely.”
Of course, Ashley “messaged back with loads of emojis!”
I am really excited about season two Bridgerton. At first, I was upset that Rege-Jean wasn’t returning as I didn’t feel much of a connection to the other Bridgertons. It wasn’t until I read the first six books that I got really excited about season two. Then they cast Simone as Kate and I was elated. I’ve enjoyed watching interviews with Simone and I definitely enjoyed her in Sex Education. I am happy that she got that role because I wonder if Simone would have given up on acting if that didn’t come through for her. I am sure it is tough being an actor and getting consistent work. (I know what it feels like being broke.) I also love that Mindy Kaling is one of Simone’s inspirations and that she reached out to Simone after she got cast in Bridgerton. I am not South Asian but I love seeing everyone winning, especially BIPOC and women. Anyways, I wish Netflix would hurry up and release season two. I can’t wait to see what they do with the material and I want to see Simone and Jonathan’s chemistry on screen. I am hoping it will be just a good as Rege and Phoebe’s. I also need my regency sex fix, but that’s another conversation.