Bridgerton’s Claudia Jessie jokes about the ‘real’ reason she and Nicola Coughlan are so close

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Lauren Geall
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Nicola Coughlan and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton

Speaking in a new interview ahead of the release of Netflix’s Bridgerton season two next week, Claudia Jessie shared a funny anecdote about her time on set with Nicola Coughlan.     

Alongside all the beautiful costumes, incredible casting and overwhelming sexual tension, one of our favourite things about the first season of Netflix’s Bridgerton had to be the relationship between Eloise and Penelope.

The pair – played by Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan respectively – provide a refreshing break from all the pomp and circumstance of the ton, and find friendship because they accept each other in a society where being different isn’t celebrated.

In fact, their friendship is actually one of the central love stories of the first season – so it’s no surprise that Jessie and Coughlan grew so close while filming, too.  

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Speaking in an interview with The Guardian ahead of the release of Bridgerton season two this Friday (25 March), Jessie spoke openly about her friendship with Coughlan – and shared a funny anecdote about how the pair grew to be so close. 

Asked whether their relationship off-screen mirrors the friendship between Eloise and Penelope, Jessie explained: “Nicola always says it’s the other way around. In Bridgerton, Eloise talks at Penelope a lot of the time; in real life, I’m more introverted and Nicola does most of the chatting.

“We were the first two people cast. I remember seeing our headshots next to each other on a wall and thinking – ‘Cool!’ – because Nicola’s incredible.” 

Nicola Coughlan and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton
Nicola Coughlan and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton season two.

Reflecting on a time on set when Coughlan accidentally stabbed her with her parasol, Jessie added: “She drew blood. Nicola had heels on and kept falling over. I tried to catch her and the silver spokes of the umbrella went bosh, straight into my hand.

“I managed to keep it away from my costume but bloodied my white glove. It was a blood oath. That’s why we’re so close now.”

Hearing about Jessie and Coughlan’s IRL bond, it’s easy to see why their onscreen friendship has resonated with so many people – and we can’t wait to see what the pair get up to when season two lands on Netflix later this week. 

Bridgerton season two lands on Netflix this Friday 25 March

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Images: Netflix


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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.