Lady Whistledown has a new couple to keep up with! Simone Ashley is set to star in season 2 of Bridgerton as Kate, a love interest for Jonathan Bailey’s Anthony Bridgerton.
Netflix announced the 25-year-old British actress’ casting news on Monday, February 15: “Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley, who will play Kate in season 2 of Bridgerton, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included.”
Bridgerton, which was released last month, is based on Julia Quinn‘s novels. Not long after the show, which is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, started streaming, showrunner Chris Van Dusen confirmed that the series was renewed for season 2.
“We have a bunch of new characters we are going to be introducing,” Van Dusen said on the Today show in January. “Anthony is going to have a love interest next season, and I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show.”
Bailey, for his part, teased the character of Kate during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“Having read the second book, if Anthony gets to meet anyone half as brilliant as Kate Sheffield is, then he’s going to be a very lucky man,” he told the outlet on January 21. “It’s just going to get more exciting and convoluted and sexier, I think. … That the story is going to be really exciting.”
The actor added that the steamy series will continue to push boundaries in “every single way” in season 2.
“I think Chris Van Dusen has got this amazing ability to take Julia Quinn’s extraordinary books and her amazing worlds that she delicately filled with excitement and sexiness. And he takes it to a whole other level,” Bailey added. “So the fact that we’re following Anthony’s pursuit for love shows that you know there’s definitely going to be some similarities.”
After the casting news broke, Bailey took to Instagram to share Van Dusen’s announcement. He tagged his new costar and added a red heart emoji and bee GIF.
Bridgerton’s cast also includes Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Nicola Coughlan, Claudia Jessie, Ruby Barker, Adjoa Andoh, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Newton, Ruby Stokes, Will Tilston, Florence Hunt, Ruth Gemmell, Bessie Carter, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Polly Walker, Ben Miller, Martins Imhangbe, Lorraine Ashbourne and Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown.
Bridgerton season 2 premieres March 25 on Netflix.
Scroll through for five things to know about Ashley and her character, Kate: