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Bridgerton and Derry Women star Nicola Coughlan says being well-known is like ‘being a canine on the tube’

Derry Girls and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has compared fame to “being a dog on the tube”.

The Irish star rose to fame in Channel 4 comedy before starring in the Netflix drama, which quickly became the streaming giant’s most popular original series, being watched by a record 82 million households in 28 days of its release in 2020 would.

Nicola received rave reviews for her role as Penelope Featherington, a character later revealed to be the mysterious gossip writer Lady Whistledown.

In the March issue of Elle UK, the Galway-born actor spoke about the impact of being recognized by strangers.

Nicola Coughlan

David M. Benett via Getty Images

“Being famous is like being a dog on the subway,” she said.

“It’s the exact same energy. When you get in, everyone looks at you.

“Some people are so smirky, while others are afraid of you and don’t want to come near you.

“Some people touch you without asking. I can still do the things I want to do, of course, but it’s different.”

The 35-year-old star recalled going to the pub with a friend and feeling like “an animal in the zoo”.

“And I remember one time I had to take my Invisalign out and this person was staring me straight in the eye, which was pretty weird,” she recalled.

Nicola has said she would never sell the idea that the acting industry is “wonderful and fun” because it’s “hard work”.

“Whenever people say they want to get into this industry, I think you have to want it so badly,” she said.

“Because if you don’t, you’d be crazy about it, absolutely crazy. I hardly saw my family last year because of the shooting. There are many sacrifices to be made.

“I never went on vacation in my twenties. I was so broke. But it’s amazing. I wouldn’t do anything else.”

Nicola Coughlan is the March cover star of Ella magazine.

Bridgerton’s second series, which will air March 25, will focus on the romantic interests of Daphne’s brother Anthony Bridgerton, portrayed by Jonathan Bailey.

Series three and four have already been commissioned by Netflix, as well as a prequel series that will tell the “origin story” of Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel.

Nicola, who plays Clare Devlin in Derry Girls, also spoke about filming the final season of the Channel 4 hit, which will air later this year.

“I always find it difficult to explain to people how to play characters that make them feel like your friends,” she said.

“I’ve been playing Clare for five years now. So it’s like saying goodbye to a friend that I know I’ll never see again.”

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