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Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan felt 'super free' filming Channel 4's Big Mood as she compares 'very different' shows

The Irish actress stars opposite Lydia West in the sitcom

Nicola Coughlan and Lydia West in Big Mood, Nicola Coughlan is Bridgerton split image
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
28 March 2024
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Nicola Coughlan has revealed that she felt "super free" while filming Channel 4's new comedy Big Mood compared to Netflix's Bridgerton

The Irish actress stars opposite Lydia West in the series as best friends Maggie and Eddie whose ten-year friendship is tested when Maggie's bipolar disorder makes an unwelcome return.

The Irish actress spoke to HELLO! and other press ahead of the show's release and was asked if she could use more of her comedy skills in the role compared to Bridgerton. 

WATCH: Get a first look at Penelope and Colin in season three of Bridgerton

"I think, because this was written by one of my best friends, it's very much the vernacular and the way in which we speak to one another," she explained. "So I felt a lot of freedom in the performance."

Recalling her first reading of the script, Nicola said it was "very obvious" who Maggie was and told director Rebecca Asher that she wanted to be "quite free in the performance". 

Nicola Coughlan in Big Mood© Chris Baker
Nicola Coughlan plays Maggie in Big Mood

"You have to be cognisant of editing and [with] something like Bridgerton, which will do 40 takes for a single scene and 20 different camera angles, you have to be super aware of every single movement you're doing," said the actress, who portrays Penelope Featherington in the Netflix period drama. 

Comparing the two series, she continued: "They are very different shows, but I felt super, super free to play her how I felt she should be played and with that looseness and freedom."

Lydia West and Nicola Coughlan in Big Mood© Channel 4
Nicola stars opposite Lydia West in the sitcom

Filming the comedy didn't come without its difficulties, though, as Nicola was still filming season three of Bridgerton for the first three weeks of the shoot. 

"It was challenging," she said. "We shot this all in seven weeks and I was shooting both shows at the same time for half of this, so it was quite mad. But it was a really special experience."

The six-part series, which is written and created by Camilla Whitehill, is described as a "vivacious and rebellious portrayal of female friendship" and explores themes such as mental health. 

Lydia West and Nicola Coughlan in Big Mood© Chris Baker
The series follows best friends Maggie and Eddie

It follows inseparable best friends Maggie and Eddie who have lived in each other's pockets for the past ten years.

"But with the rest of their lives looming, careers hanging in the balance, and Maggie’s bipolar disorder making an unwelcome return to form, Eddie begins to question whether this friendship is really in their best interests. It's a pivotal point in both their lives, bringing to the surface those all-important questions – could sleeping with your former History teacher be the key to happiness? Is a basement Rat Hotel a functional alternative to pest control? 

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton© Netflix
Nicola Coughlan was filming Bridgerton at the same time

"With their twenties behind them, Maggie and Eddie’s relationship faces the future – can it survive?

Big Mood will be available to watch and stream on Channel 4 from March 28.

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