Who plays Cressida Cowper? Jessica Madsen plays major role in season 3

In Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2, the "disrespectful" Cressida Cowper (as Lady Whistledown once described her) failed to win the Bridgerton Most Eligible of suitors. In season three, she returns again and her story takes an unexpected turn.

Fans are expecting her character to play a bigger role in the new season, so it's natural to be curious about Jessica Madsen, who plays Cressida.

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Prior to Bridgerton, Madsen had appeared in a number of screen roles, both large and small, including 2017's Leatherface, Rambo and Mr. Selfridge.

In Season 3, after Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessee) fell out with Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), Madsen Cressida forms an unlikely friendship with Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie). Fans recall that Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) once rejected Cressida in favor of his friend Penelope. Much to Cressida's annoyance, the show's latest chapter centers on Colin and Penelope's (aka "Pauline") journey from friends to lovers.

"We see her having a beautiful friendship with Héloïse, which is unlikely," Madsen recently told ExtraTV about the Cressida season 3 storyline, revealing that fans will also learn more about her background story.

Jessica Madsen and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton . Liam Daniel/Netflix

"They (Cressida and Eloise) really showed up. They showed each other a mirror and they learned different things," Madsen said. "They listen to each other and Eloise challenges her and helps her break down her mask and open up and be vulnerable in a way we haven't seen."

Cressida whistle twist

Warning: There are spoilers from the Bridgerton books. This third season is adapted from the fourth installment in Julia Quinn's series " Romancing Mr. Bridgerton." In this novel, which centers on Pauline's love story, Penelope goes to great lengths to hide her identity as Lady Whistledown. However, Cressida's attempt fails when she discovers Penelope's secret.

Instead of revealing Lady Whistledown's identity, Cressida uses the opportunity to blackmail Penelope for a large sum of money. However, Colin, who had previously learned the truth about Lady Whistledown, foiled Cressida's plans and revealed Penelope's secret identity to everyone (with her permission). This ultimately helped them avoid the scandal that would have ensued had Cressida gotten her way.