Actress Nicola Coughlan is opening up about “Bridgerton” season 2, which was finally released on Netflix last Friday.
At the end of the Netflix period drama’s first season, readers learned the identity behind Lady Whistledown. However, it wasn’t until the season 2 finale that her best friend, Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jesse), realizes that her best friend Penelope Featherington is really the notorious author she’s been hunting ever since the show’s first season.
Coughlan opened up to Entertainment Weekly about how Penelope finds power in Lady Whistledown.
Nicola Coughlan Reveals That Lady Whistledown Is ‘The Only Power She Has In The World’
After Eloise gets accused of being Lady Whistledown, Penelope writes a scathing piece about her and then decides to give it up for good.
“She only gives it up for Eloise,” Coughlan said. “That’s how much she loves her. That’s the only person she’d give it up for. But once she’s lost Eloise and she’s lost Colin, she’s got nothing left and that’s the only power she has in the world.”
She added that Penelope wouldn’t know who she was without Lady Whistledown at this point in the show.
“Because she developed it when she was a kid, essentially, and it’s become such a part of her identity. The line between Penelope and Whistledown was much clearer to her,” she explained. “In season 2, she can’t help herself from fishing for compliments from Eloise and enjoying hearing the ton talk about how great she is.”
“It’s a certain level of arrogance that seeped into her day-to-day as Penelope can’t help but make little comments at balls under her breath and stuff like that,” she added. “She hasn’t really figured out where that balance is and how the lines have become blurred.”
Nicola Coughlan Opens Up About Penelope’s Falling Out With Colin Bridgerton
Since the show’s first season, it’s been clear that Penelope has had a crush on Colin Bridgerton, who had previously put her in the friendzone. In the season finale, just when Penelope thinks there’s a chance that he might see her in a more romantic light, she overhears Colin telling his friends that he wouldn’t be caught dead dating her.
Coughlan explained “that’s something taken directly from the books. He says it to Anthony and Benedict in the book. Luke Newton and I both spoke to Chris Van Dusen about that moment and said, ‘Is that something you’re going to put in the show?’ And he said, ‘We’ve put it in and taken it out multiple times.’”
“But I always felt like it was important because Penelope needs to realize Colin is a fallible human being,” she continued. “He’s is not a god; he’s not an Adonis. If they’re ever going to have any type of relationship, it’s not healthy for her to see him in that way. She’s got to see him flaws and all, and she currently doesn’t. In the long run, it’s probably a good thing, but it’s not going to be an immediate good thing.”
Nicola Coughlan Says That Penelope Is ‘At Her Lowest Point’ At Season’s End
“She’s definitely at her lowest point. The three most important things in her life are Colin, Eloise, and Whistledown,” she explained. “She begins with having lost three out of the three, and then she reclaims one, so her world has come crumbling down. She thought she could keep all the plates spinning and, ultimately, she couldn’t.”
When asked who Penelope was hurt by the most, she revealed, “Oh, that’s tough. I think it’s in that order. It’s Eloise, Colin, and then her family. She’s used to her family hurting her, so that’s just like par for the course. Colin, that’s got to cut deep, but for Eloise to say, ‘I never want to see or speak to you ever again…’ God, what could hurt more than that?”
That being said, she also addressed by she didn’t seem all that interested in the family’s ruby mine scheme constructed by her cousin Jack Featherington (Rupert Young). “She’s a teenager; what’s going on in her world is the most important thing,” she explained. “What they’re up to is not the most interesting to her.”
All eight episodes of “Bridgerton” season 2 is available to stream on Netflix.