In the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, the Bridgerton and Featherington families grew up together in their terraced houses a stone’s throw away in Grosvenor Square in central London. Both Eloise, played by actress Claudia Jessie, and Penelope by Nicola Coughlan know what it’s like to be a little sister and both would rather lose themselves in a good book than attend another ball.
Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan play these characters beautifully and provide a refreshing break from all the pomp and circumstance of high society, and find friendship because they accept each other in a society where being different is not celebrated. In fact, their friendship is actually one of the central love stories of the first season, so it’s no surprise that Jessie and Coughlan became so close during filming as well.
When asked if their off-screen relationship reflects the friendship between Eloise and Penelope, Claudia Jessie explained: “Nicola always says it’s the other way around. In Bridgerton, Eloise talks to Penelope most of the time; in real life, I’m more of an introvert and Nicola talks most of the time. “ We were the first two people in the cast. I remember seeing our portraits side by side on a wall and thinking, ‘Wow! ‘ – because Nicola is amazing.”
“Working with Claudia Jessie was ridiculously easy. She’s the kindest, sweetest person,” shared Nicola Coughlan. “She is so open and such a talented actress. But when you feel that comfortable with someone, she gives you the freedom to experiment and try. We also had four wonderful directors on this show and they said, ‘We really love the Peneloise duo. And we were like, ‘We love them too!'”
Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan felt comfortable working from day one
Reflecting on a moment on set when Nicola Coughlan accidentally stabbed her with her parasol, Claudia Jessie added: “She drew blood from me. Nicola was wearing heels and she kept falling down. I tried to catch it and the silver rays of the umbrella vanished, right into my hand.”
Claudia Jessie continued , “I managed to keep it away from my costume, but I bloodied my white glove. It was a blood oath. That’s why we’re so close now.” Hearing about Jessie and Coughlan’s bond, it’s easy to see why their on-screen friendship has resonated with so many people.