The actress ended season 2 of the Netflix series with her character, Kathani "Kate" Sharma, marrying Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), and Ashley has high hopes that the next installment will see the two expanding their family.
"I'm excited to see Kate become viscountess and head of the household," the 27-year-old told IMDb. "I think she has much to learn from Anthony. They'll be two little partners. I'd love to see them have a baby, to put it simply. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't."
It was recently announced that season 3 of the Regency-era series will focus on the love story between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, but that doesn't mean the fan-favorite duo -- dubbed 'Kathony' -- will fade into the background. In the Bridgerton novels, written by Julia Quinn, Kate and Anthony end up with four kids, so it's likely that fans will get to see them stepping into the role of parents at some point during the show's reign.
Season 2 of the series took a different (translation: simmering, slow-burn) approach in building up the romance between Anthony and Kate. As the season begins, Anthony has his eye on Kate's younger sister and the newly minted "diamond" of the season, Edwina (Charithra Chandran), because -- as he says right off the bat -- she ticks all the boxes. But it's clear over the course of the season, he's unable to escape Kate's orbit.
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‘Bridgerton’ Cast Stuns at Season 2 Premiere and Spills Set Secrets! Exclusive)
When ET spoke with Bailey and Ashley, they shared how playing the growing tension between Anthony and Kate over the course of the season allowed them the opportunity to explore other aspects of their characters' roller-coaster relationship.
"I think it allowed us as actors to just dive into the character development and I think tension makes us more invested in what's going to happen," Ashley said, "and I think all the fireworks are there and when it doesn't happen, it's very [frustrating]. So yeah, I was down for it. I was running with it."
"Psychologically, it's complicated with these two characters," Bailey noted. "There's a lot they needed to overcome in order to get there and there's different ways in which it's psychologically rich. And there’s so much. It's great when they were naked in front of each other psychologically before they were physically."
Bailey and Ashley had many memorable scenes this season, many of which were adapted straight from Quinn's novel, like the iconic pall mall tournament and Kate's bee sting in the garden. The actors shared that when it came time to film Anthony and Kate's first sex scene in episode 7, it was all done with care and consideration.
"It's always inventive," Ashley said of how the intimacy coordinators put together the love scenes. "I think it's just practicality. It's about protecting the actors, it's about creating boundaries and making sure it's a safe environment for us to choreograph these scenes together. We had to take it seriously in order to have fun with it on the day and I think we did a good job with that."
Bailey agreed, "I think so too and the toolkit, you know, it's quite pragmatic and it has to be in order for it to feel safe." He and Ashley recollected using a John Lewis neck pillow during one of their intimate scenes. "One side of it is solid, one is soft. But the toolkit is ever-expanding and it's the difference between seasons 1 and 2, and I'm sure going forward the industry will be more and more resourceful."