Back in 2018, the Irish Nicola Coughlan had already been hired by Chris Van Dusen and Jess Dusen to play Penelope Featherington in the television adaptation of the Bridgerton novels when she found out that an unknown British actor named Luke Newton had been chosen to play another key character, Colin, the third male child of the family that gives the series its title. Instead of waiting to meet him when filming began, she decided to contact him on Instagram and the connection was instant. This is how a friendship began that grew stronger when they met in person.

By then, Coughlan had already read the eight books by Julia Quinn on which the story was based and knew that in the fourth volume, Seducing Mr. Bridgerton, the axis was the passionate romance that her characters were experiencing. What she wasn’t sure about was whether that love would ever be filmed. Although it was a series produced by the successful Shonda Rhimes for Netflix, with whom the screenwriter and producer of open television titles such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal or Without Appointment had signed a multimillion-dollar contract, there was no guarantee that his first bet with the platform happened in the first season, which revolved around the romance between Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page). “Back then it was very strange to think that one day we could do romantic scenes,” Coughlan recently confessed to Town magazine.

Released at Christmas in the middle of the pandemic, that first season of The Bridgertons is currently the fourth most viewed English-language Netflix original production of all time, with almost 1 billion views. Its ambitious commitment to present an alternative reality for the aristocratic England of the 19th century in which racial issues do not exist, sex scenes and passionate love stories abound equally in a society in which the goal is to get married turned its protagonists into stars, but Nicola and Luke had to keep waiting.

The second season revolved around the relationship between the oldest of the Bridgertorns, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley), managing to position itself in ninth place among the most viewed on Netflix, with almost 800 million views. However, no one who has seen the first 16 episodes has missed Penelope’s glances at Colin, even if he did not notice her as a woman, so the passion that consumes them in the third season is something that fans expect. for a long time.

In a global press conference attended by La Vanguardia, Nicola explained: “We have had the great privilege of having played these characters for two seasons. Each shoot took us eight months, so we have lived with them for a long time,” to which he later added: “We understood very well what it meant to each other, and we knew that everyone saw them as losers, something that has led the audience to identify with them. They are not the most celebrated people in the city. That’s why when they meet in another way, what is generated is something very beautiful.”

For his part, Newton noted: “There has always been a connection between the two, but Colin saw it in a different way, a bit because she has always been underestimated. Society and particularly her family have put him in a box and decided how he should be viewed. But Penelope has other aspirations and dreams, and that is what makes Colin discover her attractiveness. He suddenly realizes that she is someone with whom from the beginning he shared something special.”

Coughlan’s big moment in the series coincides with other successes for this 39-year-old actress who has specialized in playing much younger characters. After a brief but unforgettable participation in Barbie, he starred in the British miniseries Big Mood for Channel 4. And although Newton today ranks number 600 among the most popular actors in the world on IMDB, for now he is in no hurry to advance his career. It is enough that Netflix has confirmed the fourth season of The Bridgertons, which will begin filming shortly, and rumors indicate that it will take the story of Colin and Penelope even further.