Hannah Dodd Stars as Francesca Bridgerton in the Show's Third Season

two women in formal wear
Who Plays Francesca Bridgerton? LAURENCE CENDROWICZ
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.


"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

Francesca Bridgerton is the first major character on Netflix's hit Bridgerton to be recast: actress Hannah Dodd took over the role from Ruby Stokes starting in season three.

Stokes was unable to commit to future seasons because of her leading role in Netflix's Lockwood & Co., and the scheduling of filming both were in conflict. During season two, showrunner Chris Van Dusen had hoped she would be in more of the season, but it wasn't possible. "I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season two," Van Dusen told TVLine. "After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps season three will be the charm."

In January 2023, Stokes opened up about leaving, calling it a "difficult choice." She added, "Working on Bridgerton was wonderful and it was incredible to be part of a show like that." Stokes had previously shared a bunch of fun behind-the-scenes photos of her time on set during season two:

Executive producer Shonda Rhimes is hoping to make eight seasons of Bridgerton, with each season following a different sibling, just like the Bridgerton books. So far, seasons one and two have followed books one and two (The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me), but season three went out of order, focusing on Colin and Penelope's love story—which occurs in book four, An Offer from a Gentleman.

"I really feel like it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching both of these actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them a little bit. We know who they are as people," Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell told Variety. "Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up."

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UG8RP9U?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10067.a.39978574%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>When He Was Wicked</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$7.99</p>

Shop Now

When He Was Wicked

amazon.com

$7.99

Yet, no matter which Bridgerton sibling is in the lead, the recasting of Francesca means her story begins in season three, and then Dodd will hypothetically be in the lead for whichever season follows book six, When He Was Wicked. In the first part of season three, Francesca makes her debut in society, and meets John Stirling, her future husband (played by Victor Alli).

In an interview, Dodd revealed she's extremely excited for Francesca's storyline. "Francesca’s book is like a complete mix of the both [steamy and tortured]," Dodd told Page Six. "I’m, like, a massive fan of Bridgerton, so I’m like, 'Bring on the steaminess,' but then I’m like, 'I don’t want to do that.' I want it for the people who watch it, but to actually do it is quite scary."

two women in formal wear
Dodd as Francesca in season three.LAURENCE CENDROWICZ
bridgerton l to r ruth gemmell as lady violet bridgerton, hannah dodd as francesca bridgerton, florence hunt as hyacinth bridgerton in episode 304 of bridgerton cr liam danielnetflix 2023
A first look at Dodd’s Francesca. Liam Daniel/Netflix

Dodd shared that when she was cast, she started by reading When He Was Wicked. "I didn’t know what I’d got myself in for, but I needed to read that as soon as possible. It’s such a beautiful book and she’s such a beautiful character. I can’t really believe that I get to play her," Dodd told TV Line. "I know how people feel about her as well, so I’m going to do my best."

In the initial character description released by Netflix, Francesca is described as "a bit of a mystery within her chatty, extroverted family. Despite her reserved nature, she goes along to get along when it comes to society affairs, fortified with a dry wit and pragmatism that confound the fickle ton yet seem to draw attention when she least desires it."

Bridgerton season three, part one is now streaming; part two drops on June 13.

You Might Also Like