Simone Ashley Says Bringing 'Holy Ceremony' Scene to 'Bridgerton' Was 'a Joy': 'It Was Nostalgic'

The Bridgerton star opened up to PEOPLE about filming scenes involving Hindu and Southern Indian cultures, as well as her sense of relief for her character in season 3

Simone Ashley
Photo: John Phillips/WireImage/Getty

Simone Ashley is taking a trip down memory lane.

Speaking to PEOPLE at The Queen's Ball: A Bridgerton Experience event, held at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Ashley opened up about her experiences filming scenes for Bridgerton season 2 — and how they brought back memories from her childhood.

The sophomore run of the Netflix series, which focuses on the Sharma family (who moved from India to London), features several meaningful references to Southern India and Hindu cultures. Among those references include a Haldi ceremony, which is a traditional pre-wedding Indian ritual, and Didi and Appa, the pet names used among the family members.

When asked if she or her co-star Charithra Chandran had an influence on which elements were included in the scenes, Ashley, 27, said they "did have a voice in what we wanted to see [and] what we didn't want to see."

The Queen's Ball: A Bridgerton Experience
Federico Imperiale

"I learned so much from Charithra in that sense," Ashley said of her costar's contribution to the cultural aspects of the production.

"And I think bringing the holy ceremony to screen was such a joy. I mean, it's the first time we've seen anything like that and I loved filming it with Shelley [Conn] and Charithra," she continued. "It was nostalgic for me. It brought up a lot of childhood memories of things I did similarly growing up."

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The British star also shared how Shondaland, the production company of the series, "had departments that could always check if things are being done in the most accurate form." She added that "they are very specific on what they want" and "always creating discussions."

The Queen's Ball: A Bridgerton Experience
Federico Imperiale

Ashley joined the Netflix show in its second season, taking on the role of Kate Sharma, the love interest of Jonathan Bailey's leading character, Anthony Bridgerton.

The pair's love story became the central focus of the series, differing from the debut season following the romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Duke Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page).

Last month, Ashley revealed she will be returning for the show's third season, telling Deadline in an interview, "We're going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started." However, the next season is expected to highlight the relationship between Anthony's brother Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).

With this in mind, Ashley told PEOPLE that she feels "a little bit" of relief when she returns to filming this summer.

"I think we're passing the baton to Nicola and Luke," the Sex Education actress said. "I'm so excited for them to perform their love story and to see what they've got up their sleeves."

"I think they're going to smash it out of the park. I'm so excited for them," she added, before predicting that her character will "be a little bit more playful."

RELATED: 'Bridgerton' Newcomer Simone Ashley Says She Had a "Pinch-Me Moment" When Mindy Kaling Messaged Her

While at the U.S. debut of the Bridgerton experience event, which runs through the summer, Ashley also discussed what she has learned about herself while working on the "whirlwind of a job" Netflix hit.

"I think trusting your instincts and just having fun with it," she shared. "There were moments I really had to just take a moment and take it all in, like filming in Hampton Court. And there was a day, I think it was on Shelley's birthday, we were filming a scene together, and I was looking around, and I was just like, 'I have to take this in and just appreciate what we're doing and the magic of all this.'"

"So, I think if there's one thing that I've taken from that job is to always be open to learning and growing and to trust my instincts," she added. "And that's something I've carried with me for the majority of my life."

Bridgerton season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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