Bridgerton star Simone Ashley has revealed advice she gave to newcomer Masali Baduza (Noughts + Crosses), who joined the season 3 cast as Michaela Stirling, whose appearance has been highly anticipated by fans.

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Michaela, whose character has been gender-swapped from the novels, made her debut to the Ton in the final episode of season 3, introducing herself to Francesca (Hannah Dodd) and Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie).

Without spoiling too much, Michaela - or Michael in the novels - is a pivotal character in Francesca's love story, and will undoubtedly prove to be a focal point in the upcoming season, if it were to focus on Francesca.

In an interview, Ashley - who plays Kate Bridgerton - revealed what advice she gave to Baduza.

Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Ruth Gemmell as Anthony, Kate and Violet Bridgerton. They are all, turned two one side, looking ahead with serious intent and smiling.
Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Ruth Gemmell as Anthony, Kate and Violet Bridgerton. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

"I think to be just deeply proud about what you're representing," she told People. "And [know] that many people are going to be so seen by the story that you're going to be telling. And that we're all here with open arms and so excited."

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The actress also applauded the decision to gender-swap the character, telling the publication she things its "what the world needs more of, more representation".

Victor Alli, who plays John Stirling in the series, told People that it was "really cool" to learn about Michaela's character.

"I was told that they're going to switch up a bit before we did any of that filming," he said. "And it was quite nice. It was really pleasant to sort of read that introduction."

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As for whether fans will get to see more of Francesca's love story in season 4, it isn't clear just yet which sibling will take centre stage.

Due to the series going out of order in the books for season 3, it really could be any of the Bridgerton siblings up next!

"It's possible that we will continue to go out of order," showrunner Jess Brownell told The Hollywood Reporter.

"I'm really excited about Benedict's journey in season 3. It felt like it was too early to have him settled down. He's such a passionate character, and we wanted him to go on a few more adventures before we get to his season."

Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton. He is sat down on a chair with one hand resting on his head.
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton. Liam Daniel/Netflix

When asked if Benedict's love story could be next during an appearance on The View, Luke Thompson joked: "How dare you ask me such personal questions?"

He added: "I don't know. I know that it's so lovely [and] that one of the best things about a TV job is that you get to really explore a character long-form like that and fill him in slowly. So as long as I keep getting to do that."

Bridgerton seasons 1-3 are available to watch on Netflix now. You can buy the Bridgerton book series on Amazon.

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