bridgerton Cast

Nicola Coughlan – Bridgerton Cast

Today is her birthday, so what a best time to talk about Nicola Coughlan, our dear Penelope? Check it out!

Life and Career

Nicola was born on January 9, 1987 in Galway, Ireland, and grew up in Oranmore. She is the youngest of four siblings. She decided to be an actress at the age of 5 after watching her sister perform in a school play. She trained to be an actress at The Oxford School of Drama as well as Birmingham School of Acting. She has a degree from the National University of Ireland in Classical Civilisation and English. She currently resides  in London.

Childhood Picture of Nicola Couglan with her brother
Nicola at an early age with her older brother, Kieran

Nicola’s on screen debut came in the form of a controversial short film called The Phantom Cnut (2004) in the role of Katie. In her teenage years she made appearances in an animated series called The Fairytaler (1998).

The Phantom Cnut (2004) - IMDb
Nicola’s first on screen appearance in The Phantom Cnut (2004)

As well as her television credits and voice credits, she’s had roles in theatre. One of her biggest theatre roles was in Jess and Joe Forever where she performed for two years in theatres in London and Scotland. 

Nicola in the play Jess and Joe Forever

“Coughlan is very small in stature but uses her diminutiveness to striking effect. Her stage presence shone through in the monologue using her native Irish accent.”

– Susan Elkin (journalist) commented 

Her breakthrough role was in the popular television series, Derry Girls (2018) where she plays the role of Clare Devlin. Because of her role on this television show, she was able to get the attention of the renowned television producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes, who was in the works of a brand new television series, Bridgerton (2020). She send one video test and was cast as the kind hearted and witty Penelope Featherington. 

Nicola as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton (2020)

Fun Facts about Nicola

  • Favorite actor: Andrew Scott ; Actresses: Saoirse Ronan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake
  • Favorite Films: Lady Bird (2017), Call Me By Your Name (2017), The Wizard of Oz series, Star Wars original trilogy
  • She likes to cook, read biographies, and watch TV shows and films in her free time
  • Participates in humanitarian activities like supporting the LGBTQ+ community, fighting for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, calling out tabloids for body-shaming women, fighting racism, and raising awareness for climate change.


2004The Phantom CnutKatie
2012DoctorsMarie Callaghan
2018HarlotsHannah Dalton
2018–presentDerry GirlsClare Devlin
2020BridgertonPenelope Featherington
2021Taskmaster’s New Year TreatHerself 

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