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'Bridgerton' star Nicola Coughlan praises 'iconic' Julie Andrews

Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Nicola Coughlan has nothing but praise for her "iconic" Bridgerton co-star Julie Andrews.

The 33-year-old actress said on Thursday's episode of Good Morning America that she "burst into tears" after learning Andrews, 85, would voice Lady Whistledown on the Netflix series.

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Coughlan plays Penelope Featherington on Bridgerton, a period drama based on the Julia Quinn book series and produced by Shonda Rhimes. The show features voiceovers from Whistledown (Andrews), the anonymous author of a society gossip newsletter.

On GMA, Coughlan recalled her excited reaction to Andrews' casting.

"I just burst into tears. I couldn't take it," the actress said. "I was scrolling Instagram in the kitchen very innocuously and saw her picture beside Shondaland, beside Lady Whistledown, and sort of started saying to my mum, 'It's Julie Andrews! Julie Andrews is Whistledown!'"

"I mean, you can't get anyone more iconic than that. It's an amazing thing; we're so lucky," she added.

Andrews, an actress known for such films as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and The Princess Diaries, discussed Bridgerton in an interview with Parade this month. She described Whistledown as "a tartar, and a bit of a naughty woman" with the power to shape society.

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"I occasionally guide it, twist it, point it in some direction or another," the actress said. "I can make or break anybody, it seems, if I wish."

Coughlan appeared on GMA with her Bridgerton co-star Jonathan Bailey, who had shaved the mutton chop sideburns he wore to play Anthony Bridgerton. Coughlan said she underwent two hours of hair and makeup each day of filming.

"I come into set very, very scruffy, so it's a lot of work to be done to transform this into somebody who's ready to go to a ball in Regency London," she said.

The first season of Bridgerton is largely based on Quinn's book The Duke and I, which centers on the romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Dynevor and Page discussed their on-screen chemistry during an interview Wednesday on GMA.

Bridgerton premiered last week on Netflix.

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