Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey Starts Filming Season 2 with New Costar Simone Ashley
Bridgerton fans, rejoice!
In photos taken from the set of the series' forthcoming season, Jonathan Bailey, who is reprising his role as Anthony Bridgerton, was spotted with new costar Simone Ashley, who is playing a new character — and Anthony's on-screen love interest — Kate Sharma.
Filming a scene together, the two actors were seen attending a horse race alongside an array of other Bridgerton stars including Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton and Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury.
Bridgerton's next season will shift focus from the love story between Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page) to Anthony's romance with Kate. It will be based on Julia Quinn's novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
Bridgerton season 1 follows the esteemed families of British high society and their romantic pursuits through the lens of a mysterious gossip columnist, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews).
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Netflix announced on Jan. 21 that there would be a season two of the series. In the announcement — which came in the form of one of Lady Whistledown's infamous society papers — viewers learned that "Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season" and that Whistledown would have her "pen ready to report on any and all of his romantic activities."
If the plot of the book and the series remain the same, it looks as though viewers will follow Anthony as he looks to find a suitable wife to settle down with, but not to love. Love is off the table for the eldest Bridgerton because, as Bailey put it when he spoke with British Vogue, "he's reached a point where he genuinely believes that love will never happen for him."
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PEOPLE confirmed in February that actress Simone Ashley would be joining the cast as Kate, the "smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included."
In the novel, Ashley's character is named Kate Sheffield. However, the show's creative team previously decided her family would be of Indian descent and changed her surname, Deadline reported.
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Charithra Chandran has been cast as Kate's younger sister (and the latest diamond of the first water) Edwina, Deadline reported. According to an announcement made on the Shondaland Instagram, "Edwina has been taught by her older sister Kate to be the perfect debutante. She's kind-natured and endlessly endearing. But while she may be young and naive, she also knows what she wants: a true love match."
In April, it was confirmed that Page would not be returning to play Simon, the Duke of Hastings.
The announcement — again made through one of Lady Whistledown's society papers — read: "Dear Readers, 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. We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family."