Bridgerton And Derry Girls Star Nicola Coughlan Says Being Famous Is Akin To 'Being A Dog On The Tube’

“Some people are so smiley, some are afraid of you... and some people touch you without asking."

Derry Girls and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has likened being famous to “being a dog on the Tube”.

The Irish star shot to fame in the Channel 4 comedy before starring in the Netflix period drama, which quickly became the streaming giant’s most popular original series, viewed by a record 82 million households in 28 days following its release in 2020..

Nicola received rave reviews for her role as Penelope Featherington, a character who is later revealed to be mysterious gossip writer Lady Whistledown.

Speaking in the March issue of Elle UK, the Galway-born actor opened up about the impact of being recognised by strangers.

Nicola Coughlan
Nicola Coughlan
David M. Benett via Getty Images

“Being famous is like being a dog on the tube,” she said.

“It’s exactly the same energy. When you get on, everyone looks at you.

“Some people are so smiley, while some are afraid of you and don’t want to go near.

“Some people touch you without asking. I can still do the things I want to do, obviously, but it is different.”

The 35-year-old star recalled visiting the pub with a friend and feeling like she was “an animal at the zoo”.

“And I remember one time I was taking my Invisalign out, and this person was staring me right in the eyes, which was quite weird,” she recalled.

Nicola has said she would never sell the idea that the acting industry was “wonderful and fun” because it is “hard work”.

“Whenever people say they want to get into this industry, I’m like, you’ve got to want it so badly,” she said.

“Because if you don’t, you’d be mad to do it, absolutely mad. I barely saw my family last year because of filming. There’s a lot of sacrifices to be made.

“In my twenties, I never went on holiday. I was so broke. But it’s amazing. I wouldn’t do anything else.”

Nicola Coughlan is Ella magazine's March cover star.
Nicola Coughlan is Ella magazine's March cover star.

The second series of Bridgerton, which will air on 25 March, will move towards the romantic interests of Daphne’s brother Anthony Bridgerton, who is portrayed by Jonathan Bailey.

Series three and four have already been commissioned by Netflix, as well as a prequel series telling the “origin story” of Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel.

Nicola, who plays Clare Devlin in Derry Girls, also spoke about filming the final series of the Channel 4 hit, which will air later this year.

“I always find it hard to explain to people about playing characters, that they feel like your friends,” she said.

“I’ve been playing Clare now for five years. So it’s like saying goodbye to a friend I know I’ll never see again.”


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