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Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan reveals 'terror' at season three reaction

The actress will reprise her role as Lady Penelope Featherington

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington
Megan Bull
TV Writer
9 April 2024
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Lady Penelope Featherington is our diamond of the season. Returning for a third instalment, Bridgerton's perennial wallflower is getting her very own love story with Colin Bridgerton this time around, and it's Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton at the helm. 

Penelope and Colin in season three of Bridgerton© Netflix
Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton as Penelope and Colin

Writing for Harper's Bazaar, Nicola, 37, has opened up about her hopes and fears for season three, revealing that it's forced her to step out of her comfort zone and into the light. "The major difference is that in the first two seasons, Pen was a supporting character, the oddball in the corner, but this time she's very much centre-stage," explained the actress. 

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan stunned in her glamorous plum satin gown at the Erdem show. © Jeff Spicer
The actress has been forced to come out of her comfort zone for season three

"The only issue with this is that 'oddball in the corner' is actually a niche I do very well. I'm comfortable there! Strange girl no one pays attention to? Where do I sign up?"

Noting that she finds it "harder" to have more eyes on her, Nicola added that she's been pleasantly surprised by the fan reaction to teaser clips from season three. "I girded my loins for terrible comments, and when they were so positive, I was shocked. It's so nerve-racking because the show is big, like hundreds-of-millions-of-viewers big, and to see people respond positively to it means everything."

While Nicola is "terrified" of the "scrutiny, the opinions" and "the number of eyes" that'll be watching her in Bridgerton and Big Mood in the coming months, the TV star is taking it all in her stride. 

"Ultimately, the thing that's making me step out of the shadows, even though it terrifies me, is that I'm so proud of the work I've done, the people I've worked with and these beautiful shows we've made," she concluded. 

Season 3 will focus on Colin and Penelope
Season three will premiere on May 16

Set to premiere on May 16, season three of Bridgerton will catch up with Penelope and Colin, following his shocking remarks about her in series two. 

"Bridgerton is back for its third season and finds Penelope Featherington has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin Bridgerton after hearing his disparaging words about her last season," teases the synopsis. 

Colin and Penelope in Bridgerton season 3© Netflix
Will Colin finally see Penelope as more than a friend?

"She has, however, decided it's time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope's attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly. 

"Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he's disheartened to realise that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly."

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