As the excitement dies down surrounding the second season of Bridgerton, fans are already in a frenzy over the show’s upcoming prequel series and slated third season. But it looks like the third season, which is set to start filming this summer, will be facing some new changes — and some new actors. On May 12, actress Hannah Dodd announced on Instagram that she will be joining the Bridgerton family as Francesca Bridgerton, replacing actress Ruby Stokes in the hit Netflix series. Dodd shared her enthusiasm about the role, captioning her Instagram post, “Terrified 🐝💛. I’ll work my socks off I promise x.”
Although Francesca currently has a small — and even, according to some fans and critics, “mysterious” — role in Bridgerton, the character will likely have her own season eventually, as the series formulaically follows a different member of the Bridgerton family during each courting season.
Here is everything we know about Bridgerton’s new Francesca, Hannah Dodd.
Why is Francesca Bridgerton Being recast?
According to numerous sources, Ruby Stokes, who played Francesca in the first and second seasons of Bridgerton, is leaving the show to focus on her upcoming supernatural thriller series Lockwood & Co, also on Netflix.
It also appears that the creators behind Bridgerton have been looking to reevaluate Francesca’s character for a while. Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen spoke to TVLine in March, saying, “I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2. After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control.”
While Francesca’s character is often described as “contained” and “enigmatic” in comparison to her extroverted and outwardly charming family, perhaps her personality will blossom in upcoming seasons, and especially as she is recast with Dodd.
Who Is Hannah dodd?
The 26-year-old England-native is an up-and-coming actress who has had numerous roles in both television shows and films, first getting her big break as a Burberry model alongside teenage heartthrob Romeo Beckham in 2014. However, Dodd is perhaps best-known for her role as a young Sienna Miller in Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal, a psychological thriller miniseries.
Dodd also starred in Find Me In Paris, a teen drama comedy series on Hulu, from 2018 to 2020. She played Thea Raphael, a ballet student at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and told Marie Claire UK in 2021 that it has been her favorite role she has played thus far in her career. She also told Marie Claire UK, “You could tell that [Thea] was written by a female, a female character written by a female writer. I do hope that I get to play more characters like that.”
Dodd also played Sandra in Marvel’s Eternals in 2021 alongside A-listers including Harry Styles and Angelina Jolie. The young actress is also set to star in Enola Holmes 2, a mystery film premiering on Netflix this July, along with Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill.
Bridgerton isn’t Dodd’s first stab at period drama acting; she also played Sophia Fitzwilliam in Harlots, a period drama series on Hulu, from 2018 through 2019.
Given that Bridgerton is based off a book series of the same name by author Julia Quinn, Dodd being cast as Francesca, “a female character written by a female writer,” seems like the perfect match. With a long list of television shows and movies already on her resume, Hollywood and Gen Z should get to know the name Hannah Dodd.