Simone Ashley Says There’s 'A Lot Of Sexual Tension' In 'Bridgerton' Season 2

·20 min read

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  • More details have been released for season 2 of the period drama about Regency London society, ‘Bridgerton.’

  • The second season is set to focus on Anthony Bridgerton's love life, and the cast has had a lot to say about what will happen next.

  • There's plenty more to come! Netflix renewed the hit series for a third and fourth season and a spinoff focusing on Queen Charlotte.

The release date for Bridgerton season 2 is approaching quickly, and more information has been shared by the cast and show runners on what to expect for the next chapter of the highly-anticipated series.

Most recently, Netflix has released a second trailer to add to the buzz. And if you're a fan of the classic enemies-to-lovers trope, you'll definitely want to clear your schedule for the premiere. By now, you may know that Kate (played by Simone Ashley) and her younger sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) Sharma will be the ones to watch this season.

The 3-minute trailer begins with words from gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) about Anthony Bridgerton's quest to find a wife.

“Dearest reader, it has been said that competition is an opportunity for us to rise before our greatest of challenges," she says. "I cannot be the only one wondering if this former Capital R Rake is ready to flourish. But any suitor wishing to gain an audience with Miss Edwina Sharma must first tame her sister.”

*And enter Kate.*

Kate is extremely protective of Edwina and ultimately wants the best for her. As she begins to learn more about Anthony, she tells Edwina that he's only looking for a bride to “fulfill his duty and does not believe in the true love you deserve.” Now, while that might seem like some major big sister energy, there’s a bit of a twist.

The remaining scenes flash to clips of Kate and Anthony exchanging lusty glares, playful comments, plus a hand-holding scene that lasts a little longer than it should.

Whistledown continues, “What happens when duty is in conflict with the heart’s true desire? Why then there is the potential for a considerable scandal indeed.” If you think Lady Whistledown is being too straightforward, Queen Charlotte agrees. At the end of the trailer, Charlotte says that she plans to “entrap the scribbler.”

ICYMI, the hit show is based on the best-selling romance novel series by Julia Quinn and takes place between 1813 and 1827. The first season of Bridgerton follows the romance of two main characters, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), as well as their family members and overall life in London high society.

If you blew through season one and promptly rewatched it, then you probably can't wait for season two and beyond. Here's everything to know about what's coming next for Bridgerton and all of your favorite characters:

When will Bridgerton season 2 premiere?

Netflix first announced the series' renewal on Jan. 21, 2021. Lady Whistledown shared the news in fitting gossip sheet style:

"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," the announcement reads.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

"The incomparable cast of Bridgerton will return to production in the Spring of 2021," the announcement continues. "This author has been reliably 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."

But Lady Whistledown isn't giving away all the deets just yet (don't worry—there are still tons of spoilers): "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 seems like all that patience has paid off, because Netflix has finally announced a release date. Season 2 will drop on March 25, 2022, per People.

What will happen during season two?

Can't wait for new episodes to find out how the Bridgertons fare? You can turn to Julia Quinn's novels to get the lowdown RN. The first season of Bridgerton was based on the first book in Quinn's series, The Duke & I.

Season two will go into Quinn's second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, which focuses on Anthony becoming Viscount Bridgerton and finding his viscountess. If you can't wait to watch the show, you can read all about it first.

But it's more than just literature-informed speculation: Netflix released a summary of exactly what's about to go down in the ballroom.

“Driven by his duty to uphold the family name, Anthony’s search for a debutante who meets his impossible standards seems ill-fated until Kate and her younger sister Edwina Sharma arrive from India," the summary reads, per The Hollywood Reporter.

"When Anthony begins to court Edwina, Kate discovers the true nature of his intentions—a true love match is not high on his priority list—and decides to do everything in her power to stop the union. But in doing so, Kate and Anthony’s verbal sparring matches only bring them closer together, complicating matters on both sides. Across Grosvenor Square, the Featheringtons must welcome the newest heir to their estate while Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) continues to navigate the ton whilst keeping her deepest secret from the people closest to her.” (Cue the drama!)

