Nicola Coughlan reveals why she thought she'd be fired from Bridgerton
25 March 2022, 12:23 | Updated: 25 March 2022, 12:40
"I should have been like, 'This is amazing.' Instead, I was like, 'This is fishy.'"
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Nicola Coughlan initially thought she would be fired from her role as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton.
Bridgerton has amassed a legion of fans since it burst onto our screens on Christmas Day in 2020. People fell in love with the regency era costumes, the soundtrack's classical take on modern pop hits and the scandalous sex scenes. Unsurprisingly, the show quickly became Netflix's most-watched series of all time (until Squid Game came along…)
Nicola has now returned for Bridgerton's highly-anticipated second season, which dropped on Netflix on March 25, but the 35-year-old actress has now revealed that shortly after being cast in season 1 she was worried that she would lose her role because she wasn't a big Hollywood name.
Nicola has found success in Channel 4's Derry Girls, but this is her first time in a Netflix series. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Nicola revealed her reaction shortly after landing the role. She said: "I should have been like, 'This is amazing.' Instead, I was like, 'This is fishy. I don't know about this.'"
Nicola was mainly weary about the role because "she had known plenty of actors who were hired onto prestige projects and then fired when the studio demanded a bigger name". But as we know, the rest is history, and now Penelope is one of Bridgerton's favourite characters.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen even said of Nicola's performance: "I'm happy to say that everyone loved her as much as I did."
This hasn't been the first time Nicola has been honest about her fear of holding onto her Bridgerton role, though. While being interviewed on The One Show, Nicola said she thought she would lose her job because she couldn't walk in heels.
"Ellen Mirojnick, who is the costume designer on season one, said, 'You're tiny, you're too small so we're gonna put you in heels,'" Nicola explained.
"I was just terrified to get fired because I couldn't believe my luck at getting the job. I said, 'Yes, absolutely.' If they were like, 'You have to wear a giant clown suit,' I would have been like, 'I would love that, yes please.'"
She continued: "On my first day on set, we were walking around and I toppled over not once, not twice, but three times. Three times! I thought, 'They’re going to think I’m drunk. They’re going to think I’m crazy.'"