EXCLUSIVE: We will likely see more of Francesca on Bridgerton next season, and she will look a little different. Hannah Dodd (Anatomy of a Scandal) is set to play the elusive Bridgerton sibling in Season 3 of Netflix and Shondaland’s Regency-era period drama series based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels. She is joining the hugely popular show as a series regular in a recasting, taking over the role from Ruby Stokes, who left and is the lead of another Netflix series, the upcoming Lockwood & Co., an adaptation of Jonathan Stroud’s books.
Francesca Bridgerton is 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.
Francesca’s presence on Bridgerton also has been somewhat of a mystery. Played by Stokes, she had two fleeting appearances in Season 1, which her character spent visiting her aunt in Bath. Season 2 started more promising, with Francesca (Stokes) appearing in the first three episodes before disappearing without explanation for the rest of season as Stokes left to fulfill her prior obligation to Lockwood & Co.
“I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season 2,” Bridgerton creator and Seasons 1 and 2 showrunner Chris Van Dusen told TVLine in late March. “After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control.”
The first rumblings that Francesca may be recast came in December when a casting notice for the role as a new series regular was put out. Stokes was a recurring guest star on Bridgerton, which allowed her to book another show as a series regular.
Francesca Bridgerton, the second youngest daughter in the Bridgerton family, is expected to take center stage in a potential sixth season of Bridgerton based on the sixth book in Quinn’s series, “When He Was Wicked.”
The series, which is now casting new Season 3 roles, returns to production this summer in London.
Created by Van Dusen, based on Quinn’s novels, Bridgerton is set in the sexy, lavish and competitive world of Regency London high society. From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground. At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love.
Jess Brownell serves as Season 3 showrunner and executive produces alongside Van Dusen as well as Shondaland’s Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Tom Verica.
British actress-model Dodd most recently appeared in David E. Kelley’s six-part Netflix anthology series Anatomy of a Scandal as Young Sophie, the younger version of series lead Sienna Miller. She also was recently seen as one of the leads in Lifetime’s Flowers In The Attic: The Origin. On the feature side, she recently wrapped filming the Enola Holmes sequel, opposite Millie Bobby Brown. Dodd’s first acting role was a series lead in Find Me in Paris, and she also recurred in two seasons of Harlots. Dodd is repped by Olivia Bell Management.