Introducing the New Francesca: ‘Bridgerton’ Star Hannah Dodd Says She Was ‘Terrified’ for Season 3 Debut

New “Bridgerton” star Hannah Dodd arrived just in time for Francesca Bridgerton’s debut in British high society, which Dodd candidly looks back on as quite nerve-wracking.

“I was terrified … It took me ages to not feel like I was on some sort of fan experience where I was just being taken around the set and having a look,” Dodd told TheWrap, noting that already being a fan of the Netflix hit series didn’t help with her nerves. “It felt so bizarre, being introduced to all of these people … Now I can’t imagine not knowing these people or being part of it.”

Dodd replaced Ruby Stokes, who exited as Francesca ahead of Season 3 due to scheduling conflicts. Leaning on new showrunner Jess Brownell — whom Dodd said she “buddied up” with during both of their first seasons stepping into the spotlight —Dodd took a page out of her character’s book to take a step back before diving in headfirst.

“She is an observer — she does watch the family and, in joining society, she’s watching and learning, so I was also able to watch and learn,” Dodd said of Francesca, the third oldest Bridgerton daughter. “There’s definitely a rhythm and a dynamic to the show, so I tried to absorb that as much as possible. I was definitely learning as we went along.”

Dodd was also tasked with stepping into Francesca’s mastery of the pianoforte, which added another “layer of terror” for the newcomer, joking “learning a piece of Mozart, why not add that on to the list of things that you have to do on the show?”

Nonetheless, the time, effort and patience devoted to perfecting the skill enabled Dodd to better understand Francesca, with Dodd marveling at her character’s ability to “have your mind so still to do all of that all at once, and enjoy it.”

While both Francesca and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) quickly got the approval of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) upon their societal debut, Dodd sees Francesca as a “very different person” compared to the eldest Bridgerton sister, who effortlessly became the season’s diamond in Season 1. Instead, it is Francesca’s hesitation to be the center of attention that has “reinvented” the idea of the season’s “diamond,” as the Queen crowns Francesca as her “sparkler.”

“In the context of this season with so many other debutantes absolutely going after the idea of being the diamond, she doesn’t stand out because she’s perfect, she stands out because she’s not going after that — she’s avoiding that attention,” Dodd said. “It happens accidentally for her, which I think is a really beautiful thing. It’s not something that she’s having to try out, if anything she’s trying the opposite.”

Even so, Francesca’s quiet elegance draws the attention of suitor John Stirling (Victor Alli), whom she meets in a much-needed moment of respite from the noisy and pressure-filled ballroom.

“We just wanted it to feel really different from the other suitors kind of coming up to her and how much chaos she feels like she’s in in those spaces,” Dodd said. “I just always wanted it to feel really loud for her, and [that] she’s always craving that space and I think everything goes still when she’s around him.”

Despite this promising development in Francesca’s love story, Dodd teased her character’s internal relationship with herself in Season 3 Part 2 is “equally as important as her relationship with anybody else.”

“She’s getting to know herself, as well as all of these other people,” Dodd explained. “In Part 2, we really see her work out who she is, and stand on her own two feet and go, ‘this is what I want,’ or ‘this is not what I want,’ and that’s a really important thing for her to have.”

“Bridgerton” Season 3 Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Part 2 spremieres June 13.

The post Introducing the New Francesca: ‘Bridgerton’ Star Hannah Dodd Says She Was ‘Terrified’ for Season 3 Debut appeared first on TheWrap.