How love released Kate Sharma from Bridgerton

When we first meet Kate Sharma, she’s racing through a field on horseback, daringly leaping over a fence, impressing (and beating) Anthony Bridgerton. When he finally catches up to her, the first words out of his mouth are in Hindi. It’s clear from the start that Kate, the woman at the center of Netflix’s second season Bridgerton, isn’t going to be a flimsy flower, waiting for the right man to come and define her.

Played by Simone Ashley, Kate is based on the character of Julia Quinnit is The viscount who loved me, but for the series, new layers have been added to its backstory. The combined powers of the writing, costumes, hair and makeup, and Ashley’s performance create a character who seems strong and stoic on the outside, even as she struggles with family duty versus matters of the heart. . “Kate has such an amazing arc this season,” showrunner Chris VanDussen recount Vanity Fair. “She comes to a place where she opens up to love – and also opens up to the idea of ​​being loved.”

In the novels, the character is named Kate Sheffield and is a resident of the English countryside who comes to London with her stepmother and younger half-sister, Edwina, in order to find a husband for her half-sister. But for the series, the Bridgerton The team changed the character to Kathani “Kate” Sharma, who was born and raised in India. Kate’s mother died when she was young and her father remarried to Mary Sheffield, who takes her in as her own daughter upon her father’s death. They return to London to find a husband for Edwina, hoping to also provide financial stability for Mary’s parents, the Sheffields, who have promised to provide a large dowry if she marries well.

Kate comes across as a headstrong woman whose main priority is to find her sister (who is unaware of the inheritance) a romantic partner. “I noticed that she was a character who had a lot of opinions, spoke a lot of truth and was really well-articulated about telling the truth, especially to men,” says Ashley, 27, known for playing Olivia Hanan on Sex education. She seems to have given up on any idea of ​​finding love for herself, until she met Anthony Bridgerton. The elder Bridgerton decided it was finally time for him to get married and he set his sights on Edwina. But Kate and Anthony clash immediately and Kate tries to stall the match. Over time, however, Kate and Anthony realize that they actually have strong feelings that are brewing for each other.

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Van Dusen says Kate “is basically the female version of Anthony Bridgerton” and that the writers focused on having the characters reflect each other, “especially in terms of how they deal with and struggle with a sense of duty. to their families.” As the season progresses, Kate and Anthony must decide if they will stick to their responsibilities or follow their hearts and possibly ruin their family’s reputation.

Finding the right actor to play Kate was a “long and exhaustive search,” says Van Dusen. At the time, he already knew Ashley from her work on Sex education, and when she finally auditioned, it was like “catching lightning in a bottle”. There was an electricity around her, and we knew we had found our Kate Sharma,” he says.

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