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Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan auditioned for a major role in Stranger Things

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 2.
Bridgerton favorite Nicola Coughlan auditioned for a very different role in Stranger Things. (Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Bridgerton icon Nicola Coughlan has revealed that she auditioned to play a popular and much-loved character in the supernatural Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Nicola, who plays fan-favorite Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, auditioned for the role of Robin.

Robin’s character, now played by Maya Hawke, was first introduced in season 3 as Steve’s (Joe Keery) friend who she works with at the ice cream parlor Scoops Ahoy.

In a chat with Buzzfeed (opens in new tab), Nicola said: "I auditioned for Stranger Things a number of years ago. I auditioned to play Robin, Maya Hawke got it. She was far better than I ever would have been." 

Maya Hawke as Robin in Stranger Things

Maya Hawke as Robin in Stranger Things. (Image credit: Netflix)

She went on to say that it’s a helpful lesson to watch the roles you’re rejected from to understand why you weren’t the right fit.

“It's a good lesson to actors: Watch the stuff you didn't get, because you'll totally understand how it's not personal.

"You're just right for some things, and you're not right for other things," she continued.

Recently, the Derry Girls actress opened up about a particular scene that made her cry while filming Bridgerton season 2.

In season 2, it was revealed that Nicola’s character, Penelope, was the true identity of secret gossip Lady Whistledown and she was the one who had been publishing society papers spilling everyone’s secrets and personal lives.

The big secret caused a rift between her and best friend Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) and the pair decided to end their friendship.

Nicola Coughlan and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton

Penelope Featherington and Eloise Bridgerton won over viewers with their close bond. (Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Penelope and Eloise’s friendship was adored by viewers and both Nicola and Claudia found it just as difficult to film the scene.

Nicola told E! Online (opens in new tab): "Friendship breakups are just so horrendous. To film that scene was really harrowing and actually like, made me feel sick to my stomach."

She added that she felt "super nervous" ahead of filming the scene, which resulted in her and Jessie "really crying" while acting out the fight due to how emotional it was for their characters.

Bridgerton is streaming exclusively on Netflix around the world.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.