Nicola Coughlan & JVN’s LDR Proves Friendship Can Cross Oceans

But what about her romantic life?

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From the looks of it, Nicola Coughlan is quickly becoming everyone's newest fave. Between her recent appearance as seemingly shy Penelope Featherington in hit Netflix drama Bridgeton and her legendary role as the "wee lesbian" Clare Devlin in Northern Irish teen comedy Derry Girls, the Galway girl is a bit of a sensation. Yet, after starring in one of the most romantic (and raunchiest) dramas of the past five years, it's no wonder people are questioning whether Nicola Coughlan is dating anyone at the mo. So, let's take a look at what we know.

From the looks of things, Coughlan, 34, is single right now and is enjoying the fruits of her recent success — well, as much as possible in lockdown anyway. On social media, Coughlan shares glimpses of many of her amazing friendships including her Bridgerton and Derry Girls cast mates. And another one of her besties is Jonathan Van Ness (JVN), everyone's favourite hairdresser on the Queer Eye series. Per the Independent, Coughlan was JVN’s date to Elton John’s Oscars party last year which is very, very cool. Cooler still, it appears they actually became buddies over Instagram.

“Basically, I printed his face on a jumper and posted a picture of it,” she said in an interview with Bustle. “I just figured if I could take a little bit of his energy onto set with me I would get up and be ready for the day and feel happy even if it was 4 a.m. So I had this hoodie made, and he saw it on Instagram and messaged me like, ‘Girl, I love you!’ and since then we’ve hung out a lot. In lockdown, we did a weekly Zoom quiz with my sister and friend, his aunt and her friend… One week was ‘iconic blondes’ so I went as Dolly Parton.”

It's easy to see why Coughlan is so likeable on and off-screen. Between shutting down trolls with the most delightful clapbacks, she also campaigns publicly for the rights of women and LGBTQ+ communities, including throwing her support behind the This Is Me campaign in Ireland (run by her friend Noah Halpin) and The Rainbow Project in Northern Ireland.

As she explained to Bustle: “Playing a gay character in Derry Girls and same-sex marriage being illegal until this year, I wanted to lend my voice. It’s not a cozy issue that’s easy to talk about, but I’ve got friends who have suffered because of legislation like this.”