Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan shuts down body shamers with “very naked” season 3 scene

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has a simple message for body shamers as she returns with steamy scenes for season 3.

The Derry Girls actor appears as Penelope Featherington in the hit Netflix period drama, the love interest of Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), with their blossoming relationship a key focus of the latest series.

With part one arriving on the streaming platform today (May 16), she opened up on her drive to shoot her nude scene as a big "f*** you" to trolls who criticised her weight online.

"I specifically asked for certain lines and moments to be included," she told Stylist. "There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice.

nicola coughlan as penelope, bridgerton season 3

Related: Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan shares key addition made to contract for her Irish Catholic family

"It just felt like the biggest 'f*** you' to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering. I felt beautiful in the moment, and I thought: 'When I’m 80, I want to look back on this and remember how f***ing hot I looked!'"

Nicola, who recently starred in Channel 4's Big Mood, directly addressed the mounting issue in a 2022 Instagram post, asking people to keep their comments about her body to themselves.

Nicola wrote: "If you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me…It’s really hard to take the weight of thousands of opinions on how you look being sent directly to you every day."

nicola coughlan
Jamie McCarthy/GA - Getty Images

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It comes as she opened up about her fears for season 3 of Bridgerton and her struggles with being in the public eye.

Speaking to Harper's Bazaar about taking on leading roles, she said: "When it rains terrifying, brilliant opportunities, it truly pours. A huge theme in this series of Bridgerton is the idea that Penelope is stepping out of the shadows and into the light (look out for the titles of the first and last episodes).

"But not only was this a journey that Pen had to embark on, it’s also one I had to go on myself. I was presented with these brilliant opportunities but was racked with doubt as to whether I could take on the challenge."

Bridgerton seasons 1-2 are streaming now on Netflix, along with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Season 3 premieres in two parts, on May 16 and June 13.

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