Actress Simone Ashley just gave “Bridgerton” fans a huge sigh of relief!
The primary criticism of season 2 is that the show did not focus enough time on her character Kate Sharma and her budding romance with Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey).
Thankfully, Deadline caught up with Ashley at a dinner celebrating South Asian culture hosted by Netflix in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Simone Ashley Says ‘Kate & Anthony Are Just Getting Started’
When asked about her involvement in a possible third season, Ashley revealed that Kate and Anthony aren’t going anywhere. However, showrunner Chris Van Dusen, who helmed the Netflix period drama’s first two seasons, will be stepping down.
“We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started,” she shared. “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,” she continued. “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.”
Simone Ashley Says That Kate Is ‘In Charge Of The Household Now’
As for what fans can expect from season 3, Ashley revealed that Kate is “in charge of the household now and she’s got big boots to put on.”
“I think she can do it,” Ashley continued. “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.”
She also has repeatedly said that she never viewed Kate as an obstacle between her younger sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) and Anthony. Instead, she said it was more like Kate and Edwina, Edwina and Anthony, and Anthony and Kate. As Ashley said, “It’s more like three love stories are going on at once.”
Simone Ashley Says That ‘A Lot Of Women’ Can Relate To Kate’s Inner Struggle
“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 continued. “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,” she continued. “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.”
She added, “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.”
She is also proud of the way the Sharma family manage to make their way into English high society despite their background.
“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,” Ashley 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,” she added. “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.”
All eight episodes of “Bridgerton” season 2 are available to stream on Netflix.