‘Never Have I Ever’ Star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Gushes About ‘Bridgerton’ Star Simone Ashley

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, breakout star of Netflix’s comedy-drama series Never Have I Ever, recently gushed over her friend and fellow actor Simone Ashley. In Bridgerton Season 2, Ashley made her debut as Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest, Kate Sharma. Both fans and critics praised her role. And Ramakrishnan had lots to say about it.

(L-R) Kal Penn, Versha Sharma, Lilly Singh, Simone Ashley, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan posing together in front of a Bridgerton sign
(L-R) Kal Penn, Versha Sharma, Lilly Singh, Simone Ashley, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan | Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Netflix

How Simone Ashley and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan rose in Hollywood

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan had only recently chosen to pursue acting when she was picked out of a casting call of 15,000 people for Never Have I Ever at just 17 years old, according to Now Toronto

Since then, Ramakrishnan has gone on to receive nominations for an Independent Spirit Award, a Canadian Screen Award, and an MTV Movie & TV Award for her role as Devi Vishwakumar on the show. She also voiced role of Priya in Disney-Pixar’s animated flick Turning Red.

Meanwhile, Simone Ashley got her start acting on a couple episodes of the fantasy teen drama Wolfblood, per IMDb. She went on to have various television roles prior to Bridgerton, including the recurring role of Olivia Hanan on the Netflix comedy-drama Sex Education.

At the Bridgerton Season 2 premiere, Ramakrishnan showed up to support her friend along with a bevy of other A-listers. Many attendees praised the show for its representation of South Asian actors, including former talk show host, Lilly Singh. On Instagram, Singh uploaded a snapshot of herself at the event posing with Ashley and Ramakrishnan.

The heartfelt caption read: “A little melanin magic for your feed. It was an honour to come together and celebrate our girl @simoneasshley for crushing it on @bridgertonnetflix. So proud of this beautiful community of South Asians (both pictured and not pictured) for not only their talents but also for paving an important path.” 

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan: ‘Simone is amazing’

While chatting with Teen Vogue, Ramakrishnan offered her thoughts on season 2 of Bridgerton after Never Have I Ever poked fun at the hit period drama. On the show, Devi’s high school’s gossip TikTok is called “Lady Whistleboy,” a reference to the Bridgerton character Lady Whistledown.

Ramakrishnan praised Ashley for her work on Bridgerton. “I love a good ol’ period piece, for sure,” she said. “Simone is amazing. She’s absolutely stunning and gorgeous, so hella proud of her, but honestly hella proud of what Bridgerton is as a whole.”

Ramakrishnan then opened up about being a woman of color in the industry. And she explained how people like her aren’t often seen in certain genres, including period dramas. She gushed over Ashley for being a trailblazer thanks to her work on Bridgerton.

“We’re not just taking up space as brown women in comedies, but also in other spaces like period romantic dramas,” Ramakrishnan said. “We’re showing that it’s not just something that can only be done in one genre, but rather, many.” 

The Never Have I Ever star also showed some love to the leading lady of Ms. Marvel, Iman Vellani. “Same thing for example with Ms. Marvel Iman is the homie,” she said. “I love Iman to death and she’s killing it as a superhero, a literal superhero. That is pretty freaking badass.”

What’s next for Simone Ashley and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan?

Outside of her run on Never Have I Ever, Ramakrishnan is set to appear in several upcoming film and TV projects. According to Variety, the 20-year-old actor has been cast in a contemporary Pride and Prejudice adaptation titled The Netherfield Girls. It will mark her first movie role.

As for Ashley, she’s reprising her role as Kate Sharma for season 3 of Bridgerton. Production on the new episodes is underway, with the upcoming season expected to debut sometime in 2023.

The next couple the show will focus on is Penelope (aka Lady Whistledown) and Colin Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope, confirmed the news back in May, per Variety. While Ashley’s role in the upcoming season remains a mystery, fans are sure to see more of her and Anthony now that the characters have achieved their happily ever after.

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