The show's creator, Chris Van Dusen, confirmed the Anthony plotline back when he announced the return of season two on The Today Show. "Season two, we're really going to be with the eldest Bridgerton brother next season, Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey," he said. "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."

But one thing that's certain to stay the same? The show's sexiness—and there will be plenty of it. (I mean, why not give the people what they want?!) Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, told Entertainment Tonight that there will be lots of steamy scenes in the next season: "The chemistry is quite major, I can say that," she teased. "It's got a whole lot spicier I will say."

"People know what they're heading into, but they are not ready," Nicola said about the upcoming season. She also added that the new episodes are "extremely dramatic" and that her costars are just as excited as she is for fans to watch them.

"Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise [Bridgerton], literally sat in my trailer yesterday and said, 'People are going to die when this happens and they're going to die when this happens and they're not going to believe that it's amped up... It's very epic this year," she added.

What else do the trailers reveal?

Back in February, the first trailer opened with the voice of Lady Whistledown, saying, “Dearest gentle reader, did you miss me?"

She continues to read her letter out loud, revealing that she is aware of her much-speculated identity. Lady Whistledown adds that while the people of London have been focusing on who she may be, she's been, “Honing my skills. No, even better, I’ve been sharpening my knives…for all of you.”

The cryptic message in the minute-long clip pretty much guarantees plenty of drama, romance, and mystery. But honestly, I expect nothing else from a series made by Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey's Anatomy.

So, who is Anthony Bridgerton's love interest?

Netflix revealed that Simone Ashley will join the Bridgerton cast as Kate Sharma with a pretty big hint about her role. "Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley..." the Netflix announcement reads. "Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools—Anthony Bridgerton very much included." (If you've read the books, you'll remember the character as "Kate Sheffield.")

The name change is purposeful: The series' producing team decided Kate and her family would be of Indian descent to continue the multiracial version of early 1800s London high society they created in season one, per Deadline.

Besides Netflix's own Sex Education, Simone has also been on other TV series and miniseries, Doctors and The Sister, according to IMDb.

New photos reveal a sneak peek at upcoming episodes.

Your first glimpse of the Bridgertons, the Featheringtons, and all of the new faces who will be joining has finally arrived. There's Kate and Anthony, possibly sharing some gossip during a dance?


And Kate showing off her skills with the guys:


Plus, the Featheringtons in all their glory.


Are any other new cast members joining season two?

Well, dear readers, it’s funny you should ask. Netflix announced that several new characters will join the popular series.

The streaming service shared on Twitter: "Bridgerton has added four actors to Season 2: Charithra Chandran will play Edwina Sharma, Kate’s younger sister and Shelley Conn will play Mary Sharma, Kate’s mother. Also say hello to Calam Lynch who will play Theo Sharpe and Rupert Young who will play Jack."

Charithra has performed in touring West End musicals before, but the spotlight will surely be on her in Bridgerton. In case you didn't read the series, she plays Edwina, the woman Anthony is supposed to marry, but her older sister Kate becomes quite the obstacle for the pair.

The sex scenes are super steamy.

No surprises here! In regular Bridgerton fashion, you can expect some seriously hot sex scenes this season. To create a comfortable environment, the cast and crew made consent a top priority during filming. In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Johnathan Bailey shared how things were handled behind the scenes. "I wanted to make sure Simone felt safe as a newcomer on set."

They also had intimacy coordinators on set.

"If you are concerned, you can talk to them," he said.

Plus, the actors all signed consent forms before the scenes, which contained details on "which bit of skin we are going to show in each scene and where we will be touched and how."

Simone also commented on all the "explosive" on-screen chemistry. “Johnny and I have incredible working chemistry together,” she revealed to Net-A-Porter. "There was no real time to hang out, but we did manage to sneak off for a drink together one day when we were filming on location. We’ve always had each other’s backs from the start; it’s a partnership."

She also explained how each character's individual storyline makes the show more realistic. "There’s a lot of drama and a lot of sexual tension. It’s like a fairytale, but, you know, it’s not a typical fairy tale because these [are] two incredibly complex characters. For want of a better expression, [it’s] f--ked up people with a complicated history," she said.

