Nicola Coughlan says Bridgerton sex scenes were her 'favourite to film'

Let's be honest: when you think of Bridgerton, you likely think of one thing only. No, not the string quartet versions of modern songs, or the layers upon layers of petticoats and full skirts (though there is that, too.) Instead, it's the steamy scenes that cement the lead characters as our internet crushes of the month. But what's the lowdown on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington's sex scenes?

Step aside The Duke and Daphne and wave goodbye to Kate and Anthony, because Bridgerton season 3 is all about Polin. The pair, played by Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan, take centre stage in season three of the period drama, as they go from friends to lovers over the course of eight episodes.

nicola coughlan says bridgerton sex scenes were her 'favourite to film'
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Nicola says the sex scenes were 'her favourite scenes to film'

Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK about what makes a great sex scene, Nicola disclosed, "to really go for it. Don’t hold back. It’s interesting. We had an amazing intimacy coordinator, and people are so fascinated by that job, and rightly so. It’s not someone who gives you set moves to do, like ‘kiss for three seconds, move your hand.’ It’s about making you comfortable and making you feel like you’re in control, and safe.

"We wanted to make them sexy. We wanted it to feel real. We wanted the audience to be like, ‘Oh my god!’ They’re beautifully written scenes. It’s not just sexy for sexy’s sake. There’s a story in there. I think they’re beautiful, they were some of my favourite scenes to film. I never thought I would say that at the beginning of the season – I was terrified. But I look back on them with real fondness.”

Luke added a similar sentiment, expanding, "And it’s so appropriate for their storyline – they are friends to lovers. It feels appropriate that we got to build a friendship before stepping in and getting undressed.”

Before Nicola joked, “Before seeing each other naked, yep.”

nicola coughlan says bridgerton sex scenes were her 'favourite to film'
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Nicola says they "broke furniture" while filming a sex scene

Inevitably, that also brings with it a bit of getting hot under the collar, in a way that only Bridgerton knows how to do. "We did break a piece of furniture while doing one [sex] scene," Nicola teased to Entertainment Weekly. "It's a little bit like a stunt in which they're like, 'Okay, we're gonna do this, this, and this'."

all about colin and penelope's sex scenes in bridgerton season 3

Speaking of the incident to 7News Australia, Luke added, "It felt like a really safe space. There were moments where we could explore the scene and try it different ways and that ended up in a piece of furniture getting broken."

He continued, "We just laughed. And then, I think Nicola spoke, like in her Irish accent, and I thought, it would have been so special — I mean, maybe it will be in the final cut, us breaking into laughter — because I think that’s quite Colin and Pen, as well. So, it would be nice.”

And that they both had a say in how the scenes should go

It was "really nerve-wracking" she told This Morning, but the basis of their long-term friendship helped to calm her nerves. "Thankfully I’ve known Luke for four years and he’s a super nice guy, [so we could] kind of have a laugh about it. It was quite liberating and quite fun to do.”

“Luke and I actually had a lot of say in what we wanted to do and we kind of had ideas about how we wanted things to play out,” she said, “which was great, ’cause we really felt like we were in control.”

Nicola added of the series, "It’s a spicy one. It’s a lot of the stuff from the books that the fans expect."

all about colin and penelope's sex scenes in bridgerton season 3

Luke says it was "a breeze" because of how well they know each other

Speaking to High Life, Luke shared how easy he found intimate scenes to shoot, adding, "Looking back, it was a breeze. She's my friend, so we just giggle about it. There are those moments when you come out of your body and go, 'Oh, millions of people will see this.' But then I've been an actor for many years now. People have seen my performance on stage and other shows, so you feel confident.'"

Luke says he and Nicola both "started laughing" during one sex scene

Luke also recently spoke to Men's Health about his and Nicola's sex scenes, and how one moment in particular left them both in stitches. While wearing an intimacy garment, which Luke explained is "just like a sock with a cup on it, sort of taped on you up in the front," he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and burst out laughing.

The actor recalled he then covered himself in a robe and headed over to Nicola to show her the garment. Luke recounted: "I went to Nic and said, 'Nic, I need to show you this before we do a take, because you'll just laugh at me, and it won't be this romantic, sexy scene anymore."

Sure enough, he revealed that Nicola also found it hilarious, and they both shared a good old laugh at his expense before filming started. However, because they found it so funny, Luke admitted that it was incredibly hard to keep a straight face while in character.

Thankfully, he noted that the scene ended up being "fun" to film, and the production allowed them to take all the "time [they] needed."

Bridgerton season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.

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