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Image / Living / Culture

‘Bridgerton’ almost had a very different ending according to Nicola Coughlan


by Sarah Finnan
29th Sep 2021

Bridgerton

‘Bridgerton’ almost had a very different ending according to Nicola Coughlan

In fact, cast and crew even had to go back and reshoot the initial ‘Bridgerton’ season one ending.

Anything Bridgerton-related and you can bet our ears perk right up. Season two may already be in the works, but with it not expected to premiere on Netflix until 2022, we’re thirsty for information. One person we can always rely on to scratch our Bridgerton itch is Galway girl Nicola Coughlan though. 

As fond of the series as we are, she’s always happy to talk about the show (though she never gives away anything she’s not meant to, sigh). Recently appearing on an extended panel for Netflix’s TUDUM event over the weekend, Coughlan joined some of her castmates to discuss all things to do with the popular period drama – and it seems that season one almost had a very different ending. 

This goes without saying but there are *spoilers ahead*, you’ve been warned. 

Apparently, the show’s creators were conflicted over how long they should keep viewers in the dark about Lady Whistledown’s true identity. In fact, the initial plan was to save the big reveal for season two… but writers soon changed their minds and the cast and crew had to return to reshoot the original ending. “It was a reshoot in July, so they had filmed a different ending,” Coughlan recalled. “They were going to make it seem like [Lady Whistledown] was Cressida Cowper.”

Finally figuring out what Penelope’s storyline for upcoming episodes would be, it was clear that Lady Whistledown’s identity would have to be revealed much sooner and so the team reconvened to do the whole thing again. “How do I say this without being a spoiler?” she continued. “It’s very satisfying, what happens with Penelope, in season two.”

Also revealing how it was that she learned her character’s true identity, the Derry Girls star said that even she didn’t know she was Lady Whistledown until after she’d already gotten the part… and no one sat her down and told her either, she stumbled upon the information on an online fan forum! “I found out in a bizarre way,” she said, “because when we auditioned we knew very little about the show.

“It was only after getting cast that then I found out, and I found out on an internet fan forum because I realised that there was this huge, huge fandom behind these books,” Coughlan said. “It was like this whole other world opened up, but they were like ‘When Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown…’ and I went ‘WHAT?’” We had the same reaction, Nicola. 

“And I told everyone,” she joked. “Unlike Penelope, I’m really bad at keeping my own secrets.”

In other Bridgerton news, the trailer for season two was released just this week and it has everything we loved about the first season. No one was surprised when the racy Netflix original was renewed for a second season and the show’s loyal legion of 63 million fans are just patiently waiting until it makes its global debut next year.

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