‘Bridgerton’ Nicola Coughlan Talks Penelope Twist, Hopes for Season 2

The next incorporates spoilers from all eight episodes of Netflix’s Bridgerton — proceed at your personal peril.

If there are any similarities between Nicola Coughlan and her Bridgerton character, Penelope Featherington, it’s that she is aware of easy methods to hold a secret.

When coyly requested about something she will be able to share relating to the luxurious, Regency-era London drama’s guaranteed-but-still-not-official Season 2, Coughlan swears she and her costars know little or no. This contains whether or not or not the sequence will begin shooting in March, as rumored.

“They’re conserving the whole lot tremendous, tremendous secretive so I don’t actually know but,” the Irish born Coughlan, whose earlier credit embody Derry Ladies and Harlots, tells TVLine convincingly. “Belief me, the forged, we’ve been speculating closely. I textual content Claudia Jessie (who performs her onscreen bestie Eloise) quite a bit and ask, ‘What do you assume is occurring?’ I’ve been speculating quite a bit about storylines and simply making an attempt to use logic the place I don’t know if logic works.”

Similar to us, Coughlan wonders about Penelope’s destiny now that she has been revealed — as soon as once more, SPOILER ALERT, lords and girls! — to viewers as Girl Whistledown, simply as her household’s fortunes have modified. (Although as we noticed, instances being what they had been then, Girl Featherington as a lady can’t inherit her late husband’s property.)

“She is unquestionably rich due to Whistledown. However what’s that going to imply?” Coughlan wonders. “I don’t know who’s taking on the household property and my dad, has he actually been killed? Is Eloise going to determine who Whistledown is? I do know none of that stuff. I’m actually simply as curious as you. Hopefully, they’ll say sure [to Season 2].”

Touted by Netflix as one of many service’s greatest launches up to now, Bridgerton is projected to be sampled by 63 million households in its first 4 weeks, and is the primary mission from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland take care of the streamer. Chris Van Dusen created and showruns the attractive and racially inclusive sudser, which relies on creator Julia Quinn’s wildly in style guide sequence of the identical identify.

As for Coughlan, who turns 34 this weekend and barely seems older than her character who is precisely half her age, the actress is grateful she and her household are wholesome and pleased throughout a pandemic — including that she will be able to’t wait to get again to work… at any time when and nevertheless that involves be.

bridgerton nicola coughlan twitter

TVLINE | You’re energetic and relatively humorous on Twitter. Have you ever tried to avoid social media?
I’m horrible. I’ll dive proper in not like among the others. Prefer to Phoebe [Dynevor], who performs Daphne, I used to be like, “Have you ever been trying?” And he or she’s like, “No, I keep away from my telephone.” And I’m going, “Yeah, me too” — however no, I didn’t. I’m simply taking a look at completely the whole lot. I swear to God, on Christmas Day [when Bridgerton was released I was checking Twitter and thought no one’s watching it then, which is fine. And then the day after Christmas, it became pretty evident that a lot of people were watching. When the numbers came out, I started looking and I can’t comprehend it. Sixty-three million is not even a number I’m sure that I could write down. Like, what? I’ve tried to take it all with a pinch of salt. I think it all feels very much like it’s happening in the ether.

TVLINE | It’s also nice to see your real hair. That was a wig on the show?
Yeah, it took some amount of time. Especially in January and February, when we did a lot of the studio stuff — which was like the Featherington house and the Bridgerton house. I was getting picked up at 4 in the morning, driven about an hour to set, and then the process would start. I’d get my hair all pinned down and then the wig cap and then the lace and styling… and putting in the embellishments and then the corsetry, and then the makeup. It was a serious process. I would say it took 2 hours 15 [minutes]. I had a stunning hair and make-up artist, Lou Bannell, and that’s the nicest factor you possibly can have. If it’s somebody you possibly can chat to, it makes the time go quite a bit faster. And there have been puppies within the make-up trailer. Not for our enjoyment, they had been simply owned by the crew. However typically, in case you had been very fortunate, you possibly can get a pet in your knee to play with.

TVLINE | Was the auditioning course of strenuous?
I had thought that it was going to be, as a result of my agent mentioned it’s a Shondaland/Netflix present and that appears like an enormous, massive deal, earlier than you’ve heard anything about it. I assumed, “Oh no. This audition course of goes to be horrible. It’s going to be months and months and it’s going to be conferences with executives and this and that.” I had like two days to prep for the primary audition with two or three brief scenes. I learn with the casting assistant after which the tapes went to America. And I assumed, ‘OK, bye-bye. I’ll by no means hear from you once more.’ Then I acquired a name two weeks later providing me the function, and I used to be so shocked. I mentioned to my agent, “Are they certain? They haven’t met me. And what if I’m not the appropriate individual?” Then you definately get to the desk learn and it’s Chris Van Dusen and [Shondaland’s] Betsy Beers and all these folks from Netflix, and also you’re scared to open your mouth. What if I open my mouth and so they say, “Oh no, truly. Sorry”? You hear horror tales like that. So, I used to be fearful.

