Bridgerton’s Cressida Cowper: so, who is Jessica Madsen?

All your Bridgerton internet snooping in one handy place

Cressida Bridgerton

by Marianna Manson |
Updated on

There’s no denying it – Bridgerton-mania is rising and so is our obsession with the actors and characters at the heart of the show.

While series two isn’t set to air until 2022, that hasn’t stopped viewers from indulging in a search deep dive of all the characters set to return. And one standout star from the first series was the well-heeled Cressida Cowper, who despite her fashion credentials is notably lacking in the manners department.

Who is Cressida Bridgerton?

Like lead character Daphne Bridgerton and the Featherington sisters, Cressida is a debutante during the 1813 social season in London and is introduced as a love rival for the gentleman’s affections.


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Cressida wears the most elaborate dresses to the balls but despite being fashionable, is described as the show’s anonymous narrator Lady Whistledown as “ill mannered” and “self-centred”. At one ball she ‘accidentally’ spilled her drink over Penelope Featherington in a bid to get Colin Bridgerton’s attentions. The move backfired, though, when Colin came to Penelope’s aid and instead asked her for a dance.

Who is Jessica Madsen, the actor who plays Cressida Bridgerton?

Jessica Madsen is a British actor who’s had success in recent years with roles in Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Dark Light (2019) and Leatherface (2017). She’s also got plenty of TV parts to her name, including playing Polly Maxwell Taylor in Mr Selfridge and Minty Colquhoun in Holby City.

Who is Cressida Bridgerton’s mother?

Cressida Bridgerton
Cressida with her mother and grandmother on Bridgerton ©Netflix

Like her daughter, Lady Cowper is a fan of extravagant hairstyles and dresses and thinks her daughter Cressida is the Belle of the Ball at every social event of the season.

CHECK OUT: Season 2 Bridgerton cast


Season 2 Bridgerton cast

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CREDIT: Netflix

Simone Ashley who will play Kate Sharma

If you haven't been living under a rock these past couple years, you'll probably recognise Simone from a not-so-little Netflix original called Sex Education. In the show, Simone plays 'cool' girl Olivia but, now cast for Bridgerton's second season, she will be playing Kate Sharma. According to Shondaland TV, Kate is, "equal parts headstrong and whip smart."Her sharp wit and independent nature make her a singular force on the 1814 marriage mart, where she hopes to secure a love match for her younger sister, Edwina."You can follow Simone on Instagram @SimoneAsshley.

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CREDIT: Instagram @charithra17

Charithra Chandran who will play Edwina Sharma

Charithra is a British-Indian actress who is relatively new to the acting industry but has previously starred in IMdb's Alex Rider series. Now, for Bridgerton season two, she will be playing Edwina Sharma (Kate Sharma's younger sister). In a statement about the character, Netflix wrote, "Edwina has been taught by her older sister Kate to be the perfect debutante."She's kind natured and endlessly endearing. But while she may be young and naive, she also knows what she wants: a true love match."You can follow Charithra on Instagram @Charithra17.

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Shelley Conn who will play Mary Sharma

Shelley has had quite the fruitful acting career and has starred in everything from Silent Witness to, would you believe it, Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In Bridgerton's second series, she will play Kate Sharma's mother, Mary. In her Twitter introduction, it was revealed that, "Lady Mary's marriage once embroiled her and her family in scandal."Now newly returned to London with her daughters, she's forced to endure the scrutiny of the ton yet again."You can follow Shelley on Twitter @Shelley_Conn.

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CREDIT: Instagram @calamlynch

Calam Lynch who will be playing Theo Sharp

Calam, who has previously starred in the likes of Dunkirk and Derry Girls, will be starring as Theo Sharpe who, according to Netflix, is "A hardworking printer's assistant. "But he's not just a working class man, he's also an intellectual who fights for the rights for all."You can follow Calam on Instagram @CalamLynch.

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CREDIT: Twitter @rupertfyoung

Rupert Young who will play jack

In the past, Rupert has starred in Doc Martin, Merlin and Doctor Who, among other things. Now, ahead of Bridgerton's second season, he has been cast as Jack. According to Netflix, Jack is, "The newest member of the ton with a connection to one of its most notable families."You can follow Rupert on Instagram @RupertFYoung.

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What happened with Cressida and Daphne in Bridgerton?

Daphne made and enemy of Cressida after Prince Friedrich of Prussia, who was in London in want of a wife, initially showed an interest in Cressida but had his attentions swayed by Daphne upon her arrival at the ball. Despite the prince later asking for Daphne’s hand in marriage it was clear Daphne’s affections never strayed from The Duke of Hastings.

While The Duke planned to flee London, Daphne prepared to accept the Prince’s proposal but at the last minute becomes flustered and escapes to the garden, with The Duke hot on her heels. In a moment of passion, Daphne and The Duke shared a kiss – while, unbeknownst to them, Cressida witnessed the whole thing.

Cue chaos as Cressida threatened to expose Daphne’s secret and destroy her social standing, while Daphne warned her not to make an enemy of the Duchess.

When is Bridgerton series 2 starting?

Back in April 2021 it was confirmed that Bridgerton had been renewed for a second series after the massive success of its first. While an official start date has yet to be announced, cast and crew have been working on the show since the spring and so it's expected to drop next year.

Making the announcement in an official statement in January 2021, Lady Whistledown said, “The ton are abuzz with the latest gossip, and so it is my honour to impart to you: Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season,” her statement read. “I do hope you have stored a bottle of ratafia for this most delightful occasion.”

Who is returning to Bridgerton series 2?

Series one heartthrob Regé-Jean Page, who played the smouldering Duke of Hastings, revealed he wouldn’t be reprising his role back in April, and that series two will focus on “Lord Anthony Bridgerton's quest to find a Viscountess”. And despite her husband's departure, the Duchess of Hastings (Daphne Bridgerton) will “remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season.”

Regency London is also welcoming five new cast members for brand new roles, as well as welcoming back the rest of the OG cast.

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