Who plays Penelope in Bridgerton and where have you seen Nicola Coughlan before?

26 December 2020, 17:28

Bridgerton | Official Teaser Trailer | Netflix

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Who is Nicola Coughlan and what else has she been in? Your need-to-know on the Bridgerton star.

Bridgerton has *finally* dropped on Netflix - and, if you haven't binged every episode already, you can bet it's about to become your new TV obsession.

Read more: How to watch Netflix with friends using the new Netflix party feature

The Regency era series is from Shondaland, the makers of Grey's Anatomy, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Bridgerton family in early 19th Century London.

As well as the Bridgertons, the Featherington family are central to the plot of the series - and you may recognise the actress who plays Penelope Featherington.

Here's your need-to-know on Nicola Coughlan.

Who is Nicola Coughlan? What's her age and background?

Nicola, 33, is an actress from Galway, Ireland.

She has a degree in England and Classical Civilisation from the University of Ireland, Galway, and trained at The Oxford School of Drama and Birmingham School of Acting.

Bridgerton creator Chris Van Busen discusses Netflix period drama

What has Nicola Coughlan been in?

Nicola is best known for her role as Clare Devlin in Derry Girls, a role she began playing in 2018.

She also appeared as Hannah Dalton in Harlots in the same year.

Read more: Why is Gossip Girl leaving Netflix?

Nicola plays Clare in Derry Girls
Nicola plays Clare in Derry Girls. Picture: Channel 4

Who does Nicola Coughlan play in Bridgerton?

Nicola plays Penelope Featherington, an intelligent and 17-year-old member of the affluent Featherington family

Describing the character to Heart.co.uk, Nicola said: "Penelope is a really hard character to describe in a sentence cos she’s really complex.

"When you first meet her she’s this really sweet and innocent young girl, which she totally is.

"It’s her first year out in society which means she's on the marriage mart.

Nicola plays Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton
Nicola plays Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton. Picture: Netflix

"She's eligible for a marriage. She’s only 17, and she knows herself she’s not ready. She’s not ready to be presented to the queen and go to these balls and meet all these people, and she’s terrified and shy, and then her cousin Marina comes into her life and very quickly changes everything for her."

Speaking about the show, Nicola added: "I think it’s like a period drama but not like one you’ve seen before. In that it’s totally reimagined regency london, it’s based on these novels [by Julia Quinn], but these novels are only 20 years old so we’re not adapting some sort of sacred cow, some Jane Austen.

"So it kind of gave it amazing creative freedom to create a new version of a period drama."

Is Nicola Coughlan on Instagram?

She is! You can follow Nicola @nicolacoughlan.


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