Nicola Coughlan on the carpet at the Bridgerton premiere in a white dress
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Nicola Coughlan Had the Perfect F*** You to Body Shamers

Hollywood, in general, continues to have a very narrow view of what a female romantic lead should look like. Thankfully, we have actors like Nicola Coughlan who know her worth and are not letting others stop her from embracing how hot she is.

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Coughlan, who rose to fame in Derry Girls and also stars as Penelope Featherington on Bridgerton, is absolutely breathtaking. Season 3 of the series brings Penelope’s love story with Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) to life and Coughlan took it as an opportunity to celebrate her body and give a “f**k you” to those who think she should hide it away.

Nicola Coughlan was talking with the Los Angeles Times about the third season when she was talking about her sex scenes with Newton and how freeing she found them. Well, after she had a margarita to get some courage. Speaking of the “microscopic undergarment” she was set to wear during love scenes, she told the outlet: “I went to the bathroom and looked in the full-length mirror, I was like: ‘Absolutely not!’ I hid it down the bottom of the laundry basket. I was like: ‘How am I going to do this?’”

She eventually came around to it. “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 Coughlan took it one step further in a profile by Stylist (via Buzzfeed). She says that she was determined to be “very naked” in the new season of the show. And it was her choice to film this way. Coughlan said she collaborated with intimacy coordinator, Lizzy Talbot, on the sex scenes.

Embracing how hot she is.

Nicola Coughlan in 'Bridgerton' season 3
(Netflix)

In the past, Coughlan has talked about how people comment on her body. She has even posted on Instagram asking people to not bring up their concerns about her body to her directly. So when she had the chance to show her body off on camera, she took it.

“I specifically asked for certain lines and moments to be included,” she said. “There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice. It just felt like the biggest ‘fuck you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering.” Coughlan went on to talk about how she will look back at these scenes and her body. “I felt beautiful in the moment, and I thought: ‘When I’m 80, I want to look back on this and remember how fucking hot I looked!’” she said.

That is not only empowering for Coughlan but it also is important for everyone to remember. I am someone who often gets so worried about how my body looks in something that I lose sight of other things in my life or the importance of a moment. Coughlan knowing her worth, knowing how hot she is, and sticking it to anyone who wants to put her down? That’s brilliant and it makes me love her even more!


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.