Nicola Coughlan reveals stress of fame after filming Derry Girls and Bridgerton

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan has described shooting the final episodes of the acclaimed sitcom as a “really stressful” experience

The series follows a group of schoolgirls growing up in Northern Ireland towards the end of the Troubles, with Coughlan playing studious and sensible Clare Devlin.

In the time since Derry Girls season 2 wrapped, the comedy star has earned international attention thanks to her role on Netflix’s smash-hit period drama Bridgerton.

Both high-profile projects caused a chaotic work schedule, as she had to race to finish her Penelope Featherington scenes before starting work on Derry Girls just two days later.

Asked if it was emotional signing off in the last ever episode of Derry Girls, Coughlan said: “I think, because it was filming in COVID and it was really stressful, I don’t know that we really processed it.

“It was weird. I think it’s a show that now it really feels like it belongs to the fans, if that make sense.”

She continued: “It felt like a blur because I wrapped Bridgerton on a Friday morning – [production company] Shondaland were really kind to me and compacted all my final [scenes] – and it was heavy going because it was all the big stuff for Penelope.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton Liam Daniel/Netflix

“Wrapped on a Friday morning, flew on the Saturday, costume and makeup on the Sunday and into set with Derry Girls on a Monday. So my head was fried.

Coughlan added: “But yeah, Shondaland, I’m eternally grateful that they kind of made that work and made it happen. The experience was a blur, but the scripts are great. They’re always great.”

Bridgerton seasons 1-2 are available to stream now.

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