Best TV QuotesTVLINE | Did it’s a must to do a chemistry learn with any of your castmates? You had nice chemistry with Claudia Jessie, who performs Eloise.
No, I hadn’t met anybody besides Claudia, however completely unrelated — we met by means of buddies, briefly, and she or he was tremendous beautiful. Individuals at all times say that Shonda has an intuition for actors and who’s going to be proper, and by way of me and Claudia they simply nailed it. She is the most effective individual to work with. She’s only a delight and whenever you work with somebody like that, it makes it straightforward. Claudia may have chemistry with anyone, to be sincere.

TVLINE | Did you are feeling any of the backlash from followers who had been mad at Penelope for revealing Marina’s being pregnant, as Whistledown?
Not an excessive amount of, and I feel it’s a must to develop a thick pores and skin about that and let folks have their opinions. That’s OK, too, as a result of folks have had these books of their lives for 20 years, so that you get that they’ve such a definite thought about who the character is, and I used to be cognizant of that. I needed to be delicate to that too and go, “I’m the Penelope that they’ve chosen. I hope I can do her justice for you.” On set, I attempted to depart all that behind, all the load of expectation, and simply do the job, you understand? With social media, you possibly can torture your self very simply.

TVLINE | Did you end up studying the books to get a way of what will occur subsequent?
Undoubtedly. I began on E book 4 [Romancing Mister Bridgerton], which is Penelope’s guide. Nonetheless, that’s 10 years on from The Duke and I, Season 1. So, I’d be in costume fittings speaking about Felicity Featherington and so they had been like, “Who’re you speaking about? That character doesn’t exist.” She’s the fourth sister who’s within the guide however not on the present. However I hadn’t had entry to all of the scripts but, so I used to be speaking about individuals who weren’t in our world however within the guide world. After which I went again to E book One and browse that. Then I went to E book Two [The Viscount Who Loved Me] and realized I wanted to cease; I wanted to not have my head be 10 years years forward of those occasions. If we get confirmed [for Season 2], the very first thing I’ll do is return and re-read E book Two. One of many issues that caught out for me, is that the followers all have their favourite love story, and so they connect with a sure couple. Loads of them speak about Gregory Bridgerton and who’s going to be [playing him], and is it going to be anyone actually scorching? And he’s like 12. You possibly can’t have a look at him like that. You possibly can’t reply the entire questions.

Bridgerton WhistledownTVLINE | What do you want about Penelope? She’s so totally different from Clare, the character you performed on Derry Ladies.
What I actually liked about her is that she’s so complicated. She’s not somebody you possibly can describe in three phrases. She’s quite a lot of issues, and she or he’s quite a lot of contradictory issues. Penelope is that this actually candy, type woman however she can be actually acerbic and do horrible issues. She’s a lady with nice ambition and who needs to have a profession, however she additionally needs to have love and marriage and infants and all that stuff. She’s a extremely low-status character when she’s on the balls as a result of nobody pays consideration to her. However then she’s a excessive standing character in that she’s Girl Whistledown, probably the most highly effective lady in London. All of that as an actor is a whole deal with as a result of it’s a little bit of the whole lot. There’s a lot effervescent underneath the floor that you just don’t see.

I’d like to hold going along with her on that journey to see what comes out and what adjustments about her. What I fairly like is that the writers have allowed her to be flawed, like all of the characters. I do know that followers are actually upset about what Penelope did to Marina. I used to be tremendous shocked that she did that, and actually didn’t assume that it was going to go there — but it surely went there.

TVLINE | Not that you’ve got a say with the writers, however what would you like for Penelope?
I wish to see Penelope mature a bit and have slightly extra confidence in herself. I’d prefer to see her be extra sincere, as a result of the worst deception is to Eloise, her finest pal. Eloise is completely upfront with Penelope on a regular basis, however Penelope doesn’t inform her a lot, and it stresses me out to consider when that lastly comes out. What’s it going to imply for his or her friendship? When a script has dimensions and ranges like that, it makes your job as an actor very easy as a result of it’s all there for you. I’ve by no means performed a personality earlier than that retains a lot under the floor.

TVLINE | Did you watch Gossip Woman and do you see the similarities?
The O.C. was my jam, that was my period.  I feel I used to be at college when Gossip Woman got here out and thought possibly I used to be too previous. After which we had been doing the press for this present and I stored getting requested about it, I assumed, “I actually ought to’ve watched Gossip Woman!” [Laughs] I do know issues in regards to the present by means of osmosis as a result of it was such part of popular culture. I feel there are particular similarities, however what’s additionally actually fascinating is that the thirst for gossip has been there for a whole bunch and a whole bunch of years. Human beings, we’re nosey and comparative inherently. We wish to know what’s occurring.

TVLINE | When Bridgerton premiered, had you had an opportunity to look at any of it earlier than, and who watched with you?
I had watched it earlier than and I’m actually grateful for that. I’m actually self-critical — “I shouldn’t pull that face. Why did I do this? If I had been to do it once more, I’d do this in a different way.” Then I get to the “recover from your self” second. After which I began to look at the present and recognize the whole lot else. By the point Christmas Day got here round, I had absolutely gotten over myself and was capable of get pleasure from it. I used to be in massive hassle with my Irish mom. She was not pleased with me. She was like, “What’s that? What’s going on?” And I informed her it was not my fault. [Laughs] However she loves it now. She’s a correct fan now and that’s all I want.

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