A few little birdies over on Twitter told us it’s Kate and Anthony Week, and what better way to celebrate than to sing praises for Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey. Bridgerton Season 2 might have faults with pacing, plot, and certain changes from the book, but no series could ever say that they’ve found the perfect leads the way these showrunners could. (Or, we could just rewatch that promo video the official account posted for hours.)
Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey were born to play Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton, and they’ve done such an exemplary job that they’re paving the road for future adaptions. In the hands of lesser skilled actors, Kate and Anthony wouldn’t be the fiery, beautifully memorable couple that they are. It might be overused to mention this today, but truer words have never been spoken when we say both actors not only understood the assignment, but they aced it, passed with honors and flying colors.
There’s a lot to adore about the work the actors have brought to our screens, but above all things, it’s the detail that they’ve ensured that with every breath they breathe as the characters, they’re honoring not only who they are, but those who relate deeply to them.
At its core, Kate and Anthony’s story is about the healing that’s unveiled through a kindred spirit whose burdens match your own and whose adoration calms the storms. Individually, Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton navigate through being the eldest siblings differently, and together, they unwind as they bicker and toil with one another’s edges. Through meticulous acting choices, Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey have consistently shown the audience that there’s more to the surface than meets the eye. Through prolonged gazes and profoundly moving expressions, Ashley and Bailey bring the innermost emotions that would’ve otherwise never been revealed as organically. They show us everything we need to know and more while carrying much of the season on their shoulders.
Where a smile holds infinite truths, a heartbroken gaze surrenders a thousand and one beats of anxiety. Julia Quinn wrote these characters years ago, but these actors brought unceasing life to them, creating something profoundly unique in a transcendent love story. Their future is secured with wonderfully chaotic and undeniably comforting moments because Ashley and Bailey care profoundly about ensuring that the couple’s earned happiness is protected and the characters are taken care of in a relationship that brings the best to the surface. Because so few actors genuinely care for romance as a genre, Ashley and Bailey see its significance and protect its reputation. The actors know that this love story is about healing amongst kindred spirits, and in every interview, they showcase how deeply they understand the power of two people going through life together.
Where the show doesn’t allow a lot of room for informative dialogue, the actors show us the layers within their own characters and how versions of their broken pieces recognize the other’s soul. Like mirror images of one another, much of the vulnerability is reflected in their body language as they magnify the little and distinct ways where if the opportunity presented itself, they’d allow themselves a chance to collide. We see the majority of this leading up to their moment in the gazebo in “Harmony,” and a plethora even comes to the surface during “A Bee In Your Bonnet” when they find themselves in a moment of unbridled laughter. There is also plenty to be said about how the first dance in “Victory” and the last dance in “The Viscount Who Loved Me” effortlessly showcase how the actors are allowing their characters moments of profound communication in silence. And, of course, essays have been written about the gorgeously poignant exhibition of unparalleled joy that their last scene in the season finale — a moment for which words could never do justice.
If we were to sit here and pinpoint all the moments when Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey went above and beyond for Kate and Anthony’s love story in Bridgerton Season 2, we’d be here for about eight hours, give or take. It’s impossible to put into words which is perhaps why they’re the perfect Kate and Anthony. You could spend hours trying to write about all the reasons, but five minutes later, you’ll find something new to appreciate.