Why Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan Missed The Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere

"Bridgerton" means everything to Nicola Coughlan, to the extent that she was terrified about being replaced on the hit show by somebody more well-known. During a recent interview with The New York Times, the Irish actor revealed her apprehension upon initially landing the role of undercover schemer Penelope Featherington, aka Lady Whistledown (via People).

"I should have been like, 'This is amazing'," Coughlan acknowledged. "Instead, I was like, 'This is fishy. I don't know about this'." As the "Derry Girls" breakout explained, she had enough experience with friends in the industry losing roles midway through projects, when the studio demands A-listers instead, not to take anything for granted.

Thankfully, Coughlan's worries were completely unwarranted. "I'm happy to say that everyone loved her as much as I did," "Bridgerton" showrunner Chris Van Dusen gushed. However, the actor still has concerns about her future on the show. "I'm probably more comfortable being awkward and funny, so it's going to be a massive challenge for me because it's not my comfort zone," Coughlan shared of having to do romantic work. In the meantime, Season 2 drops on Netflix on March 25. Howeverm Coughlan was noticeably absent from the big red carpet premiere.

Nicola Coughlan was struck down in her prime by COVID-19

Actor Nicola Coughlan took to Instagram to share with fans that she couldn't attend the "Bridgerton" premiere after testing positive for COVID-19. Alongside a shot of her posing seductively in a white bathrobe with a matching towel in her hair and a slick red lip, the actor wrote, "My 'Bridgerton' premiere look — a little different than expected." She made sure to tag her hair and makeup team, naturally.

Coughlan professed she was "heartbroken" to miss the event but was "sending so much love to my gorgeous cast mates who [she] hope[s] have the best night" regardless. Among her newer "Bridgerton" colleagues, Charithra Chandran said, "We'll miss you so much, my lovely" with several heart emojis, while "Bridgerton" showrunner Chris Van Dusen wrote, "Sending you ALL of the love!" Coughlan's BFF, "Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness, put his usual positive spin on things by reassuring the starlet. "You look f***ing hot though," Van Ness wrote.

The actor has frequently gushed about how lucky she feels to be acting full time, with her breakout moment coming relatively late in Coughlan's career. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the "Derry Girls" star admitted, "Literally, I was working part-time in an optician's five years ago. So for me, if anyone is tuning in, if anyone makes a connection to me — that's amazing." She continued, "All my life, I feel like I'm a competition winner. Like — how did I end up here?" Hopefully, this setback doesn't dent her enthusiasm too much.