Bridgerton's Season 2 Love Interest Revealed

Bridgerton has plucked its latest love interest from another hugely successful Netflix show — Sex Education. Simone Ashley (who played Olivia Hanan in the acclaimed British high school drama/comedy) will star as Season 2's romantic lead opposite Johnathan Bailey's character, Lord Anthony Bridgerton.

The 25-year-old actress also appeared in Season 3 of Broadchurch, Casualty, and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Similarly to Sex Education, Ashley will be playing yet another feisty female character with Netflix telling viewers on social media to "get ready to fall in love" with Kate. The streaming giant posted on Feb. 15, 2021, "Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included."

While Bridgerton's debut focused predominantly on the relationship dynamics between the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the next season will see Anthony Bridgerton under the spotlight — or should we say, candlelight? — as he hunts for the perfect viscountess. The show's creator, Chris Van Dusen, told fans to get ready for yet another "sweeping and moving" on-screen romance by way of the eldest Bridgerton child. "We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I'm looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market," Dusen said, per the Daily Mail.

Season 2 is said to follow Julia Quinn's book sequel, The Viscount Who Loved Me — but similarly to Season 1, it will slightly deviate from the original. 

'Bridgerton' is breaking boundaries yet again

The hit Netflix series — which was viewed by a record 82 million households in 28 days — has also been lauded for its groundbreaking display of on-screen diversity, per The Evening Standard. Instead of following the books with an all-white ensemble, the show's creator Chris Van Dusen chose to cast several of the leading roles as Black characters, including the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel). For Season 2, Dusen and his executive producers have yet again given Bridgerton their own spin. 

In The Viscount Who Loved Me, Simone Ashley's character is called "Kate Sheffield," however, for the show, Dusen has changed it to "Kate Sharma" to reflect the actress' Indian ethnicity, per Deadline. Ashley's co-star/love interest Johnathan Bailey also said during a recent interview with British Vogue the "campy" Netflix adaptation will continue to modernize and shake-up a regency-set England. "[Bridgerton] will just keep pushing boundaries in a way that's quietly subversive. There's just going to be more of what everyone loves I think," Bailey said. 

'Bridgerton's author believes the show should 'not follow the book word for word'

Like how Johnathan Bailey teased to British Vogue that viewers will get more of what they love out of the show, the author of the book series even suggested we might see a little more of the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton in Season 2. Fans just couldn't get enough of Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor's steamy on-screen romance — there's even an Instagram account dedicated to the moment when Page seductively licks a spoon during the show — author Julie Quinn said she too hopes the pair take a more prominent position this season. 

Despite each book following a different character in the Bridgerton world — with Season 2 being based around Anthony Bridgerton — Quinn told The Sun that she didn't think the series should "follow the book word for word." She said, "I hope [Daphne and the Duke show up again], for no other reason than Daphne has the right to interfere with Anthony's life. To deny her that chance would be criminal. I think it would be lovely to see." 

While it sadly will be a little while until we get to hear Julie Andrews narrate another, no-doubt, lust-filled Season 2 (Bridgerton is set to shoot this spring in London), we can only pray producers give us some more seductive 19th century chemistry — and yes, that means licking a few more household items please.