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Who is Simone Ashley? Meet the new star of 'Bridgerton'

The actor will play Lord Anthony Bridgerton's love interest.
/ Source: TODAY

After recently announcing that the second season of "Bridgerton" would revolve around Lord Anthony Bridgerton's search for love, Netflix has cast a stunning romantic interest for the character.

Simone Ashley will star as Lord Anthony Bridgerton's love interest in the next season of "Bridgerton."
Simone Ashley will star as Lord Anthony Bridgerton's love interest in the next season of "Bridgerton."Netflix

Simone Ashley, an actor who appeared in the film "Pokémon Detective Pikachu," will play the role of Kate Sharma, the female lead of the show's sophomore season. According to a statement obtained by TODAY, the character, who's recently arrived in London, is a "smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included."

The Shondaland TV Twitter account confirmed the news on Monday and shared a photo of the leading lady.

Ashley, 25, is no stranger to Netflix and was previously known for her role as Olivia Hanan in the streaming giant's show "Sex Education." The actor has also appeared in the TV series "Broadchurch" and the TV mini-series "The Sister."

"Bridgerton" has gained a massive following over the past few months and now holds the title of Netflix's biggest series ever. Some 82 million households around the world watched the show in the first 28 days of its release, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The show returns to production this spring in London, and the second season will focus on actor Jonathan Bailey's character, Lord Anthony Bridgerton. The series is based off of Julia Quinn's romance novels.

Quinn shared the news of Ashley's casting on social media on Monday and seemed pretty thrilled.

"WE HAVE OUR KATE!!!!! Welcome to #Bridgerton, @simoneasshley! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect Kate. I mean, just LOOK at her expression in that first photo!" she wrote.

“Bridgerton” creator Chris Van Dusen recently appeared on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna and shared a few details about what's in store for Anthony Bridgerton when the show returns to Netflix.

“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,” Van Dusen said.

Jonathan Bailey in "Bridgerton."
Jonathan Bailey in "Bridgerton."Liam Daniel / Netflix

He added that he's writing several new characters into the second season and that the entire cast is excited to get back to work.

“I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show,” he said.