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Nicola Coughlan and Aimee Lou Wood on ‘treading the line between comedy and tragedy’ | Ents & Arts News

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Bridgerton and Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan has teamed up with Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood for the medieval comedy Seize Them! – a film about a dethroned queen who becomes a fugitive on her own land.

For these two actresses, comedy and drama tend to go hand in hand.

Aimee Lou Wood first shot on to our screens as Aimee Gibbs in the hit comedy series Sex Education, with the harrowing story of her character being sexually assaulted on the way to school.

In Derry Girls, Nicola Coughlan was tasked with exploring “coming out” as a lesbian in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

The Irish actress says when real drama exists in a comedy, it can have its own challenges.

“I remember filming that in the first week of filming Derry Girls ever, and I felt so unsure that we’d gotten it right.”

In the episode, her character Clare writes an anonymous letter to the school paper opening up about her sexuality – and then admits to her friends that she was the author.

The snippet has recently gone viral again on social media, and Coughlan says it is something people still approach her about, six years later.

“People [tell me] this scene meant so much to [them] and it’s funny because filming it, it didn’t feel like I’d really done that well,” she says. “It’s really difficult to play a serious scene with serious content that is also meant to be funny because you don’t want to be making fun of people’s experience, but I feel so lucky that people connect.”

Wood agrees, saying: “Life is that – treading the line between comedy and tragedy.”

She adds: “It’s that word ‘brutiful’. Life is ‘brutiful’ – it’s brutal and beautiful and I think comedies can capture that sense of both.”

Aimee Lou Wood stars in Seize Them! Pic: Entertainment Film Distributors
Image:
Wood stars as Queen Dagan in Seize Them! Pic: Entertainment Film Distributors

‘Strong and wrong’

The two actresses star in Seize Them!, a medieval comedy road trip of sorts that sees over-indulged Queen Dagan (Wood) dethroned by Humble Joan (Coughlan), becoming a fugitive on her own land.

Set in the Dark Ages in Britain, the film follows Queen Dagan on her quest to survive and win back her kingdom, and the cast also includes Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead), James Acaster (Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire), Lolly Adefope (Ghosts) and Jessica Hynes (There She Goes).

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Wood says the director, Curtis Vowell, encouraged them to be “strong and wrong” in their comedic choices.

“It was like when you’re in class at school and you’re not supposed to be laughing – you really need to stop yourself, but you just can’t. And it feels so nice, but so bad and painful at the same time. That’s what this film was.”

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The Sex Education star’s next adventure comes in the form of the hugely popular series The White Lotus.

“I’m slightly overwhelmed because I am going to be living in Thailand for five months and I’m quite codependent on my friends,” she says.

Season four is set in Koh Samui and Phuket, and the cast also includes Jason Isaacs, Walton Goggins, Leslie Bibb and Natasha Rothwell.

The 30-year-old remains discreet about details of the role itself but teases: “The part is amazing – and the script is so good.”

Seize Them! is in cinemas now



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