Nicola Coughlan shuts down Luke Newton dating rumors at Bridgerton season 3 premiere

During the Bridgerton season 3 premiere, Nicola Coughlan reflected on her friendship with costar Luke Newton.
Netflix's "Bridgerton" Season 3 World Premiere
Netflix's "Bridgerton" Season 3 World Premiere / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

As a series so steeped in romance and love, Bridgerton fans are naturally curious about how life might imitate art and whether the costars found love offscreen while finding it onscreen. But it's not just Bridgerton. So many television shows (and movies) that feature romantic leads with incredible chemistry wind up with their stars facing aspirational shipping from fans or actual romance allegations.

Prior to the release of Bridgerton season 3 part 1 on Netflix on May 16, the excitement about Colin and Penelope's story finally taking center stage had interest on the season's leading stars at an all time high. Obviously, Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton have been making the press rounds, and after building an on-screen chemistry and an off-screen friendship, fans frequently wonder if there's something more between them (and some even want there to be).

However, during the Bridgerton season 3 premiere event in New York City on May 13, Access Hollywood caught up with Coughlan and asked her about the "through the roof" chemistry she shares with Newton and if they laugh about fans thinking they're dating. The Penelope star said:

"We think it's really sweet. I think because we truly love each other, you know what I mean? Like, he is a really special person in my life, and I got to do this experience with him. I'll never get to do something like this again. [...] It's so nice having such a lovely friend that I can do all of this with."

Nicola Coughlan

Watch Nicola Coughlan's interview with Access Hollywood in the video below!

Because the question wasn't an explicit inquiry about if they are dating, Coughlan doesn't outright deny the rumors. (Although, she refers to him as her "fake boyfriend" in a video with British Vogue.) But Access' line of questioning leads with the fact that they are just that: rumors and wishful thinking. Inherently, there's nothing wrong with hoping maybe two costars were able to find love together in real life, but it's also necessary to respect the boundaries of their personal lives without dissecting every interview and red carpet interaction.

Regardless, it's amazing to know that even though they might not really be dating, Coughlan and Newton have such a close and strong bond. When you're the leads of a show like Bridgerton, it's clearly a whirlwind experience that only those two people fully understand, much like season 1 leads Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page, season 2 leads Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, and Queen Charlotte leads India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest.

For now, fans will just have to take Lady Whistledown's alter ego at her word when she says she and Newton are simply the best of friends, the loveliest of friends even. As much as we would like life to play out like a sweeping romance novel, that's not always the case. But never say never! You can never predict what the future could hold.

Stay tuned for more Bridgerton news and updates from Netflix Life, and make sure to watch season 3 on Netflix beginning May 16 and continuing on June 13.