The soundtrack is truly top tier.

Is anyone else looking forward to the new music features? I mean, season one's playlist? Truly iconic.

This time around, you’ll be happy to know that season 2 will include some bops from artists such as Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," Rihanna's "Diamonds," Harry Styles' "Sign of The Times," Nirvana's "Stay Away," and more. There will also be a few popular Bollywood tracks including, "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" by Lata Mangeshkar.

“I chose all of these songs for very specific reasons. Each one is incredibly powerful and deeply emotional in its own special way," Bridgerton showrunner Chris Van Dusen told Netflix Tudum. "I always try many different songs for any one scene before landing on the perfect one to use. This season, I couldn’t be more thrilled about our musical playlist.”

The episode titles have been revealed.

Episode titles can say a lot about what the season has in store, and these do not disappoint. On Thursday, Chris Van Dusen shared the lineup in a post on Twitter. He captioned the tweet, "Excited to be sharing these #Bridgerton Season 2 episode titles. #March25"

The premiere is named "Capital R Rake," which is how Lady Whistledown often refers to Anthony Bridgerton.

From there, the show seems to move swiftly with "Off To The Races" for episode 2, "A Bee in Your Bonnet" for episode 3, and "Victory" (episode 4). Episode 5 titled "An Unthinkable Fate," seems like it will take viewers down a potentially new path followed by "The Choice" (episode 6), and "Harmony" (episode 7).

Finales are always full of surprises, so there's no telling what "The Viscount Who Loved Me" is really hinting at, but it happens to be the title of book two in the Bridgerton series.

Simone Ashley endured corset injuries on set.

Wearing corsets for long periods can take a toll on the body, and Simone Ashley has spoken out about the side effects of wearing one throughout the season.

“On my first day, I was like, ‘OK, first day as a leading lady, got to eat lots of food, be really energized...So, I had this massive portion of salmon, and that's when I needed to be sick, basically because I was wearing the corset,” she told Glamour UK.

She added, “I realized when you wear the corset, you just don't eat. It changes your body. I had a smaller waist very momentarily. Then the minute you stop wearing it, you're just back to how your body is. I had a lot of pain with the corset, too, I think I tore my shoulder at one point!”

Will I see more of Daphne and Simon's love story in season two?

Nope, the spotlight on these lovebirds pretty much ended with season one. In April, Bridgerton’s official Twitter account shared that Regé-Jean Page (a.k.a. Simon Bassett the Duke of Hastings, a.k.a. the most in-love newlywed ever) won’t return. I know. It’s okay to need a moment.

The show made the sad announcement as part of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers. "While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings," the announcement tweet reads. "We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family."

Meanwhile, Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, will "remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer—more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear."

Okay, but what the actual heck? While several fans asked in the comments if this was an April Fool’s joke, sadly it’s not.

Regé-Jean was only under contract to do one season of the show, per Deadline—and in fact, the short-term commitment was part of the role's appeal to Regé-Jean.

"It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end—give us a year," he told Variety, recalling early conversations with Shondaland producers. "[I thought] 'That’s interesting,' because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on."

Because each Bridgerton book focuses on a different sibling's story, Regé-Jean said fans can rest easy, knowing they'll be satisfied by whatever happens in season two (regardless of his absence). "One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes," he told the publication. "They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby."

"I have nothing but excitement for 'Bridgerton' continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe," he says. "But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing."

Regé-Jean also shared how he was feeling about leaving the show in an Instagram post. "The ride of a life time," he captioned a photo of himself dressed as the Duke of Hastings. "It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family - not just on screen, but off screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans - it’s all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing ❤️❤️❤️💫"

Back in January, showrunner Chris Van Dusen told The Today Show that he had "hope" the Duke and Duchess of Hastings would return for season two, but it looks like it'll only be the Duchess this time around.

Don’t worry about Regé-Jean, though: according to IMDb, he's just finished filming The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons. He's also set to executive produce and star as Simon Templar in The Saint, per Entertainment Weekly.

