Simone Ashley defends Bridgerton co-star Nicola Coughlan from body-shaming comments

Simone Ashley defends Bridgerton co-star Nicola Coughlan from body-shaming comments (Getty Images)
Simone Ashley defends Bridgerton co-star Nicola Coughlan from body-shaming comments (Getty Images)

Simone Ashley has shown her support for her Bridgerton co-star, Nicola Coughlan.

The 29-year-old actor hit back at some of the online criticism about Coughlan’s appearance during a recent press conference at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco. These remarks came after Coughlan responded to criticism about her character in Bridgerton, including playfully hitting back at a fan who called her “brave” for doing sex scenes in the show.

During the press conference in Monaco, as reported by People, Ashley came to her co-star’s defense, as season three of the Netflix series follows Penelope Featherington’s (played by Coughlan) romance with Colin Bridgerton (played by Luke Newton).

“Yeah, the haters are going to hate, and I think we can all relate to that, but I really don’t think that she’s allowing that to bother her,” she said about Coughlan, while noting that her friend has more important things to focus on.

“She has a strong and fruitful career and entire life ahead of her. And I really believe in her, as the world does as well,” Ashley added.

The British actor, who plays Kate in Bridgerton, continued to praise Coughlan and all the work she’s done throughout her career thus far.

“I think Nicola is just absolutely flying,” she added. “She is a gorgeous, strong, confident, intelligent woman, seeing her do this press tour and spread so much joy and inspiration to everyone — especially women — all over the world.”

Ashley then acknowledged that she’s “inspired” by Coughlan, before sharing some of the qualities she loves most about her co-star. “She’s also a really kind human being, and I think that’s such a universal language that people can relate to,” she added.

Earlier this month, Coughlan addressed speculation about her body in Bridgerton, specifically rumors that her waist was “photoshopped.”

“I saw some trolls. They were like: ‘They photoshopped your waist,’ and I was like: ‘No, they did not,’” she said during an interview with People on June 12.

Instead, Coughlan revealed that her appearance on Bridgerton had more to do with the show’s Regency-era-inspired costumes.

“I think if you wear corsetry for long enough, your body really molds to it,” the Derry Girls star explained. “Sometimes they come in a fitting for a fashion designer and they put a corset on me and I’m like: ‘Oh, you can go tight,’ and they go: ‘What do you mean?’ I’m like: ‘My body now will go whew.’”

Earlier this month, Coughlan also hit back at a fan who called her “brave” for filming nude scenes in the Shonda Rhimes-led series.

“You know, it is hard, ‘cause I think women with my body type, women with perfect breasts… We do not get to see ourselves onscreen enough,” she quipped during a Q&A session at a screening of the second part of Bridgerton season three in Dublin, Ireland. “I am a proud member of the perfect breasts community, and I hope you enjoy seeing them.”

In May, she opened up about filming intimate scenes for the show, explaining why she requested to be “very naked” in the show. During the interview with Stylist, she also spoke about her work with Bridgerton’s intimacy coordinator, Lizzy Talbot, on this season’s sex scenes.

“I specifically asked for certain lines and moments to be included,” Coughlan said. “There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice. It just felt like the biggest ‘f*** you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering. I felt beautiful in the moment, and I thought: ‘When I’m 80, I want to look back on this and remember how f***ing hot I looked!’”