With news of Regé-Jean Page’s unexpected departure making headlines, Bridgerton expanded its cast with an impressive array of new members.
Simone Ashley was the first of the February additions. The 26-year-old actress will play Kate Sharma, who catches the eye of Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), the eldest Bridgerton son, as he continues his search for The One. According to Netflix’s official announcement, “Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who takes no prisoners — including Anthony Bridgerton.”
Season 1 of the Shondaland series was a smash, with 82 million households tuning in within a month of the period drama’s December 2020 premiere. The first installment, based on Julia Quinn’s popular novels, followed Daphne Bridgerton’s (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Bassett’s (Page, 31) love story. After a few ups and downs, the pair ends the season married with a new baby under the watchful eye of anonymous gossip columnist Lady Whistledown.
Chris Van Dusen, the show’s creator, began hinting at a possible second season shortly after the series’ success. “I’d love to be able to concentrate and truly tell the Bridgerton siblings’ stories and love stories. For each character, without a doubt,” he told Collider, expressing his admiration for Quinn’s work.
Each of the author’s eight books features a different character. Season 2 will be based on Quinn’s second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and will feature Bailey, 32, as the man of the Bridgerton household.
“I have a feeling that the campy, plush spectacle of the Bridgerton world is going to become even more pronounced in the best possible way,” he told British Vogue in February of the upcoming season. “It’s insane and brilliant. Additionally, there will be a slew of brilliant characters introduced in this series — and we won’t be focusing exclusively on Anthony. There will simply be more of what everyone enjoys, I believe.”
However, with the addition of new characters, a fan favorite must depart. On Friday, April 2, Netflix announced that Page would not reprise his role as the Duke of Hastings in the upcoming season. In an interview with Variety, he explained the decision, claiming that Simon’s story was always going to be a “one-season arc.”
“I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the world,” the For the People alum continued. However, there is value in completing these arcs and landing.”
Continue reading to learn about the most recent additions to the Bridgerton cast:
In February, Netflix announced that the Sex Education actress had been cast as Kate Sharma, Anthony’s love interest. Ashley has previously appeared on ITV series such as Broadchurch and The Sister, and had a small role in Detective Pikachu, which premiered in 2019.
The native of the United Kingdom will play Kate’s younger sister, Edwina Sharma, who is desperate to find her perfect match. Chandran is a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry, with only one previous credit to his name: Amazon Prime’s spy series Alex Rider.
The Mistresses alum has been cast as Lady Mary Sharma, “an Earl’s daughter whose marriage to a tradesman once landed her family in scandal,” who recently returned to London with her daughters. Conn’s credits include Down to Earth, The Dead Set, and The Palace. She previously appeared in Steven Spielberg’s short-lived Fox series Terra Nova in 2011 and Lifetime’s The Lottery in 2014, which was canceled after one season.
Lynch, who is best known for his work in 2017’s Dunkirk, will reunite with Derry Girls co-star Nicola Coughlan, who will reprise her role as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton. The actor from Black Beauty plays Theo Sharpe, a printer’s assistant. According to the official Netflix announcement, Theo is “not only a working-class man; he is also an intellectual who advocates for universal human rights.”
Fans of Quinn’s novels will be unfamiliar with Jack, the Merlin alum’s character created specifically for the show. He arrives in London with an enigmatic connection to one of the capital’s most illustrious families. Young’s abilities span both screen and stage, having starred in Dear Evan Hansen’s West End debut in 2019. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical at the 2020 Laurence Olivier Awards (the United Kingdom’s Tony Awards).