Nicola Coughlan Was Told She Couldn’t Look Like She ‘Kissed Someone Before’ on ‘Bridgerton’ (Exclusive)

Nicola Coughlan’s Bridgerton character, Penelope Featherington, is shedding her innocence in season 3.

The 37-year-old actress opens up to PEOPLE about the challenges of playing a character that “doesn’t know what sex is.”

“Even when we had the first kiss, they had to say to me, ‘You can’t seem like you kissed someone before,’ which is like, okay, yeah, because even it’s hand placement, since it looks a little too mature and you’re like, okay, pull it back, she’s never done this,” the actress says of her intimate scenes with on-screen love Luke Newton.

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of “Bridgerton”.

Liam Daniel/Netflix


Newton — who plays Colin Bridgerton on the hit Netflix series — also tells PEOPLE that “ultimately, the goal was for it to seem really authentic to those two characters.”

“We just wanted to honor that because people have a lot of love for their relationship, and we wanted to keep it really true to that,” the actor, 31, shares. “So we would have discussions about how their first encounter would be and what the intimacy would be like, and if it would be, and we talked to the intimacy coordinator of even the intensity of the scene and if it was quite…how gentle they would be with each other when it’s the start of something and where we can take it from there.”

Coughlan admits that keeping Colin and Penelope’s friends-to-love romance authentic was important to both her and Newton.

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of “Bridgerton”.

Liam Daniel/Netflix


“The intimacy stuff feels very real,” Coughlan says. “It feels very grounded in two people that are not trying to sort of, that they’re awkward in front of one another, this and that, and all of a sudden they become like Lotharios in the bedroom and whatever, they get to be intimate together in a very real and beautiful way, and I think that’s what makes it so affecting.” 

“In those intimate moments, they find moments to laugh and you see them figuring it out and doing it together, and I love it,” she adds.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The first part of Bridgerton season 3 premieres on May 16, and part 2 drops on June 13. Seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton — as well as its spinoff, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story — are now streaming on Netflix.

Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Shares Highlights from Family Trip to Disney: ‘My Pride’

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is bonding with her family at the happiest place on earth! The Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star ...

Sienna Miller Brings Daughter to ‘Horizon’ Premiere at Cannes Film Festival

Sienna Miller had a special fan by her side at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival! The actress, 42, attended the ...

Bachelor in Paradise’s Becca Kufrin, Thomas Jacobs Celebrate Buying New House

Becca Kufrin and her husband Thomas Jacobs are new homeowners! The Bachelor in Paradise alums announced in an Instagram post on Sunday, May ...

Brittany Mahomes Shares Glimpse of Her Family’s ‘Perfect Sunday’

Off-season Sundays are easy for Brittany Mahomes and husband Patrick Mahomes! The 2024 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, 28, posted photos ...

Free Fire Max Redeem Codes of 20th May 2024 100 percent working Active how to redeem ff codes in hindi Free Rewards items

Free Fire Redeem Codes: Gamers playing Free Fire Max are always waiting for new redeem codes. Redeem code is something ...

Jessica Alba and Cash Warren Celebrate 16th Wedding Anniversary

Jessica Alba and Cash Warren are celebrating their wedding anniversary in style! On Sunday, May 19, Alba, 43, shared a post on ...

Kevin Costner Receives Standing Ovation for ‘Horizon’ at Cannes

Kevin Costner just received quite a standing ovation for his first directing effort in 11 years. The 69-year-old actor became ...

Zoe Saldaña Says ‘Emilia Pérez’ Film Celebrates Mexico’s Culture

Zoe Saldaña is giving fresh insight about Emilia Pérez in France! During a 2024 Cannes Film Festival press conference that ...

Ryan Sutter Says He and Wife Trista Are ‘Great’ Following Cryptic Posts

Ryan Sutter says he and wife Trista Sutter are "great" while also revealing she's "inaccessible" to her family right now ...

Whoopi Goldberg Voices Michelle Buteau’s Breasts in New Movie ‘Babes’

Whoopi Goldberg's latest movie role is a "dream come true" for fellow actor Michelle Buteau. During an interview on The ...

Leave a Comment