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Why Indira From The Little Mermaid Looks So Familiar

The Disney live-action remake train just keeps on chugging, not that you'll hear any complaints from fans of "The Little Mermaid." Unless you've been living under the sea, then you very likely know that the 1989 animated classic is getting the same treatment as "The Lion King," "Mulan," and many others in the coming years. And just to make sure that everyone — even those under the sea — is getting the news, Disney aired a trailer during the Oscars.

There's been plenty of discussion about the cast of the live-action remake already. Much of it has notably been about its multiracial casting, but there are other matters getting fans excited: Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and so on and so forth. Among the recognizable faces is that of Tamil British actor Simone Ashley, who plays Indira, one of Ariel's sisters and another mermaid princess of the deep.

Simone Ashley called Detective Pikachu adorable

Before landing her more widely recognized roles, Simone Ashley did what most actors do early in their careers and hopped around bit parts that put her face on-screen and paid the bills. These included quick turns in CBBC's fantasy series "Wolfblood" and Season 3 of the acclaimed crime drama "Broadchurch."

So it was with 2019's "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu." Though she's only on-screen for a matter of seconds, in a part credited on IMDb only as "Girlfriend," she nonetheless plays a rather important role in establishing the film's rules.

It comes relatively early on, after Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) meets the deerstalker-wearing Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) and realizing he is able to understand what the cute little Pokémon is saying, worries that this means he's actually going crazy. When he asks a passing couple — one member of which is played by Ashley — if they can understand him, the girlfriend does what most people in this universe do with these creatures.

"Yeah, pika-pika-pika," she says, mimicking what she and everyone else — though not Tim — can hear from Pikachu. "He's adorable!" When Pikachu replies "you're adorable," it's assumed that all she hears is more "pika-pika-pika." "They can't understand me, kid," he says to Tim.

She's been popular mean girl Olivia Hanan in Sex Education

Simone Ashley herself sees her role on Netflix high school dramedy "Sex Education" as something of a breakout, saying as much in a 2023 interview with Elle. While the show will always primarily focus on the characters of Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield); his mom, Jean (Gillian Anderson); Eric Effion (Ncuti Gatwa); and Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), "Sex Education" also has a stellar ensemble of characters, including Olivia Hanan (Ashley).

Olivia starts as about as deep in the vein of a popular mean girl as you can imagine. Her clique at Moordale Secondary School is literally called "the Untouchables." As such, she has no time for social outcasts other than to judge or mock them.

But like practically every other high schooler, her attitude covers up very real insecurities related to maturing in a world that simply doesn't want to talk about teenagers' sexuality. Though it would be inaccurate to call her Otis' friend, she has certainly come to appreciate his knowledgeable advice about sex.

However, Ashley will not be returning for Season 4. There's a very good reason for this.

Ashley plays Lady Kate on Bridgerton

Airing in 2022, Season 2 of "Bridgerton" had just about as many steamy love scenes as Season 1. Of course, events tend to revolve around Lady Whistledown's (Julie Andrews) scandal sheet and Penelope Featherington's (Nicola Coughlan) attempts to keep her identity as its author under wraps. Still, if there is another primary plot, it would have to be the romance between Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), and Kathani "Kate" Sharma (Simone Ashley).

A spinster — which, in Regency times, means that she is still unmarried at the ripe old age of her mid-20s — Kate has arrived from India with her stepmother, Lady Mary (Shelley Conn), and half sister, Edwina (Charithra Chandran), with the aim of finding the latter a husband in society. Edwina attracts the attention of Anthony, something that is, at first, much to Kate's dismay because she and Anthony dislike each other quite intensely. But it doesn't take long for their mutual dislike to give way to falling hopelessly in love with each other.

And the reason she won't be returning to "Sex Education"? Rather simply, it's because Lady Kate Bridgerton has been confirmed to return for "Bridgerton" Season 3. Sounds like playing royalty suits her, albeit not always the kind with fins.