Two of Bridgerton's newest stars are apparently sticking around. On Wednesday, reports indicated that Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, who starred in the recent sophomore season of the Netflix series, will be returning for its upcoming third installment. Ashley confirmed the news at a dinner hosted by Netflix to celebrate South Asian culture, revealing that her and Bailey's characters, Kathani "Kate" Sharma and Antony Bridgerton, are "just getting started" in their love story.
"We're going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started," Ashley revealed. "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. 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."
Bridgerton adapts Julia Quinn's series of novels following interconnected characters living in a fictionalized version of Regency-era England's high society. Each of the series' books focuses on a different set of characters, and the Netflix adaptation follows a similar format.
This news comes following the surprising behind-the-scenes updates that concerned Bridgerton's first season, particularly that breakout star Rege-Jean Page would not be returning in subsequent seasons.
"I don't think I fully expected or understood what releasing all eight episodes around the globe at once was going to do," Bridgerton producer Shonda Rhimes said in an interview last May. "And yeah, I was like, 'I've killed many a man that people adore.' I'm so surprised that everybody is [losing it over a character we've watched] for eight episodes leaving. But obviously, Regé is an amazing actor and he did an amazing thing and people responded. I also was surprised because the nature of this series is simply, this year it's this couple, this year it's [that] couple."
"I was just excited about the idea of being able to tell a complete romantic tale that has an end, where you're not finding 14 other reasons why the couple can't be together or frankly having Regé stand in the background of somebody else's romance," Rhimes added. "That doesn't make sense."
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The first two seasons of Bridgerton are available to stream exclusively on Netflix.