Welcome to Dazzling Nicola Coughlan, your largest online source for Irish actress Nicola Coughlan. She is best known for her roles in Channel 4's Derry Girls as Clare Devlin and Netflix's acclaimed Bridgerton as Penelope Featherington. Our site aims to bring you the latest news on Nicola and her career along with providing a comprehensive gallery of her work and appearances. We hope you enjoy the site and come back soon! V

Nicola Coughlan on drag queen alter egos, telling apart bears and otters and being a ‘real’ LGBTQ ally

Exclusive: The Bridgerton and Big Mood star takes our She’s Got Attitude fabulousness quiz – and recalls seeing Ryan Gosling shirtless on the set of Barbie

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan is back with another riotous comedy – this time, acting opposite It’s a Sin star Lydia West.

Big Mood, debuting on Channel 4 today, see Maggie (Nicola) and Eddie’s (Lydia) decade-long friendship Put to the test after series of chaotic events, with the pair at a pivotal point in their lives and Maggie’s bipolar disorder making an unwelcome return.

To celebrate her latest role, Attitude recently caught up with Nicola for our She’s Got Attitude fabulousness quiz, and she passed with flying colours, of course. We adore her. She once lived in San Francisco, you know – and it shows!

Any fool proof tips for getting in a good mood?
Classic comfort shows. The Office, Parks and Recreation. It doesn’t matter how often I’ve watched those. I give myself a hard time, sometimes, about rewatching. And then I’m like, it’s fine. Bridgeton has some of the biggest rewatch figures. If people get comfort out of it, it’s such a privilege.
It’s Ab Fab for us

Of all of the characters in your filmography, whose wardrobe do you most want to raid?
Maggie [in Big Mood] has some great looks. She wears one of my t-shirts. It says: ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish and vaccinated’. If I was dressed as Penelope Featherington, people would be like: ‘Is that girl OK? Is she some sort of Regency LARPer?!’

Who was your top artist on Spotify of 2023?
Beyonce. And I listened to a lot of Boygenius.

Can you quote a line from a) Mean Girls b) Derry Girls c) Golden Girls
“Danny DeVito. I love your work!” “It’s me. I’m the wee lesbian!” “Thank you for being a friend.” Does that count?
That’s the theme song, but she knows her comedy!

Who’s your favourite Spice Girl and why?
Posh. She was the funniest. “And I’m Victoria, Malcolm!” She was at Vogue World, but it was, like, too intimidating. I still have the Chupa Chups tin back in Ireland!
“And I’m Nicola, Victoria!” Pictured below with Mel B

What song would you launch your pop career with?
You know when the Real Housewives release songs? “Cars. And diamonds. And shoes.” They’re low effort. But Dancing on My Own by Robyn never gets old.
We see her with a Britney number

What would your autobiography be called?
‘I can’t believe I can’t call this My Story because all footballers stole that name already’.
So true

What issue affecting the LGBTQ community is closest to your heart?
I lived in San Francisco in 2006. I don’t know what it’s like now, but it was such a beautiful, open place, and I met a lot of trans people. The trans community, now, are going through such fucking bullshit online and in the media. It’s such a distraction from real issues. Just because people are loud, it doesn’t mean there are a lot of them. I feel passionately about being a voice of support.
Excellently put

How would you describe your job to a four-year-old?
“Acting is doing a funny face and a funny walk.”
Spot on

Have you ever ripped the label out of a piece of clothing out of sheer embarrassment?
I have no shame in my game! I know I’m wearing Vivienne Westwood today, but trust me, come to my house and I’ll be in old tracksuits. I don’t care. Underwear from Primark. They have the greatest control knickers.
Said while wearing full-on, corseted VW. Fabulous.

Which would be the better Met Ball theme: Barbie, Bridgeton or Big Mood?
They kind of had Barbie with the ‘camp’ year. This year’s [Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion] will be very Bridgerton-esque. I want to see them interpret Big Mood! Maggie depression t-shirts, but make it chic.
We want one!

What’s the difference between a bear and an otter?
Both hairy… otter is midway between twink and bear. How do I know that? I’m a real ally!
Otter pride!

What’s your drag queen name?
Kylie Gender. Kylie Jenner with her blue hair and a pencil thin moustache. A non-binary drag queen.
This is so conceptual and well thought-out!

Would you do Celebrity Drag Race?
For sure. Judging was one of my best life experiences. And I’m used to the corsets!
She’s a shoo-in

Have you met Graham Norton or Andrew Scott?
I met Graham on his show. He’s so good at his job. It’s more fun than it looks. You get to have a drink! Andrew, I know and love. My mum adores him. He was like: ‘Let me make a video for her.’ He’s heaven. He’s getting all the recognition and truly deserves it.

You’ve started a cult – what is it about?
Skincare. Not getting up at 6am. Comfy beds. Group dinners.
Sign us up

If you were to combine two of your projects in an extended universe collab, what would they be?
Big Mood and Barbie. I wish I had more time on Barbie. And I’d love Greta Gerwig to work on Big Mood. Although I love our director on Big Mood, Rebecca Asher. Co-direct!
Fingers crossed for season two

What’s your favourite memory of the Barbie set?
I was there for a costume fitting the day Ryan Gosling was shirtless.
We’re amused to have been reminded of Anna Kendrick’s 2013 tweets about RB

Written by Jamie Tabberer
Published March 28, 2024