"They seem like little sweeties... but they’re always breaking rules," said the actress

Bridgerton's Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan discuss how their characters aren't true rule followers as season three progresses.

In the fifth episode of season three of the Regency romance, Newton’s Colin Bridgerton and Coughlan’s Penelope Featherington are seen in a steamy scene that breaks a few societal rules. 

The episode picks up after the season’s cliffhanging fourth episode, which was released on May 16. As the season resumes, audiences see the newly engaged Penelope and Colin together just before Colin tells his fiancée for the first time that he loves her. He then promptly shows Penelope her beauty in a floor-length mirror, and the couple then sleep together for the first time, breaking the societal tradition of waiting until after their wedding.

“They’re constantly breaking rules,” Coughlan, 37, told TheWrap of the characters’ first rendezvous. “They’re sneaky, they seem like little sweeties … but they’re always breaking rules.”

“They both love that — Colin is a big rule breaker, they like to break the rules,” Newton, 31, added. “Something about that era as well — the danger of it — makes it quite sexy — being forbidden. But I think, at that moment, they’re so in love that everything else...”

“Everything washes away,” Coughlan concluded. “The world doesn’t matter in that moment.”

Related: Nicola Coughlan Responds to Trolls Who Believe Her Waist Was 'Photoshopped' on Bridgerton (Exclusive)

She continued to explain that as they filmed the latest season, she had a better understanding of intimacy coordinators and their importance to the set. They make the actors “feel safe and free in how [they] do things," she said.

“I thought like, ‘Oh, God, I don’t want it to be like a dance routine where they tell you to kiss for this many seconds and touch for this many seconds’ — that feels really stagnant and I feel like I can read that in scenes when it happens,” Coughlan said. 

The season’s showrunner, Jess Brownell, told TheWrap that Coughlan’s character shifts from being the wallflower to becoming the center of her own story. “Penelope is feeling more ready to be seen metaphorically and literally in that scene,” said Brownell.

“Her nakedness in that scene is actually, I think, very representative of her taking a step on that journey, allowing herself and her body to be seen by the man she loves," she added.

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The pair also exclusively told PEOPLE they wanted their steamy scenes to be “authentic” to their characters.

"We just wanted to honor that because people have a lot of love for their relationship, and we wanted to keep it really true to that,” Newton said.

Coughlan added, “I think what's really beautiful about this season is, the intimacy stuff feels very real," noting that "they get to be intimate together in a very real and beautiful way, and I think that's what makes it so affecting."

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