EXCLUSIVE: Newcomer Charithra Chandran has landed the role of Edwina in Season 2 of Bridgerton, Netflix and Shondaland’s hugely popular Regency-era period drama series based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels, I have learned. Rupert Young (Merlin) also has been tapped for a major new role on the series, created by Chris Van Dusen, I hear.
The British duo join a fellow new Bridgerton cast addition, Season 2 female lead Simone Ashley. Reps for Shondaland and Netflix declined comment.
Next season, slated to begin production this spring in the UK, will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as chronicled in the second book of Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
Ashley plays Anthony’s romantic interest, Kate Sharma. Chandran will play her younger sister, Edwina, who first catches the Viscount’s attention.
Young will play Jack, the newest member of the Ton with a connection to one of its most notable families and a Bridgerton mystery. The character was created for the series; he is not in the books.
In Season 2, Bridgerton continues to break conventions on race. Kate and Edwina’s last name in Quinn’s novel is Sheffield but they were reconceived by the series’ producing team as being of Indian descent in a continuation of the reimagined, multi-racial world of early 1800s London high society created in Season 1, which featured several major Black characters including the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel).
With its vibrant mix of Jane Austen-meets-Gossip Girl and its contemporary storytelling redefining the period drama and romance genres, Bridgerton has captivated audiences around the world to shatter Netflix’s viewership records. It became the streamer’s biggest series ever as 82 million households globally watched the first season (partially or in its entirety) in the first four weeks.
The series also stars Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington), Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson), Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton), Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton), Ruby Stokes (Francesca Bridgerton), Will Tilston (Gregory Bridgerton), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth Bridgerton), Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet Bridgerton), Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington), Harriet Cains (Philipa Featherington), Polly Walker (Lady Portia Featherington), Ben Miller (Lord Featherington), Sabrina Bartlett (Siena Rosso), Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich), Kathryn Drysdale (Madame Genevieve Delacroix) and Lorraine Ashbourne (Mrs. Varley).
Van Dusen executive produces with Shondaland’s Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
Chandran is a recent graduate from Oxford University. She will next be seen in Season 2 of the IMDb TV series Alex Rider.
Young is known for playing Sir Leon on the BBC series Merlin. He was recently seen in the feature The Secret Garden. His guest-starring credits include The White Queen, Will and People Just Do Nothing. He also co-starred in the miniseries Judge Rinder’s Crown Court.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.