Connect with us

Entertainment

‘Bridgerton’ has cast a new leading lady: Meet Simone Ashley

Published

on

'Bridgerton' has cast a new leading lady: Meet Simone Ashley

“Bridgerton” could be whipping up its very own Kate Middleton vs. Meghan Markle rivalry.

Stunning “Sex Education” actress Simone Ashley is the new leading lady in town, the hit Netflix show has announced.

The erotically charged period soap — based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by “Scandal” queen Shonda Rhimes — is set in the competitive world of frilly, high-style Regency London in the 1880s.

The first season of Shondaland’s smash mix of “Gossip Girl” and Jane Austen revolved around virginal socialite Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor, 25) and her steamy love affair with the sultry spoon-licking Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page, 31).

For Season 2 — based on Quinn’s second entry her book series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me” — sweet Daphne will have to share the spotlight a la Princess Kate and Duchess Meghan, as the new episodes will focus on the marital pursuits of Daphne’s eldest Bridgerton bro: Anthony (Jonathan Bailey, 32).

Ashley, 25, will assume the leading role of Anthony’s romantic interest: Kate Sharma, a fresh London transplant from India, who is described as an intelligent, “headstrong young woman who suffers no fools” — Anthony included, according to an announcement on Shondaland TV’s Twitter.

Season 2 of “Bridgerton” also will find the show’s producers continuing to break casting conventions in the vein of Broadway’s “Hamilton.”

Ashley’s Kate — originally christened Kate Sheffield in Quinn’s second novel — and her family are of Indian descent in a continuation of the reimagined, multiracial world of old-school high society created in Season 1, which included several major black characters, including the Duke (Page), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) not featured in the original book series, Deadline first reported.

In addition to her role as Olivia Hanan in Netflix’s acclaimed “Sex Education,” Brit actress Ashley was also recently seen in the UK’s ITV mystery drama “The Sister.” She’s reportedly one of several fresh faces cast in “Bridgerton,” which is the most-watched series in the streaming giant’s history with 82 million households tuning in during the first four weeks of Season 1.

“We have a bunch of new characters we are going to be introducing,” Van Dusen, creator and showrunner, revealed during an interview on “Today with Hoda & Jenna” in Janurary. “Anthony is going to have a love interest next season, and 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.”

The Season 2 plot twist also was teased in the final minutes of the Season 1 finale, when Anthony declared his goal of “finding and promptly declaring my intentions to my new viscountess,” after the implosion of his illicit relationship with proudly bawdy opera singer Siena (Sabrina Bartlett).

However, Van Dusen stressed during the interview that he also hopes Page and Dynevor will reprise their roles.

Note: Ashley’s prior “Sex Education” experience could come in handy. Season 1 of “Bridgerton” featured nude love scenes so steamy they were infamously ripped for hardcore porn sites — much to Page and Dynevor’s dismay.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

Dolly Parton ‘happy’ to get first COVID-19 vaccine dose

Published

on

By

Dolly Parton 'happy' to get first COVID-19 vaccine dose

The Queen of Country has been vaccinated. 

“Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine,” Dolly Parton, 75, tweeted on Tuesday, alongside a photo of herself at her appointment, sporting a sparkly-blue, long-sleeve shirt with upper arm cutouts in just the right place for the coronavirus vaccine injection. 

In the tweet, Parton tagged her vaccine site — Nashville, Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center — where she calmly sits in a low-backed chair in front of a logo-covered backdrop.

“I’m finally gonna get my vaccine — I’m so excited,” Dolly told followers in an Instagram video posted from her appointment. “I’ve been waiting a while, I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it,” she told her fans, specifying that she received the Moderna COVID-19 shot, which she helped fund with a $1 million donation last April.

Then, “to fit the occasion,” the “9 to 5” star launched into a rendition of “Jolene” where she instead sings, “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate … ’cause once you dead, then that’s a bit too late.” 

