Simone Ashley confirms she’s returning to Bridgerton for season three (spoilers)

Spoilers for Bridgerton season two in the text and photos
I might get stung for admitting this, but I haven’t yet finished the second season of Bridgerton. I’m savoring it and making my way through it slowly with a friend who doesn’t have as much time to binge as I do. Anyway, I’m about about halfway through and I’m already dying to know how it will pan out. The endgame is pretty evident, but the getting there is all part of the fun. At this point, I’m very much enjoying Kate and Anthony breathing each other’s breath, but like please make out soon (I know they will).

Simone Ashley plays Kate, and hopefully she will be the breakout star of this season. Her acting is impeccable and the push and pull between her and Anthony Bridgerton is completely believable. They are well-matched for their characters and in terms of acting ability, and their pairing makes perfect sense no matter how they get there. It’s fun just to be along for the ride! I’m not a Bridgerton book reader, but I do know that each season is supposed to follow a different sibling. We’ve seen that previous season hotties don’t necessarily stick around, but they do have lasting implications for future seasons. Case in point: Kate and Anthony.

Ashley shared the news exclusively with Deadline at a dinner celebrating South Asian culture hosted by Netflix in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started,” she revealed. “We have the amazing Jess Brownell who is taking the lead as showrunner in Season 3. In Season 2, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end. I think everything is just starting. I’d like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in Season 3 and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it.”

Even though viewers are all about the intense love connection between Kate and Anthony, Ashley promises the Viscountess will thrive on her own.

“She’s in charge of the household now and she’s got big boots to put on. I think she can do it,” she said excitedly. “I want to keep that softness and vulnerability to Kate, for sure, and she can share that with Anthony. I’m just excited for her to have a home and to have a family. I’m excited to see her grow. I think I’d like to see Kate being much braver and less headstrong and more heart strong.”

Ashley is proud of how Season 2 wrapped its arms around this multilayered story focused on family, love, and strong women coming into their own, instead of it being a story about a man coming between two women. While on the surface it may seem that Kate and her sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) are competing for Anthony, Ashley says, “It’s more like three love stories are going on at once.”

“It’s not that at all. It’s very evident that Kate is just trying to protect her sister and if anything, she’s actually being dishonest with herself, therefore being dishonest with her family. She’s not afraid to own the fact that she has feelings about disappointing her family, to have that confrontation to let her family down because she’s put them first her whole life. I think a lot of women can relate to that. And I think it’s so brave of her to actually let that go and eventually after the mistake she makes to come forward. It was also very brave of her sister Edwina to come back together and set each other free,” Ashley said.

She continued, “It’s about the love story between the sisters, one between Kate and Anthony, and the love story of family. The Viscount and the Diamond are doing it all for their families and their duty.”

Ashley is also particularly proud of how the Sharma family, who are immigrants to London from India, was portrayed as outsiders in this world of opulence who eventually carved out a space for themselves.

“It’s much different for them than it is for the Bridgertons and the other families that we meet in this world. It’s an act of survival, and it goes beyond finding a love match,” the English actress said. “How am I going to protect and take care of my family, for them to live for them to eat, to be taken care of, and have a roof over their head? That’s the heartbeat I kept throughout the whole series, how important Kate’s family is to her. This wasn’t about who could get the Viscount, it’s so much deeper than that. Kate’s dedication and love for her sister is especially profound. Kate suffered a lot of loss when she was younger which she didn’t deal with because she had to sacrifice her own life to uplift Edwina’s, to give her a chance because she adores her. She doesn’t want her to go through the same things that she did.”

As for the future, Ashley hopes Edwina continues to grow into her own and potentially find a love match of her own.

[From Deadline]

Spoiler alert (for me too). I do know from my friends that Kate and Antony spend less time happily together this season than they do in the books. Everyone I know wants more Kate and Anthony, so it’s welcome news that Simone Ashley will be returning for another season as Kate to round out the relationship. Jonathan Bailey will be returning as well. They’re both great actors and I completely buy their characters and their connections. This is a welcome change from the first season’s featured actors. That season almost solely focused on them, while the second season spent a lot more time on periphery characters much to the dismay of longtime fans.

I’ve heard from my book reader friends that the Rege-Jean Page character didn’t appear much past the first book so that series is accurate in that regard. As someone who only watches the show it seems weird and like a huge oversight. I think that having Kate and Anthony return in future seasons will enrich the storyline and make the world feel more realistic, no matter the level of their involvement. People usually don’t just drop off the face of the earth and stop attending family gatherings with their in-laws as soon as they get married. And most readers want to see Kate and Anthony have their version of a happy ending, no matter what that may look like, clever verbal sparring included. And like Simone says, I do think most people will want to see some kind of happy resolution for Edwina’s character. No matter how poorly matched she was for Anthony compared to her sister, Edwina was a character fans could root for as well.

Photos credit: Liam Daniel for Netflix via Netflix Press

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