Why Penelope From Bridgerton Looks So Familiar

Netflix's beloved period drama "Bridgerton," features a talented ensemble cast. Many of its stars have been in significant productions before, such as Phoebe Dynevor — who plays Daphne — and has been on shows like "Younger" and "Monroe," and Regé-Jean Page — who portrays the Duke of Hastings — and was spotted in another series from Bridgerton showrunner Shonda Rhimes, "For the People."

Another famous face on "Bridgerton" is Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington. Many fans of the actress will be pleased to know that Penelope will be the prominent character in Season 3 of the show, and her love story will be the romantic focus, as Coughlan revealed. Coughlan has an impressive following of more than two million followers on Instagram, as "Bridgerton" has made her a household name for many of the drama's fans. But Coughlan's acting experience isn't limited to "Bridgerton" — we know where else you may have seen the actress display her talents.

She was also in Harlots

Nicola Coughlan is the queen of period dramas — not only is the actress in "Bridgerton," but she additionally portrayed Hannah Dalton in "Harlots," per IMDb. With a setting in 18th-century London, this show centers on a mother who owns a brothel (via IMDb). Acting in a drama that takes place in a completely different century is no easy task, yet Coughlan is nothing but believable in these intense, past-century roles.

In "Harlots," Coughlan manages to add some humor to very sexual and raw scenes, as she can use her talent to make even the most uncomfortable moments somewhat amusing, per YouTube. While "Bridgerton" and "Harlots" are two very different shows, we couldn't help but notice a couple of similarities. For instance, both "Harlots" and "Bridgerton" are period dramas set in England (via IMDb), and sex is a prominent theme in both shows. While "Harlots" centers on a brothel, "Bridgerton" famously features many ultra-sultry sex scenes, per YouTube. So, Coughlan came into "Bridgerton" with an advantage: she already had experience working on a sex-filled period drama.

She acted in Derry Girls

Nicola Coughlan also had a significant role in "Derry Girls," playing the young Clare Devlin (via IMDb). The show is about teenage girls living in Ireland in the '90s during the Troubles. Coughlan is adorable in "Derry Girls," whether she's going on a rant, panicking while binging too many energy drinks and studying with friends all night, wearing the wrong outfit to a party, or complaining about loud outside noises. Although the Irish-born actress was born in 1987 — meaning she was at least 30 years old when she portrayed a teenage girl on "Derry Girls" — she came off every bit as youthful as a real-life teenager. We can't think of many 30-year-olds who can pull off acting like believable teenagers, but Coughlan does an excellent job.

Of course, "Derry Girls" is a funny show. However, the Troubles were a real issue that the show addressed, and Coughlan acknowledged this more political aspect of the show. "I'm never going to have the level of understanding that someone from Derry is going to have. [Luckily] we have the script as the bible to always go back to," Coughlan told Bustle. The actress additionally talked about her character being part of the LGBTQIA+ community and her coming out moment, acknowledging that "it's a serious moment, but it had to be presented in a really comic way." "Derry Girls" is a fun watch but has some deeper meaning, and the actress is aware of that.

She has voice acting experience

We know what you're probably thinking — yes, Nicola Coughlan looks familiar, but she also sounds familiar. So, where have you heard that charming voice before? Believe it or not, Coughlan has done quite a bit of voice acting in addition to her on-screen roles. She voiced Lottie in "Ivan the Incredible" — a family-friendly animated comedy about a boy who magically becomes super talented one day (via IMDb). Furthermore, she played Edda in "Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer," the animated, kid-friendly spin on the Thor movies. Coughlan also voiced a variety of characters in "Simsala Grimm — Die Märchen der Brüder Grimm," a German animated show, and the actress lent her voice to play Janis in the movie, "Summer of the Flying Saucer."

From acting in more than one sexual period drama to portraying an energetic teenage girl to voicing animated characters, there's seemingly no role that Coughlan can't handle. The actress has so much talent, and we can't wait to see what's next for her.