"He is a really special person in my life" — Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan reacts to rumors of dating co-star Luke Newton at Season 3 premiere

Netflix "Bridgerton" Season 3 Launch
Luke Newton & Nicola Coughlan, (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images for Netflix)

Irish actress Nicola Coughlan, known for playing Penelope Featherington in Netflix's Bridgerton, recently addressed rumors about her dating her co-star Luke Newton. In an interview with Extra TV at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Monday, May 13, 2024, Coughlan said,

"We think it's really sweet, I think, because we truly love each other... He is a really special person in my life, and I got to do this experience with him. I'll never get to do something like this again, on this scale... It's so nice having such a lovely friend that I can do all this with."

The show's third season focuses on Penelope and Colin's love story. Hence, fans have been speculating about the real-life chemistry between the two actors.

31-year-old actor Luke Newton is playing Colin in the Bridgerton series. In 2022, Nicola Coughlan revealed during an FYSEE panel that season 3 would focus on the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, even though that meant diverting from Julia Quinn's books.


Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan describes Luke Newton as a "lovely" friend

While season 3 of the Netflix period drama Bridgerton is set to release on May 16, 2024, fans seemed quite curious about the chemistry between the season leads, Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan. During the NYC premiere, Extra TV spoke to the actors about the rumors.

Nicola revealed that she considers Newton a great friend and someone who is quite special to her. However, the actress denied the dating rumors with her show's co-star.

The 37-year-old actress was further asked about the steamy scenes in the Netflix period drama. While describing them as "crazy," Nicola added that she felt it was "terrifying" to watch the scenes later. However, she said she later realized the scenes looked very romantic, and the on-screen couple looked romantic as well.

"They’re really romantic. They’re beautifully written. They feel s*xy, they're exciting. I couldn’t be happier, honestly," Nicola Coughlan said.

Nicola also spoke about the lead artists of the previous seasons—Simone Ashley and Phoebe Dynevor. According to her, she received immense support from the lead ladies as well. She added that Ashley and Dynevor were "incredible" and "kind and gracious."

"They both made it known to me, they were like, 'We're here if you need us.' They were just there, they were at the end of the phone. They've been so supportive, and I feel so grateful for that. And I'll be there for the next lady," she said.

Nicola, however, revealed that she does not know who the next lead could be. Among several celebrities who were at the premiere, fans noticed Claudia Jessie and are speculating if she could be the next lead actress. Other members of the cast, including Simone Ashley, Ruth Gemmell, and Adjoa Andoh, were also present at the event.


Luke Newton explained how his character is different from Nicola Coughlan's Penelope Featherington

Like Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton was also asked by Extra TV about performing the intimate scenes in the third season.

"It’s really hard to tell if it’s, like, as steamy as everyone says it is because when you live through the process of it, it’s like, well, yeah it is really, like, it's a s*xy season," he said, adding, "But I always felt like the other seasons were as well. So, it's kind of really nice to get the reaction of people being like, 'Wow.'"

The English actor further joked that his mum might be a little uncomfortable while watching these scenes at the show's premiere. Newton said that he and his co-star Nicola had conversations with the director and the intimacy coordinators to understand what was really expected from them.

"We didn't want it to be this, like, romantic, s*xy scene and they suddenly become different people. We wanted to keep the authenticity of who they are," the Bridgerton actor said.

He described Colin as someone who had already experienced some wild situations. On the other hand, Nicola Coughlan's character Penelope was still in the exploration stage. According to Newton, it was a "s*xual awakening" for Penelope in the series.


The first four episodes of the Netflix period drama will be released on May 16, and the rest will be released on June 13, 2024. The show's third season is based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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