Simone Ashley

Simone Ashley
Simone Ashwini Pillai

(1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 (age 27)[1][2]
Camberley, Surrey, England
Years active2016–present

Simone Ashwini Pillai (born 30 March 1995), known professionally as Simone Ashley, is a British actress. She is best known for her roles in the Netflix series Sex Education (2019–present) and Bridgerton (2022–present).

Early life and education

Born to Indian Tamil parents Latha and Gunasekharan, Ashley is from Camberley, Surrey and has an older brother.[3][4] Ashley has spoken about how despite growing up in a household of academics, she was always drawn more towards the creative fields.[5] Her parents were hesitant about her inclination to the arts. “My parents were quite protective over me,” she told Glamour Magazine. “They’re first generation. They came from India to this country, so they didn’t really have a life where they could choose to be whatever they wanted.”[3] Ashley grew up singing classical music and opera and playing piano.[6] The family later moved to Beaconsfield whilst Ashley attended Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead for sixth form.[7][5] She went on to train in acting at Arts Educational School in London.[1][8]


Ashley made her feature film debut in 2018 with a small role in Boogie Man as Aarti and a prominent role in Kill Ben Lyk as one of the characters named Ben Lyk.[9] In 2019, Ashley began playing Olivia Hanan, a member of Ruby Matthews' clique the Untouchables, in the Netflix comedy-drama Sex Education, a role she would reprise in its second and third series. She appeared in the ITV psychological thriller miniseries The Sister as Elise Fox.[10]

Having auditioned in 2020, it was announced in February 2021 that Ashley would star as leading lady Kate opposite Jonathan Bailey as Anthony in the second season of the Netflix romance period drama Bridgerton.[11] She will appear in the 2023 live-action film adaptation of Disney's The Little Mermaid in an undisclosed role.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Straight Outta Compton
2018 Boogie Man Aarti
2018 Kill Ben Lyk Girl Ben Lyk
2018 Sparrow Taylor Short film
2019 Detective Pikachu Girlfriend
TBA Bulldog Lori Short film; voice role
2023 The Little Mermaid TBA Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Wolfblood Zuhra 2 episodes
2016 Guilt Amanda Episode: "A Simple Plan"
2017 Broadchurch Dana 2 episodes
2017 Strike Alicia Episode: "The Cuckoo's Calling: Part 3"
2017 L'ispettore Coliandro Veena Episode: "Mortal Club"
2018 Doctors Sofia Johal Episode: "Any Moment"
2019 Casualty Shai Anderson 1 episode
2019 A Working Mom's Nightmare Aisha Television film
2019–2021 Sex Education Olivia Hanan 15 episodes
2020 The Sister Elise Fox Miniseries; 3 episodes
2022 Bridgerton Kate Sharma Main role (series 2)


  1. ^ a b Wahi, Sukriti (16 February 2021). "Who Is Simone Ashley? Meet Bridgerton's New Leading Lady". Elle Australia. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  2. ^ Tisdale, Jerrica (25 February 2021). "Simone Ashley: 7 Cool Things To Know About The Bridgerton Season 2 Actress". CinemaBlend. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Glass, Katie (9 March 2022). "Bridgerton's Simone Ashley on corsets, combatting sexism and the power of representation". Glamour UK. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  4. ^ Menon, Maya (2 March 2022). "Meet Simone Ashley: the British-Indian breakout star and new leading lady of 'Bridgerton'". Vogue Singapore. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Exclusive Q&A with Simone Ashley of "Sex Education" (Netflix)". Veylex. 2 July 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Variety's 10 Brits to Watch for 2021: A Celebration of Talent". Variety. 24 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  7. ^ Simpson, Richard (27 February 2021). "Sex Education star set to shake up Bridgerton in steamy new series". Mirror. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  8. ^ Hanrahan, Laura (18 February 2021). "Everything You Need To Know About 'Bridgerton' Season 2 Star Simone Ashley". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  9. ^ Fowler, Sara (25 June 2019). "Britain's Simone Ashley stars in award-winning film 'Kill Ben Lyk'". Medium. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  10. ^ Sanyal, Pathikrit (20 January 2020). "'The Sister' on Hulu: Meet Simone Ashley, Bertie Carvel, Russell Tovey and rest of the cast of British psychological thriller". MEAWW. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (15 February 2021). "'Bridgerton': Simone Ashley Lands Female Lead In Season 2 Of Netflix Hit From Shondaland". Deadline. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  12. ^ Russell, Scarlett (25 March 2022). "Bridgerton's Simone Ashley: 'All the fireworks are still to come'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 28 March 2022.

External links


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