Who Is Simone Ashley, the Newcomer to "Bridgerton"?

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Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

The second season of Bridgerton is currently underway, and if you burn for the period drama, then you already know that we can expect some brand new characters in the 'ton. Based on the book series of the same name, the Netflix hit follows members of the Bridgerton family as they navigate love and life. And, while season 1 focused on Daphne and Simon's intense love story, season 2 will explore Anthony's love life a little more.

That's where Simone Ashley comes in. The 26-year-old actress is joining the cast for the show's second season, where she'll be playing Anthony's love interest. As the newest face in Bridgerton, there's no doubt that Simone will soon become Hollywood's next it-girl. Here's everything you probably want to know about Simone Ashley before she blows up.

She plays Kate Sharma on Bridgerton season 2.

Photo credit: Liam Daniel - Netflix
Photo credit: Liam Daniel - Netflix

Bridgerton author Julia Quinn took to Instagram to share the news that Simone would bring Kate to life in the show's second season.

"I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate. I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!" Julia captioned her post. Kate is not only a leading lady in the show's second season but also Anthony Bridgerton's love interest.

She's an Aries.

Simone turned 26 on March 30, which means she falls under the Aries zodiac sign.

She went to theatre school.

Growing up, the English actress attended Redroofs School for the Performing Arts in the UK. The school specializes in training students for acting, singing, dance, and musical theatre. In a Facebook post from 2017, Redroofs praised Simone's accomplishment of booking a TV show, Broadchurch.

She sings, too.

When she's not acting, Simone is probably showing off her vocal skills. While she's known as Simone Ashley, her real name is Simone Pillai, and she has a YouTube channel with one cover on it. In the video, she sings Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird," and to be honest, she actually sounds like a Disney princess.

"I grew up listening to a lot of rock n roll, that's due to my father. Fleetwood Mac have always been my number one. The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan," Simone told Veylex. "My mother would always play Phil Collins too. Even though I grew up in a very conservative and quiet household, music was always playing."

Bridgerton isn't her first Netflix series.

Before she made her way to the 'ton, the 26-year-old actress played the recurring role of Olivia on Netflix's YA hit, Sex Education.

Photo credit: Jon Hall - Netflix
Photo credit: Jon Hall - Netflix

In an interview with Wonderland magazine, Simone opened up about her latest role differs from playing Olivia.

"With Bridgerton, it's much more intense than Sex Education in the sense that if I'm not filming, I'm horse riding, training or in rehearsals," she told the outlet. "I'm in accent training or I'm in a fitting. I've never really worn a corset before, so that took some getting used to! My body definitely changed a little bit wearing it and that kind of changed my posture a lot to suit the era."

She's passionate about South Asian representation.

While she grew up in the UK, Simone is of South Asian descent. She told Veylex that her role in Sex Education is helping represent her culture in a different and positive light and even opened up about colorism in the entertainment industry.

"Yes, colorism is an ongoing issue. As is being typecast, being looked over because of the color of your skin, losing roles to girls that are more 'relatable' to target audiences and markets," she said. "But if I surrender to all of that, where would I be going? Nowhere! F--k that. I really believe in myself and in other dark-skinned women, especially South Asian women! We are smart, we are talented and we all have something special to offer as artists!"

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