Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan sat down with us to chat about all things Bridgerton, her brand new Netflix series from Shondaland, which just so happens to also star none other than Julie Andrews.
The period drama is based on a series of hugely popular historical-romance novels and is being executive produced by another big name in the business, Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal).
Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all. It’s also been lovingly described as a cross between Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey — which is exactly our cup of tea.
With such a huge fan base already established, Nicola revealed that she constantly felt the pressure. “I wondered if I was a clerical error, because I didn’t know why they would offer me such a good role on such a prestigious show,” the Irish actress proclaimed.
“I did one audition and thought I would never hear anything, and then got offered it and couldn’t believe my luck. And when I found out Julie Andrews had been cast I cried from excitement,” Nicola gushed, as she went on to talk all about this glamorous period piece, and what it has to offer.
“It’s this really lavish, escapist, period drama. It’s colourful, exciting, dramatic and funny. I play this character called Penelope, and it’s her first year out in regency London’s high society, and she’s really terrified of the marriage market”.
“It’s a really diverse cast and it just feels fresh and exciting and new,” she described proudly.
The eight-part series follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market.
Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) casts aspersions on Daphne.
Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.
Nicola warned though, this is definitely not one to watch with your granny in the room. “It’s very very racy, certainly not a period drama to watch with your granny. If you do watch it with her, maybe hiding behind a cushion is probably the best thing to do.” Sounds like it will be right up our alley, to be honest…
We can’t wait to watch Bridgerton when it lands on Netflix tomorrow, December 25.