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Simone Ashley Talks ‘Bridgerton,’ Rom-Com

Bridgerton” alumnus Simone Ashley is happy that Shonda Rhimes’ hit Netflix show, now in its third season, continues to empower its viewers. 

“It really has! I don’t think it’s that surprising – we are all strong women in this show. It was only natural it was going to happen, I think. We have strong women writers and they want to portray women in that [position of] power,” she tells Variety

“This show is full of such joy.”

On Friday, Ashley received the International Golden Nymph for Most Promising Talent from Albert II, Prince of Monaco, at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, and took the opportunity to thank the “Bridgerton” team and the “many, many beloved fans.” 

“This season is led by the phenomenally talented Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton. As I stand here, I can’t help but feel so excited for everything that’s ahead for them,” she said from the stage.

Before scoring the part, she also broke some taboos as Olivia on “Sex Education.”

“You see that a lot: laughter and joy, and then an important message underneath. That really connects people and that’s what ‘Sex Education’ did. I am proud to be a part of something that helps change different cultures and initiate conversations.”

Moving forward, Ashley wants to put her platform to good use. But she also likes to always “bring it back to the work.”

“I have always been very ambitious, ever since I was a kid, but no matter what I do, a small indie project or big studio production, I want to make sure it’s something I am proud of. That there is an urgency for this story to be told.”

She has many heroes – “Viola Davis, Zendaya, my mum. I really look up to my mum!” – and soon, she might turn to action stars for guidance as well. 

“I would love to do an action movie. I love training and I am quite athletic when I want to be,” she says. 

In the meantime, she also has a psychological thriller “This Tempting Madness” and rom-com “Picture This” coming up.

“These are two genres I haven’t really done before. As for rom-coms, I really think they are making a comeback. ‘Anyone But You,’  ‘The Idea of You.’ The world is becoming more hopeful about the idea of love and romance.”

“Growing up, I have never really seen women that looked like me in these kinds of movies. This one meant a lot to me – also because I am a part of the producing team.”

Ashley is exec producing the film.

“I think many people are going to relate to it, no matter where they are from,” she says. 

“Romance is timeless. We need more of it.”

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