Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan accidentally stabbed this co-star on set

How Nicola Coughlan injured her Bridgerton co-star during filming

Nicola Coughlan playing Penelope Featherington in the Netflix period drama Bridgerton
(Image credit: Netflix)

Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan has revealed how an embarrassing behind-the-scenes wardrobe mishap injured a fellow member of the Bridgerton cast, Claudia Jessie.

The Irish actress, who plays Penelope Featherington on the Netflix hit show alongside Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor, shared details of the bloody accident at one of Bridgerton's filming locations, in a video interview on UK chat show This Morning

Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, After the Rain', (Season 1, ep. 108, aired Dec. 25, 2020)

(Image credit: photo: Liam Daniel / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection via Alamy)

“I went in for my first costume fitting and they were like, ‘You're very small, maybe we'll put you in heels,’” the 34-year-old TV star told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. 

“I said, ‘Yep, absolutely’ because I think when you get a big job like that you’re just terrified of messing it up. So you'll say yes to pretty much everything they ask you.” 

Little did Nicola know, it was this styling that would lead to some less-than-fashionable antics during filming. 

The Derry Girls actress, who stands at a petite 5ft, got off on the wrong foot on her first day in heels when she struggled to walk around the set safely. She plummeted to the floor multiple times, endangering both herself and her co-workers. 

“I had no sort of central strength,” she said. “So I just completely toppled over and landed on the ground. It happened twice more, I fell over three times.” 

Nicola Coughlan

(Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Stringer/Getty)

Unfortunately, on her third fall, she managed to injure Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise Bridgerton. 

“I was carrying a parasol, which held in the wrong hands can be a deadly weapon,” she went on. “I fell forward really quickly and stabbed Claudia Jessie in the hand and it drew blood, and that was the first day.”     

Luckily, Bridgerton’s crew had a fully packed first-aid kit to help get Jessie’s hand back to normal. As for the costume, it looks like Coughlan’s permanently fallen out with—and of—those treacherous heels. 

“There was a meeting where they said, ‘We don't think she can manage them,’” she confirmed. 

Despite this initial wardrobe malfunction, Nicola’s relationship with Bridgerton’s costumes hasn’t been all bad. The actress gushed about the “amazing” experience in a recent interview with Spin 1038. “You feel like a kid playing dress-up sometimes because you just get to play in this magical world,” she said. 

Coughlan also praised the show’s talented designers, revealing that all their creations were “hand-designed, created from scratch”.

The design team on Bridgerton may be pretty innovative, but it doesn’t look like a pair of heels is on the cards any time soon for Coughlan. For the time being, the actress plans on avoiding another fall to the ground – by staying as close to it as possible. At least until she starts filming season two of Bridgerton...

Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.