There’s some new Bridgerton season 2 cast members for fans to get acquainted with – including a new love interest for Viscount Bridgerton played by Sex Education‘s Simone Ashley.
It was the lockdown drama everyone was talking about during Christmas 2020. The Gossip-Girl inspired period drama Bridgerton filmed in stately homes across the UK boasted character, charm and drama by the bucketload. And of course, some fabulous classical covers of famous pop songs, which the Bridgerton season 2 soundtrack is set to continue.
Arriving on Netflix in late March, the follow-up has provided plenty more sex, secrets and regency silhouettes. Though sadly Regé-Jean Page aka the Duke is not in Bridgerton, after confirming he won’t return for season 2 in April last year. Luckily, executive producer Shonda Rhimes has provided us with some shiny new faces to keep the story just as interesting. And we’ve shared all the need-to-know details on these new character additions.
Who are the new Bridgerton season 2 cast members?
Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma
Netflix revealed that Sex Education star Simone Ashley will be joining the Bridgerton cast as Kate Sharma for the second series. The Netflix announcement read: “Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley. Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools – Anthony Bridgerton very much included.”
Simone, who also starred in ITV’s hit drama Broadchurch has opened up about her experience on set, revealing she made a huge error on her first day. She told Glamour: “On my first day, I was like, ‘OK, first day as a leading lady, got to eat lots of food, be really energised’. So, I had this massive portion of salmon and that’s when I needed to be sick, basically because I was wearing the corset.”
She added: “I realised when you wear the corset, you just don’t eat. It changes your body. I had a smaller waist very momentarily. Then the minute you stop wearing it, you’re just back to how your body is. I had a lot of pain with the corset, too, I think I tore my shoulder at one point!”
Simone also revealed how playing leading lady Kate helped her learn more about herself. She explained: “I’m learning to be more headstrong. I’m quite an emotional person, and I think that’s a really great thing. But part of growing up is learning how to control your emotions and be stronger in your mind.
“Kate’s really mature and I’ve learned a lot from her in that sense. Maybe I can sometimes be a bit of a people pleaser, but [Kate] would encourage people to speak their truth, and I really like that about her.”
Charithra Chandran plays Edwina Sharma
Kate’s younger sister Edwina will be played by Charitha Chandran, who starred as Sabina Pleasance in Alex Rider. Edwina is a debutante looking for a true love match. But she will also play a key role in Kate and Anthony’s love story. While she is relatively new to the world of entertainment, Charithra is a trained theatre actor at the National Youth Theatre.
Speaking of her acting career, she said: “I feel I’m very lucky that in both the shows that I’m in, a lot of the actors have strong theatre backgrounds. That training is quite notable when people have that kind of background and it reflects in the way that they operate and approach a script. But ultimately, what I learned from all the amazing actors that I’ve worked with is that you just need to be prepared.”
Shelley Con plays Mary Sharma
Another one of Bridgerton season 2 new cast members is Mary Sharma. And Kate and Edwina’s mother, will be played by Shelley Con. The actress has previously starred in TV shows including Liar, Heartbeat and McDonald & Dodds. She’s also featured in films such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Her character, Lady Mary, was born an Earl’s daughter, but married a tradesman which brought scandal to the family. Now, she’s newly returned to London with her daughters. But it seems she’s forced to endure the scrutiny of the town yet again. Especially now that her daughters are entering the world.
Who is returning to Bridgerton season 2?
