Bridgerton’s Hannah Dodd responds to fan theory about Francesca’s ‘neurodivergent traits’

Bridgerton's Hannah Dodd has spoken out about the fan theory. (Getty)

Bridgerton actress Hannah Dodd has responded to a fan theory about Francesca Bridgerton being autistic. 

Warning: Bridgerton season three spoilers ahead.

At the end of season three, part two, fans of the Netflix period drama saw the third Bridgerton sister (played by Dodd) debut in society and tie the knot with John Stirling (Victor Alli). 

Their relationship followed “the slow approach”, as Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) put it, with some viewers convinced that she was asexual due to her perceived apprehensions when it came to physical contact. 

A still of Francesca Bridgerton and John Stirling in Bridgerton.
Hannah Dodd portrays the shy, quiet Bridgerton sibling. (Netflix)

Of course, at the end of Bridgerton season three part two, Francesca is confirmed to have her queer awakening after she meets Lord Kilmartin’s cousin, Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza).

Others thought Francesca could be autistic due to some of the “neurodivergent traits” she appeared to exhibit. Some fans picked up on the fact she prefers a quiet household, escaped the busy ballroom to practice pianoforte, and appeared to struggle to maintain eye contact when meeting Lord Kilmartin’s cousin.

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Hannah Dodd has spoken out about the fan theory that Francesca Bridgerton is autistic, admitting that Bridgerton — which includes plenty of LGBTQ+ characters — “is a show about people and representation”.

“It’s only a good thing if people feel they can see themselves on screen,” she told the BBC, explaining that the fan theories about Francesca and Lord Kilmartin being autistic have been “so lovely to see”.

She continued: “I know it was discussed in the writer’s room that there were maybe [some] traits, but… we just have such a rich script, so we just responded to what was on the paper.

“It wasn’t something that was understood in those times, so it’s not something that I think Francesca or [Lord Kilmartin], we needed, to understand.”

She added: “It’s so, so nice that the community have embraced us and feels seen.”

Bridgerton season three is streaming on Netflix now.

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