Simone Ashley is an English actress, born 30 March 1995
Her real name is Simone Ashwini Pillai (!)
Born to Tamil Indian parents Latha and Gunasekharan, Ashley is from Camberley, Surrey, England.
She shed some light on her upbringing in this interview: “I grew up in a household full of Indian academics, y’know, the doctors, the engineers, the accountants – it’s pretty cliche! I was never a budding academic, and always thrived in creative field.
You may recognised her from the hit Netflix series Sex Education. Simone plays Olivia Hanan, one of the ‘Untouchables’ at Moordale Secondary School, who goes to Otis (Asa Butterfield) for advice on her sex life. She’s the one who deep-throated a banana and threw up on Eric (Ncuti Gatwa).
“I really believe in myself and in other dark skinned women, especially South Asian women! We are smart, we are talented and we all have something special to offer as artists!”
“Do it! Get out of your head and just do it. Stop worrying about if people will ‘want’ you, and just do it. We can be blinded by the commercialized side of the industry and think they only want a certain look a certain type of person. But someone has to change the game sometime!”
“Look at all the incredible movies, tv shows and artist out there of Desi heritage. And they are being celebrated big time. We need to celebrate each other and not guard ourselves by beingcompetitive. Indian girls are so beautiful, and I am so happy to see more and more projects being made that involve all of us!”
“There is a lyric from the Indian musical movie ‘Lagaan’ that says :
“Koi raah mein na thaam jaawe, chale chalo Toot gayi jo ungli utthi Paanchon mili to ban gaye mutthi Eka badhta hi jaawe Chale chalo, chale chalo”
“May no one halt in the road, come. The accusing finger upon us has been broken
because we five have come together like a fist May our unity only grow Come, let us move on”
“Be a fighter! Be a wolf! If you want to do it, then go do it. Don’t let anyone stop you or tell you otherwise.”