TV & Movies

Nicola Coughlan Has A Smaller Role In Derry Girls S3 For A Surprising Reason

“It was devastating to me because I wanted to be in all of this.”

Nicola Coughlan as Claire Devlin in 'Derry Girls'
Channel 4

In between starring as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton and wrapping up on Irish comedy Derry Girls, Nicola Coughlan has been busy as of late — so much so that her character Clare’s screen-time needed to be cut down in the final season of Lisa McGee’s series.

"Last year was really difficult," she told Digital Spy, referring to pandemic-related filming delays as she juggled multiple roles. "I won't lie… at the best of times, trying to manage different projects, it's such a push and pull.” Coughlan had kept her diary free to shoot the last season of Derry Girls in Jan. 2021, but filming dates were pushed back due to ongoing restrictions.

“That caused me insane stress, because I was on [what] in the industry is called first call,” she explained. “So it means you have to go and do the show that you're on first call to, which was Bridgerton.”

“And I was like 'Guys, can we just film it?'” she recalls saying to Derry Girls’ bosses. “And they were like, 'No, we're gonna wait.' And I was like, 'oh'. Compromises [had to] happen in the script of Derry Girls. It was devastating to me because I wanted to be in all of this.”

“They had to cut down my role somewhat, which was hard,” she admitted. “Really, really hard. But I think, you know, the fans of the show are going to be happy. I think it's a really nice sign-off for the show."

Though there’s no official release date just yet for the third and final season of Derry Girls, Channel 4 has released the first trailer and confirmed the show is not far away. “In series three, which is coming soon to Channel 4 and All 4, viewers will see that while Northern Ireland is growing up, this gang of eejits certainly aren't anytime soon. While there’s hope in the air that The Troubles may finally be over, their troubles are only just getting started, as they get ever closer to adulthood,” reads a synopsis.

Post-Derry Girls, meanwhile, Coughlan’s set to star in the new historical dark ages comedy Seize Them! alongside Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood, stand-up comedian and actor Lolly Adefope, and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).