- Phoebe Dynevor returns as Daphne Bridgerton (Waterloo Road, Prisoners Wives, Dickensian)
- Jonathan Bailey returns as Anthony Bridgerton (Broadchurch, Crashing)
- Polly Walker returns as Lady Portia Featherington (Line of Duty, Mr Selfridge, The Syndicate)
- Nicola Coughlan returns as Penelope Featherington (Derry Girls, Harlots)
- Julie Andrews returns as the voice of Lady Whistledown (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Princess Diaries)
- Golda Rosheuvel returns as Queen Charlotte (Luther, Lady Macbeth)
- Ruth Gemmell returns as Lady Violet Bridgerton (Silent Witness, Deep State)
- Luke Thompson returns as Benedict Bridgerton (Dunkirk, Kiss me First)
- Luke Newton returns as Colin Bridgerton (Mr Selfridge)
- Claudia Jessie returns as Eloise Bridgerton (Line of Duty, Doctors)
- Adjoa Andoh returns as Lady Danbury (Invictus, Fractured)
Luckily plenty of the original actors are returning as Bridgerton season 2 cast members. Though sadly Regé-Jean Page is not reprising his role as the Duke of Hastings. Reflecting on this, his on-screen love interest, Phoebe Dynevor explained that their story will not be the central focus of season 2:
“We’re very much passing on the baton to the lovely [Jonathan Bailey], who plays Anthony. That will be the main story line of season 2 and the story arc of season 2.”
She added: “There’s no such thing as a happy ending, is there? I think love’s always shifting and changing. So who knows? I’d like to see what happens next. And also, I’d like to see Daphne get involved in Anthony’s love life since he was so involved in hers.”
While Jonathan Bailey said: “The idea that [Bridgerton] is coming out again is a bit of a rug pull. It’s quite scary. What it means to be a rake, and how his anxiety and self-hatred plays into that. [In typical period dramas] you never really get behind the men, or know why they’re avoidant and toxic.”
What is Bridgerton season 2 about?
While the first series focused on Daphne Bridgerton, season 2 will be about Lord Anthony Bridgerton and his new love interest. The show is based on the novel series by Julia Quinn, with season one following the first book, The Duke and I. Therefore, it’s thought that series 2 will be based on the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me. This is about Lord Anthony and Kate Sheffield (who has been renamed Kate Sharma in the show).
The official description from Netflix reads: “Season 2 of Bridgerton tells the story of Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s (Jonathan Bailey) quest for love as he sets out to find a suitable wife.
“When Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and her younger sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) arrive from India, Anthony starts to court the latter sister. And Kate soon discovers that his intentions for marriage are not pure.”
Shonda Rhimes, who is an executive producer of the series, said of the couple: “I think there’s a powerful, interesting, romantic couple at the heart of it. They’re an incredibly interesting and exciting pair. I like to watch them.
“Our goal, if we do our job correctly, is you are going to be as invested and excited by that couple as you were by the couple [the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton] of Season 1.”
Bridgerton Family Book Series Complete Books 1 – 9 by Julia Quinn, £64.90 | Amazon
The complete nine book collection of Julia Quinn’s globally bestselling series Bridgerton, now the inspiration behind the record-busting Netflix series.
How many episodes in Bridgerton season 2?
There is 8 episodes of Bridgerton season 2 in total, each one lasting for approximately 60 minutes. This follows the format of series 1, which also featured 8 episodes.
You can catch up with the first series of Bridgerton, which first hit screens on Christmas Day 2020, on Netflix now.
How many seasons of Bridgerton are they going to make?
Netflix have renewed Bridgerton for a third and fourth season. However, as there are 8 Bridgerton siblings, it’s thought there may be 8 series of Bridgerton in total. It’s expected that the series will continue to follow the plot of the books.
Executive producer, Shonda Rhimes, said in a statement: “From the first time I read Julia Quinn’s delicious Bridgerton series, I knew these were stories that would captivate a viewing audience. But the evolution of this adaptation would not be a success without the many significant contributions of the entire Shondaland team.
“This two-season pickup is a strong vote of confidence in our work. And I feel incredibly grateful to have partners as collaborative and creative as Netflix. [fellow executive producer] Betsy and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue bringing the world of Bridgerton to a worldwide audience.”
And hinting at further series, Shonda has also said: “There are eight Bridgerton siblings, and as far as I’m concerned, there are eight Bridgerton seasons. And maybe more.”
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