Bridgerton: Who is Hannah Dodd, the actor replacing Ruby Stokes as Francesca?

As viewers tune in to watch the latest season of Netflix’s racy regency drama Bridgerton, they will likely notice one major difference: the actor playing Francesca has been replaced.

For the first two seasons, the character was played by Ruby Stokes. The actor, however, has now exited the role in order to star in the supernatural drama Lockwood and Co, also released by Netflix.

In season three, Hannah Dodd, who starred opposite Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes 2, has stepped into Stokes’s shoes as Francesca, the sixth sibling in the aristocratic family.

The premiere of the new season opens with Francesca preparing to make her debut into society and the upper-class marriage market. She causes quite a stir among the potential suitors and emerges as the unexpected “diamond” of the season.

Find out everything you need to know about Hannah Dodd and the Bridgerton recasting, below.

Who is Hannah Dodd, the new actor recast as Francesca Bridgeton?

Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton in the Netflix drama (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton in the Netflix drama (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

The 28-year-old actor is from Colchester, England. She trained at London Studio Centre in Theatre Dance in 2017 before landing her debut role starring in the Hulu teen series Find Me in Paris from 2018 to 2020. She later starred in Harlots as Sophie Fitzwilliam.

The following year, Dodd featured in the Netflix limited series Anatomy of a Scandal as the younger version of Sienna Miller’s character, before playing Sarah Chapman in Enola Holmes 2.

Dodd is also a working model, and is signed to Select Model Management, which has stars such as David Gandy and Pixie Lott on its books.

What has Hannah Dodd said about her role in ‘Bridgerton’?

Dodd’s character is often seen playing the piano (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)
Dodd’s character is often seen playing the piano (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

Ahead of the season’s debut, Dodd told Netflix’s site Tudum that there were parallels between her own experiences and her character’s storyline, since she has entered the show as Francesca makes her society debut.

“Francesca has been preparing for [her debut]. Filming it was absolutely terrifying, because it was quite early on in production,” Dodd told Tudum.

“There was a little bit of life imitating art there. She was nervous and I was nervous. She was watching people, and I was watching people to learn. We were kind of going through it together.”

Who is the character Francesca Bridgerton?

Hannah Dodd and Ruby Stokes (Getty)
Hannah Dodd and Ruby Stokes (Getty)

Stokes’ Francesca appeared in five episodes across the first two seasons. At the beginning of the series, she was introduced with the rest of the Bridgerton family as she awaited her eldest sister Daphne’s debut.

Francesca, however, leaves London for the countryside town Bath for most of the first season to live with their Aunt Winnie. When Francesca returns to Mayfair months later, Daphne asks her to show what she’s learnt over the summer – and she shows them her new skills on her favourite instrument, the pianoforte.

Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton, pictured centre (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)
Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton, pictured centre (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

From there, although Francesca is often seen playing the instrument at different intervals across the series, she doesn’t take part in any central plots until the newly released third season.

Bridgerton is based on Julia Quinn’s romantic novels. In the sixth book, When He Was Wicked, Francesca becomes the lead character, which might explain why the character is being brought into the foreground after two seasons.

Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix now.