Nicola Coughlan is an Irish actress known for her roles as ‘Clare Devlin’ in the TV series Derry Girls (2018), and as ‘Penelope’ in the web series Bridgerton (2020).
Nicola Coughlan was born on Friday, January 9, 1987 (age 33 years; as in 2020), in Galway, Ireland.
She attended The Oxford School of Drama, England where she did her foundation course in acting; she did a full-time course in acting from Birmingham School of Acting, England. She attained her degree in English and Classical Civilisation from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Height (approx.): 5’ 1”
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Family & Ethnicity
Her father was army personnel. She has three elder siblings; her elder sister, Clodagh Geraghty, and her elder brother, Kieran Coughlan.
She made her acting debut with the short film “The Phantom Cnut” in the role of ‘Katie.’
She made her television debut with the 2012 British series, Doctors in the role of ‘Marrie Callaghan.’
Her pathbreaking performance came with the role of ‘Clare Devlin’ in the TV series Derry Girls (2018), and she has also acted in the series like Harlots (2018), and Bridgerton (2020).
She made her theatrical debut with ‘Chapel Street’ as ‘Kristy’ at the Scrawl Theatre Company UK Tour. She has also performed in the plays- Duck (2014), Jess and Joe Forever (2015-17), Nadya (2015), and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (2018).
Apart from acting, she has also given voice-overs to films and television shows, such as The Fairytaler (2004-05), Summer of the Flying Saucer (2008), Simsala Grimm (2010), Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer (2011), and Ivan the Incredible (2012).
Awards & Achievements
- Joe Annual Comedy Awards for ‘Derry Girls’ in 2019
- Evening Standard Magazine Rising Stars 2018 for the play “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”
- In 2019, Daily Mirror, a British daily tabloid, covered an article on ‘worst-dressed women at BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Awards) TV Awards,’ which also featured Nicola. After the article went public, a Twitter user criticized the newspaper for “contributing to the persistent degradation of women.” To this, Nicola tweeted,
I mean incorrect @DailyMirror I look smokin’, sorry ’bout it.”
After this, many actresses showed their support to Nicola in the matter. BBC
- In 2018, Philip Fisher (a Theatre Reviewer) of the British Theatre Guide (a News website) wrote a review on the play ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,’ referring Nicola’s character as an ‘overweight little girl.’ However, this wasn’t the first for Philip, in fact, a year ago, he had called Nicola a ‘fat girl,’ when his remarks bore no connection to the review. Later, Nicola replied him through a tweet, Joe
Hi @BritTheatreGuid, for the second time your reviewer Philip Fisher has come to see a show I’m in, and as part of reviewing the show he has also reviewed my body. How can you continue to support this? I was in a show called Jess and Joe Forever @traversetheatre last August which he came to see and his opening sentence was “Jess is a fat girl” My weight has no relevance to either the performance I gave in that or in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Let me state this clearly, he is not welcome to review any show I am in from now till forever. And I plan to be in a lot of damn shows. Peace.”
- Food: Curry Chips, Chicken Wraps, Nachos
- Restaurants: Wahaca in the UK, Supermacs in Galway
- Actor: Andrew Scott
- Actresses: Saoirse Ronan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon
- Screenwriters: Jack Thorne, Nicole Taylor, Sarah Phelp
- Artists: Rob Ryan, David Shrigley
- Films: Lady Bird (2017), Call Me By Your Name (2017), The Wizard of Oz series, Star Wars original trilogy
- TV Shows: A Very English Scandal series, Ordeal by Innocence series, Maniac (2018), Queer Eye (2018), PEN15 (2019)
- Musical: Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Books: Biographies of Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, ‘I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff’ by Abbi Jacobson
- In her leisure time, she likes to cook, read biographies, and watch TV shows and films.
- When Nicola was studying in Galway, she contested the National University Improvisation Competition ‘Acting Up,’ where she was awarded the Outstanding Individual Performance Award.
- After Nicola completed her foundation course in acting at the Oxford School of Drama, she worked as a receptionist in a physio clinic, before she started studying at Birmingham School of Acting, England.
- Nicola also indulges in philanthropic activities, such as supporting the LGBTQ+ community, fighting for reproductive rights in Northern Ireland, calling out tabloids for body-shaming celebrity women, fighting racism, and raising awareness for climatic changes.
- In December 2019, she showed her support to Labour Party in the 2019 general elections and also assisted the party’s campaign on her social media accounts.
- Nicola and the American hairdresser, podcaster, and television personality Jonathan Van Ness are best friends with each other and are often seen hanging out together.