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Poor Girl Nicola Coughlan admits she suffered panic attacks due to money worries

The Galway native said that she’s grateful to have experienced hard times as they’ve made her appreciate what she has now.

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Nicola Coughlan stars as Penelope Featherington in Netflix hit Bridgerton (Ian West/PA)

Nicola Coughlan stars as Penelope Featherington in Netflix hit Bridgerton (Ian West/PA)

Nicola Coughlan stars as Penelope Featherington in Netflix hit Bridgerton (Ian West/PA)

Nicola Coughlan has said that she still fears going broke despite her celebrity status.

The Bridgerton and Derry Girls star opened up about being in debt and said that she’s only been able to buy something as small as a coffee without worry in recent years.

Nicola explained: “That fear of having nothing is still there. I was in debt with student loans, I was working minimum wage and the rent was so high.

“I only got Derry Girls five years ago so it’s not long since I’ve been able to go and buy a coffee and not have a panic attack. So I reckon I’ll have a few more years of thinking, ‘I hope I have some money in my bank account.’”

The Galway native said that she’s grateful to have experienced hard times as they’ve made her appreciate what she has now.

“You know what it’s like not to have all those things and you know how hard you’ve worked to get there,” she told the RTÉ Guide.

“So, for me to even be on a set is a privilege, to get an audition is a privilege because for years I couldn’t even get in an audition room.”

But the 35-year-old admitted that she still suffers from imposter syndrome, especially when she attends events with stars she idolised.

“I still wonder, ‘How did this happen?’” she said.

“Even at the BAFTAs I was wondering ‘Why am I in a room with all these people?’ So, I do feel like I’ve won a competition but that’s something a lot of people in the industry grapple with, women more than men I believe.”

Nicola was speaking ahead of the return of hit period drama Bridgerton, which is set to come back with a bang on Netflix on March 25th.

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And the actor, whose character Penelope Featherington was unveiled as the mysterious Lady Whistledown in Season 1, has hinted at what’s in store this time around.

Speaking on Claudia Winkleman’s BBC Radio 2 show, she said: “[After] that reveal at the end of series one, you very much get to see behind the curtain in series two.

“We see how she gets away with the things that she gets away with. And for me, it was so much fun because in series one she’s a shy, retiring wallflower, and then series two you go, ‘Oh, she’s got all this new stuff going on’, and it was extremely fun to film.”

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