News from the Ton! Actress Ruby Stokes is finally sharing her thoughts about fans’ reactions to her Bridgerton season two absence.
Upon the Netflix period romance’s second season release in March 2022, fans were quick to point out that Francesca Bridgerton was noticeably missing from most of the episodes, despite being a member of the show’s titular family. While Stokes, 22, exited Bridgerton to star in the streamer’s new supernatural series Lockwood & Co., she admitted that she loved seeing people poke fun at Francesca’s whereabouts online.
She told Variety in an interview published Tuesday, February 14, “I did see the memes people were creating, and they tickled me! They were funny and very joyous.”
But for as funny as she found all the memes and posts, Stokes noted, “I didn’t want to delve too deep sometimes, because you can read a lot of stuff and start overthinking things. I like to end my scrolling somewhere.”
The star also shared that the choice to leave the hit series “wasn’t an easy decision,” as Francesca’s love story is likely to be the subject of one of the show’s upcoming seasons, just as it is in the Bridgerton book series by author Julia Quinn.
“It was incredible being part of a cultural moment like Bridgerton,” the star —who plays Lucy on Lockwood & Co. — said of her experience on the show. “The versatility in acting is so joyous, and there was something about Lucy that just drew me to her. I found her very exciting and being presented with that opportunity, I wanted to take it and explore it.”
While fans may have said goodbye to Stokes, Francesca will continue to stick around. It was announced in May 2022 that Hannah Dodd will take over the role for Bridgerton’s upcoming third season.
“The only thing the Ton loves more than a scandal is a celebration,” the show’s official Twitter page wrote announcing the news. “Do joyously welcome the newest member to the Bridgerton family.”
Bridgerton showrunner Chris Van Dusen had previously opened up about Stokes’ departure in a March 2022 interview with TVLine, noting, “I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season 2.”
He continued, “After exhausting all other options, she, unfortunately, had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps season 3 will be the charm.”
Before joining the Bridgerton universe, Dodd, 27, appeared in a handful of TV shows, including the miniseries Anatomy of a Scandal and Flowers in the Attic: The Origin. She has already made her Netflix debut, as she starred alongside Millie Bobby Brown in the 2022 sequel film Enola Holmes 2.