‘Bridgerton’ Star Nicola Coughlan Reveals the Show Filmed a Completely Different Ending For Season 1

At the 2021 Netflix TUDUM event, Bridgerton cast members Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington), Jonathan Bailey (Anthony Bridgerton), Simone Ashley (Kate Sharma), and Charithra Chandran (Edwina Sharma) participated in an extended panel. During the discussion, Coughlan revealed that Bridgerton Season 1 had an alternative ending. 

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers from Bridgerton Season 1]

‘Bridgerton’ Season 1 exposes Lady Whistledown

Nicola Coughlan, Bessie Carter, and Harriet Cains wearing dresses in 'Bridgerton' Season 1
(L to R) Nicola Coughlan, Bessie Carter, and Harriet Cains | Liam Daniel/Netflix

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Creator on Season 2: ‘It’s Still Just as Scandalous and as Escapist as the First One’

Eloise Bridgerton (played by Claudia Jessie) was on a mission to uncover the identity of Lady Whistledown. The mysterious columnist writer knows everyone’s secrets in Regency London. Through a gossip newsletter, the writer exposes the lives of the British elite. Soon after, audiences discover Penelope Featherington is Lady Whistledown. She is the youngest child of the Featherington family. Also, she is secretly in love with Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton).

In Bridgerton Season 1, viewers see Penelope’s true identity. Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) sends informants to the printing station (where Lady Whistledown prints her writing pieces). However, Eloise stops their plans and saves the anonymous writer – not knowing it was her best friend. While in the carriage, the faceless columnist removes her hood – showing that Penelope is the gossip writer.

Nicola Coughlan says the season had a different ending

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Creator on Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma Romance in Season 2: ‘You Cannot Take Your Eyes Off of Them’

During the TUDUM panel discussion, Coughlan shared how she discovered her character’s secret identity. “I found out bizarrely because when we auditioned, we knew very little about the show,” she explained.

“It was after getting cast that I found out, and I found out on an internet fan forum. I realized there was this huge fandom behind these books,” she continued. “It was like this whole other world opened up. But, they were like ‘When Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown’ and I went ‘WHAT?'”

Also, the actor shared the show tapped a different ending for Bridgerton Season 1, which didn’t reveal Lady Whistedown’s real identity. Initially, another character took on the role of the anonymous columnist writer. 

“It was a reshoot in July, so they had filmed a different ending,” she revealed. “They were going to make it seem like it was Cressida Cowper.” 

Coughlan noted that they changed direction for Penelope’s storyline. “How do I say this without being a spoiler?” she added. “It’s very satisfying, what happens with Penelope, in season 2.” 

Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgeton, said the cast knew the identity of Lady Whistledown because of the book series. Based on the novel series by Julia Quinn, Bridgeton Season 2 will mainly focus on his character’s romantic conquest. 

When is ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 returning to Netflix?

After the TUDUM event, Netflix unveiled the first look photos for the second season. The images teased the brewing romance between Anthony and newcomer Kate Sharma. However, there is an engagement arrangement between Anthony and Kate’s sister, Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran). Ultimately, sparks fly between him and Kate, leading to a forbidden romance.

Bridgerton Season 2 will premiere on Netflix in 2022.