Still, ughhh...

No one has specifically said how the show plans to portray the Duke going forward, but it seems like he might be "traveling" or "away on business" in Daphne’s scenes.

So, Simon won't be back—ever?

Well... probably not. According to E! News, Regé-Jean Page did sort of hint that he may or may not appear again in season 2. "You know I couldn't tell you!" he said in an interview with British GQ. "Isn't there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren't suspecting?"

Nicola Coughlan added that she hasn't heard any plans for the Duke's triumphant return yet, but "they could surprise us too," she explained. "I haven't seen anything to reflect that but it could happen. Stranger things have happened!"

When did season two film?

The cameras were rolling this summer. This hot period piece of goss comes straight from the official Bridgerton Twitter account, which dropped a tweet in early March that shows Nicola Coughlan (a.k.a. Penelope Bridgerton) hanging out with an adorable dog.

Her bright red curls are tied up and there’s a staffer hanging out in the background, looking all serious. You can also see what appears to be a man’s elbow resting on the table next to her. Could it be Colin Bridgerton? IDK.

"Gracing your Saturday with a most joyous moment indeed," the tweet reads.

Luke Newton, who plays Colin, also recently shared an Instagram post about filming, writing "The boys are back in town 🎵 #THROWBACK #SEASON1."

Unfortunately, it wasn't all smooth sailing with filming. Netflix stopped shooting the season after multiple positive COVID-19 tests popped up on set, per Deadline. But Nicola confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that filming picked back up again in July—and all's well that ends well, since season 2 is officially ready to drop.

What else has the cast said about season two?

"I feel like we've established this big world, so I'd love to explore more of it," Nicola told Radio Times, adding that she'd be particularly excited to explore more of Penelope's sphere. "I feel like we've just scratched the surface. And because there's such a huge cast in this show, there's so much more of all the characters."

Nicola's also shared that she's interested to watch Penelope's growth now that viewers know her big secret. In an interview with The Wrap she shared, "It’s so much fun because last time I got to do it, but in a super subtle way...It could never be overt, because you didn’t want it to be obvious to the audience...I don’t want to say too much, but you will be on the journey with her this time.”

Lady Whistledown's involvement in this season has also given Nicola more time too explore her character. “...she’s a bit more wise. She knows the game a little bit more, but also getting to see both sides of her and to play, it’s so much fun. I really am having a ball, I can’t lie," she said.

And Phoebe told Town & Country, "I love that [Daphne's] story ends really nicely; it's all tied up at the end. Now, I have a feeling that she's going to have to get involved with Anthony's love life, since it's his turn next. I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'm all for the happily-ever-after ending."


Showrunner Chris Van Dusen also commented that there are plenty of other stories to be told: "I feel like the first season was primarily about Daphne and her love story with Simon. But, this being a family of eight children and there being eight books, I would love to be able to focus and really tell stories and love stories for all the Bridgerton siblings. For each character, for sure."

Surprise! Bridgerton season three and four are in the works, too.

The good news keeps on coming from the Ton. Straight from Lady Whistledown's quill to the Bridgerton Twitter account comes "a most exciting announcement..."

"It seems we have a rather special announcement. Bridgerton shall return for seasons three and four," the tweet reads. "This author shall have to purchase more ink..."

And so is a Bridgerton spinoff.

Netflix announced this new installment on May 14 via Twitter, and Quinn is busy writing away, too.

It may be a while off, but Netflix couldn't wait to share the exciting news with fans: "All Hail The Queen! Thrilled to announce we’re expanding the Bridgerton universe with a limited series that will tell Queen Charlotte’s origin story — the series will also feature young Violet Bridgerton and young Lady Danbury."

"Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton," Netflix's Bela Bajaria revealed in a press release.

"Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the Bridgerton universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love. And by planning and prepping all the upcoming seasons now, we also hope to keep up a pace that will keep even the most insatiable viewers totally fulfilled."

Quinn also revealed her "prequel" would follow the Bridgertons as children.

There is no such thing as too much Bridgerton. Here. For. It.

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