Why has Francesca Bridgerton been recast in Bridgerton season 3 and who is playing her?

Why has Francesca Bridgerton been recast in Bridgerton season 3 and who is playing her?

Hannah is making her debut as her character does the same in society (Picture: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Bridgerton fans are flooding to Netflix to watch season 3 now that part 1 is out, as the romance between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) finally unfolds.

However, some might be asking one big question: Why has Francesca Bridgerton been recast?

Eagle-eyed viewers will have quickly realised that it’s a completely different actress playing the character now, as the third daughter in the affluent family was originally depicted by Ruby Stokes.

Now, Hannah Dodd has taken over the role, shining a spotlight on the introverted piano-loving debutante.

So why the big change?

Why has Francesca Bridgerton been recast?

Before season three, it was announced that Ruby, 23, would be leaving the role, as she was forced to step down after being cast as a lead in Netflix’s Lockwood & Co.

Francesca first made her entrance in Bridgerton in season one before returning in season two, with the character originally being played by Ruby in a total of five episodes.

Francesca’s absence for large parts of Bridgerton so far was down to her staying with her aunt in Bath (Picture: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Ruby left Bridgerton after appearing in the first two seasons as Francesca (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Former Bridgerton showrunner Chris Van Dusen previously explained why Francesca was largely absent from season two, telling TVLine: ‘I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season two.

‘After exhausting all over options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps season three will be the charm.’

She played Lucy in the series Lockwood and Co., which was axed by Netflix after on season (Picture: Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix))

Following the news of Ruby’s departure, she spoke about the decision to leave, saying on What To Watch: ‘Working on Bridgerton was wonderful and it was incredible to be part of a show like that.’

However, she felt as though Lockwood and Co. was ‘an opportunity I couldn’t turn down’, as it gave her a ‘chance to explore a very different character’ in lead Lucy.

Sadly, Lockwood and Co. ended up being cancelled after just one season, leaving fans devastated.

What else has Ruby Stokes starred in?

In addition to Bridgerton and Lockwood and Co., Ruby has also appeared in films and TV shows, including Not Going Out, The Burning Girls and The Jetty.

The actress recently celebrated her four-month stint in a play (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

This year, she appeared in the play Till The Stars Come Down, in which she played the role of Leanne.

In a post shared on Instagram in March, she celebrated starring in the production for the past several months, writing in her caption: ‘Ya absolute beauty of a play. The last four months with this raucous lot (and many more) have been glorious. Thank you, thank you ❤️‍🔥.’

Who is the new Francesca Bridgerton actress?

Hannah Dodd, 28, will likely already be a familiar face to Netflix subscribers, as she played a pivotal role in Enola Holmes 2 opposite Millie Bobby Brown before joining the cast of Bridgerton as Francesca.

Viewers will get to learn a lot more about Francesca this season (Picture: Gregory Pace/Shutterstock)

Hannah (third from right) at the Enola Holmes 2 world premiere with Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill (Picture: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Her TV debut came in 2018 when she starred in Find Me in Paris and Harlots.

In 2021, she played a small role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing as the adult version of Sprite in Eternals.

When it was announced that Hannah had been cast, Netflix shared a tidbit about Francesca’s story, stating: ‘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.’

Bridgerton is available to watch on Netflix.

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