It’s safe to say that Bridgerton ’s debut caused a frenzy – in 2021, it became Netflix’s most-watched series as viewers fell in love with the cast. Regé-Jean Page’s smouldering portrayal of regency rake Simon notably stole hearts around the world. So who will be the hit show’s breakout stars this time around? Meet Bridgerton newcomers Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran, who play sisters Kate and Edwina Sharma. Ashley is sure to dominate screens as the headstrong Kate, but keep an eye on Chandran too. The neophyte actress will play more than just a doe-eyed debutante as her character gets entangled in a love triangle and goes on a journey of self-discovery. Here’s what we know about the actress. Prince of India: the baby bling life of Mukesh Ambani’s grandson Prithvi She almost pursued an entirely different career Just a few years ago, Chandran had a promising future in a different field. Her resume included a stint as a parliamentary assistant. By the time she graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics, she already had a five-year plan to work in public policy. Even as her star continues to rise, Chandran can’t totally eschew the possibility of returning to that path. She tells Shondaland she has “multiple contingency plans for almost every situation”. But her heart has always been in acting As she strengthened her academic background, Chandran built roots in drama. While studying, she trained with the National Youth Theatre and joined productions. Torn between the two worlds after graduation, she juggled acting gigs and a job at New Policy Institute, but she ultimately chose acting. Young, Famous and African: who is ‘Queen of Bling’ Khanyi Mbau? It wasn’t an easy decision to make. “Throughout uni and school, I worked so hard. I’m sure that plenty of people thought I was throwing away a good thing,” she admits to PopSugar. But she adds, “I owed it to myself to at least try and see where this goes.” Her traditional parents support her decision to act She grew up in an academically driven environment, but Chandran says her parents – both doctors – support her new trajectory. In an interview with Shondaland, she recalls how her mother insisted that her daughter would become part of Bridgerton , even after an initial rejection from casting directors. What happened to Sarma Melngailis from Netflix’s Bad Vegan? The decision to follow her dreams was a way to honour her parents and the sacrifices they made. “My immigrant parents worked so hard all their lives. I owed it to my parents for everything that they’d done for me to truly pursue the path that would give me the most happiness,” she tells PopSugar. She originally auditioned for the role of Kate Sharma After her audition for Kate Sharma fell through, Chandran concluded it wasn’t meant to be. Later, she got a call back – this time for Edwina, Sharma’s younger sister. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bridgerton (@bridgertonnetflix) She initially felt no connection to the sweet and trusting Edwina, but quickly fell in love with her fresh outlook. “It’s a choice that she makes to see the best in others. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone could be a bit more like Edwina?” she asks The Kit. Where is Inventing Anna’s Anna Sorokin now – and is she finally broke? She stars in another major role Chandran might be a rookie with barely a year’s worth of experience, but she already has two major roles under her belt. Aside from Bridgerton , she stars as Sabina Pleasance in Alex Rider , a British spy TV series. The transition from corporate nine-to-fiver to star on the rise has been a whirlwind journey, but Chandran tells WION that acting feels like the most natural thing in the world. “There’ll be moments where I sort of catch myself and go, ‘Oh my God, I’m living my dream. But most of the time it’s like, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .