'Bridgerton': Nicola Coughlan is Ready For Some Queer Storylines

nicola coughlan bridgerton
credit: @nicolacoughlan /Instagram

Bridgerton season 2 may have just dropped on Netflix, but actress Nicola Coughlan is already looking ahead.

Speaking with Harper’s Bazaar, Nicola talked about the seasons to come (the show’s already been renewed for seasons 3 and 4) and her hopes for some queer storylines. She exclaimed,

“I would love it. I think the rest of the cast would too. It’s definitely a show that is breaking down a lot of boundaries. I think that’s the next one that we all want to go towards.”

According to Nicola, the show has already positioned itself perfectly to incorporate LGBTQ romances. She explained,

“What’s quite good, in a way, is that we’ve sort of established that it’s a fantasy world, so now we can sort of play with it. And I feel like that’s definitely something that can be explored really excitingly.”

Nicola is even hoping that she’ll possibly get to be a part of one such storyline when it comes to Penelope’s “season”. She noted,

“It’s a discussion I definitely want to have because [LGBTQ+] representation is so, so important.”

Nicola Coughlan has long been an active LGBTQ ally, often using her platform to support LGBTQ rights and issues of representation.

She previously told Bustle,

“Playing a gay character in Derry Girls and same-sex marriage being illegal until this year, I wanted to lend my voice. It’s not a cozy issue that’s easy to talk about, but I’ve got friends who have suffered because of legislation like this.”

She’s also spoken out on numerous occasions in support of trans and non-binary folks, most notably after J.K. Rowling released her transphobic essay in June 2020.

In response, Nicola posted a Twitter thread with various petitions to support trans organizations and spoke out about the disproportionate murders of black trans women.

Of course, activism doesn’t come without some backlash, which Nicola is happy to ignore. In February 2021, she joked on Twitter,

“If you decide you don’t want to watch things I’m in because of my support the LGBTQ+ community that’s fine, it’s your choice. I’m also in the most popular show Netflix has ever released so that also softens the blow somewhat.”

Nicola has been an LGBTQ ally long before she ever became famous. In 2015, she even went door to door campaigning for Ireland’s equal-marriage referendum. She previously told The Guardian,

“This was pre anyone knowing who I was, so I didn’t have a big platform to do stuff, but I did what I could.”

But now that Nicola has her platform, she’s not wasting it. In addition to advocating for LGBTQ rights, she’s also spoken out in favor of safe and legal abortions (Ireland only legalized abortion a few years ago).

That said, Nicola is also working hard to use her voice in the right way and at the right times. She explained,

“I used to try and speak out on everything because there’s so much to be angry about. But I’ve realized that trying to have a dog in every fight is probably not going to be as helpful as I want it to be.”

You can currently catch Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 2 on Netflix. She’s also set to return as Claire Devlin in the third and final season of Derry Girls.

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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.