‘Bridgerton’ Star Nicola Coughlan Says ‘Simon Needs Therapy’

Bridgerton is Shonda Rhimes’ latest TV show. Her first program after inking a deal with Netflix, Bridgerton landed on the streamer Dec. 25, 2020. Viewers have since watched the sexy series involving the lives of the Bridgerton family, namely a romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Duke of Hastings. 

[Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1 ahead]

Regé-Jean Page as Simon Bassett and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton on 'Bridgerton'
Regé-Jean Page as Simon Bassett and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton on Bridgerton | LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

Simon and Daphne fake a courtship until they actually fall for each other. According to actor Nicola Coughlan, or Penelope Featherington to Bridgerton fans, the character of Simon should be in therapy. 

Simon Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton disagreed on marriage

During a December 2020 interview with Variety, Coughlan discussed Simon and Daphne’s relationship. Specifically, the friction between them over the idea of marriage and later, having children. 

Initially, Simon doesn’t want to get married. However, he and Daphne eventually become husband and wife. Then comes talk of starting a family. Having children is something Daphne wants and it causes tension between her and Simon. 

As Coughlan said in the interview, Bridgerton Season 1 is a journey for Daphne but that ultimately, Simon should work on his own issues. 

RELATED: Julia Quinn ‘Never Expected’ ‘Bridgerton’ To Be a ‘Word for Word Adaptation’ of Her Books’: ‘I Didn’t Want That’

“In Daphne and Simon’s relationship, she’s a complete innocent going into this, with the awakening of her sexual desire, and with him being more worldly than her, there is a power imbalance,” Coughlan said. “But I think, with all those things, the show is better for it because you’re not presenting these cookie-cutter Disney princes and princesses.”

“They’re very flawed humans,” she added. “You have to welcome all discourse on it because it’s all relevant. People are going to feel what they’re going to feel. But do I feel like Simon needs therapy? Yes.”

Nicola Coughlan says ‘constraints of society’ have to be considered

Continuing the conversation about how the series depicts Simon and Daphne’s relationship, Coughlan admitted she even had a tough time reading scripts.

“It’s difficult because with all these characters, when you read a script, you come to it first with your perspective and the time in which you live and how these things would apply,” she said. “But these women, at the time, were like property. They had no agency of their own. Daphne is her family’s best prospect to make money, in a way.”

Nicola Coughlan attends a 'Derry Girls' photocall during the 2019 BFI and Radio Times TV Festival
Nicola Coughlan attends a Derry Girls photocall during the 2019 BFI and Radio Times TV Festival | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

“You have to think about all the constraints of society at the time and how much the patriarchy was screwing everyone over,” she added. “It’s very obvious what it did to women, but even characters like Anthony Bridgerton, he doesn’t live up to the masculine and patriarchal ideal of being the head of the family.”

So while viewers may take issue with certain aspects of Bridgerton, it is set in the 1800s, and the storylines reflect issues of the time. 

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Creator Knew the Netflix Series ‘Was Going To Be Really Special’ While Filming a Major Moment Between Daphne and Simon

Netflix hasn’t confirmed ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 

Technically, Bridgerton Season 2 isn’t official. Neither Netflix nor Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland, have made an official announcement about more episodes. 

However, the way the show left off suggests a second season is forthcoming. Plus, there’s plenty of material left to explore. Julia Quinn, the author of the books that inspired Bridgerton, has eight novels about the Bridgerton family.

For now, fans of the TV show will have to read Quinn’s books or watch Bridgerton Season 1 again.

RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Creator Says Netflix Series Stays True To Books: Fans Will ‘See All the Elements They Love on Screen’