Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan says nude scene felt like a ‘f**k you’ to body-shamers

Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan spoke out about reclaiming the narrative on her body. (Getty)

Dearest reader, the latest season of Bridgerton is much the talk of the ton. And Nicola Coughlan has discussed her nude scene in season three, calling it a “f**k you” to body-shamers.

Warning: Season three Bridgerton spoilers ahead.

Season three of the Netflix period drama is based on Julia Quinn‘s novel Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, with the new series discussing Penelope’s fallout with her former best friend, Eloise Bridgerton, as well as featuring out gay actor James Phoon.

This series also finally sees Coughlan’s Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton’s (Luke Newton) relationship taking centre stage, after years of Penelope’s unrequited affections towards the son of the Viscount. 

Bridgerton’s Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) finally get their moment in season three. (Netflix)

The 37-year-old actress said that filming her nude scene was a turning point against the cruel vitriol she had been subjected to about her body. Back in 2022, Coughlan took to Instagram to plead with her followers: “If you have an opinion about my body, please, please don’t share it with me. I am just one real-life human being, and it’s really hard to take the weight of thousands of opinions on how you look being sent directly to you every day.”

“I specifically asked for certain lines and moments to be included,” the Derry Girls star told Stylist Magazine on her new nude moments. “There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice.”

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“It just felt like the biggest ‘f**k you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering,” she continued.

“I felt beautiful in the moment, and I thought: ‘When I’m 80, I want to look back on this and remember how f**king hot I looked!'”

In another interview with The Los Angeles Times, Coughlan had her doubts about wearing a strapless thong during filming. 

“I went to the bathroom and looked in the full-length mirror. I was like, ‘Absolutely not,’” she said. “I hid it down the bottom of the laundry basket. I was like, ‘How am I going to do this?'”

But in the end, she grew comfortable in her nudity on-set. “By the end of the day, we were both lying under a blanket, not clothed, just chillin.’ We were like, ‘This is why nudists do it.'”

But Newton had his own reservations before he was able to lay bare on set. 

He told People Magazine: “I think there’s always been that underlying sort of question mark with these two characters,” he said of Colin and Penelope’s relationship. “And people have obviously wanted them to get to the point that we’re getting to now, so I guess it was always in the back of our minds.

“You kind of play that in previous seasons and in previous scenes, but you can’t really prepare for stripping down naked in front of your friends,” he said.

The first half of Bridgerton season three is streaming now on Netflix. Part two arrives on the streaming site on 13 June.

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