Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan Says the Show Initially Filmed a Different Ending for Season 1
During the panel, Ashley, 26, asked Coughlan how she found out that Lady Whistledown, the mysterious gossip columnist that details the lives of those in British high society, is actually her character, Penelope Featherington.
"I found out in a bizarre way, because when we auditioned we knew very little about the show, it was only after getting cast that then I found out, and I found out on an internet fan forum because I realized that there was this huge, huge fandom behind these books," Coughlan said. "It was like this whole other world opened up, but they were like 'When Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown...' and I went 'WHAT?'"
"Getting cast in a Shondaland Netflix show was major, but that's so much more major than I ever could have imagined," she added.
Coughlan then shared that the show initially hadn't worked out if the Lady Whistledown reveal would happen in season 1 or 2.
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"It was a reshoot wasn't it?" Bailey, 33, asked, as Coughlan confirmed, "It was a reshoot in July, so they had filmed a different ending."
"They were going to make it seem like it was Cressida Cowper," she explained, noting that they changed directions based on Penelope's season 2 storyline.
"How do I say this without being a spoiler?" Coughlan said. "It's very satisfying, what happens with Penelope, in season 2."
Bailey, whose Lord Anthony Bridgerton is the focus of season 2, said that the rest of the cast also knew about Lady Whistledown's identity because of the books.
"And I told everyone," Coughlan added. "Unlike Penelope, I'm really bad at keeping my own secrets."
In addition to the extended panel on Monday, Netflix also released a series of first-look images for season 2 of Bridgerton, including one that teases the romance between Bailey's Anthony and Ashley's Kate Sharma.
During the panel, Ashley said the couple do "a lot of arguing" and "challenge each other," while Bailey noted that their characters' relationship is "very passionate."
"It's great seeing someone like Kate be able to stand up to Anthony and him not knowing how to sort of deal with it," Coughlan said.
"He's like, met someone who is really his match."
Season 2 of Bridgerton will premiere on Netflix in 2022.