Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan just revealed that she was actually crying in this scene
This article contains Bridgerton season two spoilers.
While we’re still waiting on the arrival of the latest instalment of Derry Girls (it will air on Channel 4 on 12 April), the highly-anticipated second season of Bridgerton dropped in March earlier this year, casually breaking Netflix‘s record for the most viewed English-language TV series (per Deadline).
With drastically fewer sex scenes than the previous season, Bridgerton has still managed to captivate viewers thanks – in no small part – to Nicola’s portrayal of Lady Whistledown, AKA The Ton’s answer to Gossip Girl.
The season closed with a confrontation between Penelope Featherington (Whistledown, played by Nicola Coughlan) and her BFF, Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie) after Eloise discovered her friend’s secret identity. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed, and we can totally understand why, given that Lady Whistledown outed her for hanging out with – brace yourselves – “political radicals” in her latest pamphlet. Not exactly best-friend-like behaviour, even if Penelope had good intentions.
And, as it turns out, the scene was pretty emotional to film. In an interview with E! Online, Nicola admitted, “Friendship breakups are just so horrendous […] To film that scene was really harrowing and actually like, made me feel sick to my stomach.”
The actor added that she was “super nervous” ahead of filming the scene, which resulted in her and Jessie “really crying” while acting out the confrontation. Nicola added, “It was just awful.”
She also explained that she and Jessie had suspected that their characters were due a falling-out, saying, “We had an inkling that this was going to happen from the first couple of episodes. Because there was one line, where Penelope says to Eloise, ‘You cannot lie to me!’ And I went, ‘Why is she saying that?’ And I sort of questioned it and [the writers] said ‘No, please say it. It’s important because of later on.’ And we both went, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no. This is bad.'”
Luckily, the pair are still firm friends off-screen. In fact, the series’s showrunner Chris Van Dusen told Screenrant, “In the writers’ room, we refer to them as PenEloise. That’s slowly becoming a thing, as the fans of the books tweet and are on Instagram. I think they’re using that hashtag a lot.”
He added, “When we saw them, we immediately knew that was Penelope and that was Eloise Bridgerton. I think we have something special with them.”
We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely rooting for a PenEloise reconciliation in Bridgerton season three.