“The faster everyone gets vaccinated, the faster we can return to normal,” she went on, before taking aim at those who don’t plan to — or are on the fence about — getting vaccinated. 

“I just want to say to all of you cowards out there: Don’t be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot.”

She then received the first dose of her Moderna shot from Vanderbilt physician Dr. Naji Abumrad. Parton met Abumrad following a 2013 car wreck, and it was their friendship that inspired her to donate to vaccine research, the Tennessean reported.  

“Well, it didn’t take this long to film ‘9 to 5,’ ” she said as the doctor prepared the syringe, before telling the cameras, “I’ve been waiting since December.”

Once the syringe was ready, though, the injection process was over in a jiffy. 

“That didn’t hurt,” she told the doctor after.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Emmys 2021 to air Sept. 19, move to CBS

Published

on

By

Emmys 2021 to air Sept. 19, move to CBS

LOS ANGELES — The 2021 Emmy Awards will be held on Sept. 19 and air live on CBS.

The network and the Television Academy announced Tuesday that the 73rd annual ceremony will stream live and on-demand on Paramount+, the streaming service that launches March 4.

The host, producers and location for the Emmys will be announced later. Since 2008, the show has been held at Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Last year’s show on ABC was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and was a combined in-person and virtual event. Kimmel was live at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, and most presenters and nominees appeared remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. That format was also used for the recent Golden Globes.

The 2020 Emmys were the lowest-rated with 6.4 million viewers.

As part of the broadcast networks taking turns, CBS last aired the Emmys in 2017, when Stephen Colbert hosted.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Angelina Jolie sells off Winston Churchill painting from Brad Pitt for $11.5M

Published

on

By

Angelina Jolie sells off Winston Churchill painting from Brad Pitt for $11.5M

Angelina Jolie sold off a Winston Churchill painting that Brad Pitt bought her as a gift for $11.5 million on Monday.

The work was gifted to Jolie by her estranged husband Pitt, who bought it for $2.95 million in 2011 from a New Orleans antique dealer, M.S. Rau, we previously revealed.

Reports on Monday said that the 1943 Churchill painting, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque,” sold for a record-breaking $11.5 million to a mystery Belgian bidder at Christie’s “Modern British Art Evening Sale” auction in London. The same bidder also bought two more Churchill works in the sale, the Art Newspaper reported.

The painting — which shattered its estimate of $3.4 million — was sold via the Jolie Family Collection. Reps have not commented on why the movie star was selling off the gift from her ex. Jolie and Pitt’s divorce has been dragging on for years, ever since they announced their split in 2016.

Seems art lover Pitt has a good eye: The previous record for a Churchill painting was reportedly around $2.5 million.

Sources previously told us that Pitt’s role in Quentin Tarantino’s World War II drama, “Inglourious Basterds,” helped inspire his interest in the Churchill work. He and Jolie also reportedly once visited the Churchill War Rooms together in the UK for a private tour.

Bill Rau of M.S. Rau told Page Six of the record-breaking Monday sale: “When we sold the ‘Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque’ by Winston Churchill, it was valued at just under $3 million, a fair price for such a historic work. The fact that it sold at auction for [$11.5 million] just goes to show you that important pieces will continue to be coveted and fetch top dollar. The painting has had an unprecedented journey, from being gifted to a US President [Churchill gave it to Franklin D. Roosevelt], to being hidden away in a closet for nearly half a century, to being owned by the most famous couple in Hollywood. I’m thrilled that M.S. Rau was able to bring this amazing piece back into the spotlight.”

Before Pitt bought it, the painting was passed from FDR to his son, who sold it in 1950 to an art collector in Nebraska. It was later sold to a movie producer, Norman G. Hickman, who was involved in a 1964 Churchill-themed film, “The Finest Hours.” The painting was then left to Hickman’s relatives after he died, and wound up in a closet for 15 years until it was sold by Rau.

Continue Reading

Trending