The Stunning Transformation Of Hannah Dodd

In the third season of "Bridgerton," a brand new actor joined the screen family's cast. Hannah Dodd replaced Ruby Stokes as Francesca, the sixth child in the Bridgerton family tree. In the series by Julia Quinn upon which the Netflix series is based, Francesca has her own love story — in other words, chances are, Dodd will be the romantic lead in one of the "Bridgerton" seasons to come. 

While Dodd may be a new face to many "Bridgerton" fans, the young actor has already had a pretty impressive career. After beginning as a dancer, she moved into modeling and acting as a young adult, quickly landing a campaign with Burberry and acting roles alongside the likes of Sienna Miller, Millie Bobby Brown, and Angelina Jolie. After going from a job in a London pub to the glamour of Hollywood, friends dubbed her "Cinderella." "Bridgerton" may be her big break, but we're willing to bet it won't be her last.

Hannah Dodd began dancing at just 2 years old

Hannah Dodd was born in Colchester, just outside of London. From an early age, Dodd showed herself to be a natural performer. In fact, when she was just 2 years old, she started taking dance classes — everything from ballet and tap to contemporary. "I always wanted to be a professional dancer before going into acting," she told Marie Claire of her early love of dance. "So, I do dance. I love dancing!"

In another interview with Town & Country, she revealed that she grew up watching old musicals, which helped her fall in love with dance. "I always loved old school musical films, I loved the dancing in them," she said. And while Dodd didn't end up becoming a professional dancer, her training helped her understand acting. "Part of what I loved about dance was the storytelling element of it," she said. "I just used my body instead of my words."

Hannah Dodd began modeling as a teenager, but didn't let it get to her head

Hannah Dodd never expected to become a model or an actor — however, after being spotted by a modeling agency as a teenager, she began working as a model to make some extra money. "I started modeling just as a way to fund my dance training, but it's been 10 years now, so I guess I have had a bit of a career!" she mused to Marie Claire. "It's weird!"

Initially, she was actually worried that modeling would have a negative impact on her education. "I was such a little try-hard geek at the time," she quipped to the Daily Mail. However, when she realized how expensive studying dance would be, she decided it would be worth it.

Modeling as a teenager also helped Dodd grow up a little faster than her peers. In fact, when she was just 15, she began taking the train into London alone to attend casting sessions. "My dad gave me the A-Z and we'd plot with a pen where I needed to go as we didn't have internet on our phones," she said of her adventures to the capital. 

Hannah Dodd moved to London and trained as a dancer

When Hannah Dodd left school, she pursued her dream of professional dancing, enrolling at London Studio Centre where she studied musical theatre and dance. During her time at college, she moved out of her family home and lived with friends in a shared house in London.

Dodd and her housemates took their training seriously. "We were very good girls," she told the Daily Mail. "We did go out sometimes at the weekend, but we had ballet at 8 a.m. every morning, plus I had to pay for it all, so I worked weekends as well."

Dodd still calls London home and on her days off, she catches up with her old college friends. "Because I went to dance school, I've got a lot of friends who teach dance classes or who are personal trainers, so I'd go to one of my friends' classes [on my day off]," she told Fabric Magazine.

Hannah Dodd landed her big break – a Burberry campaign at 19

Even though Hannah Dodd had no initial ambitions to be a professional model, she quickly proved to be a natural. By the time she was 19, just one year into college, she had landed a major Burberry campaign alongside Romeo Beckham. But Dodd remained humble. "They called me Cinderella because after the shoot I went and scrubbed the toilets the next day," she said to the Daily Mail, explaining that she kept her second, less glamorous job in a local pub.

Looking back, Dodd says the 2014 Burberry campaign was something like a dream come true — even though it was a dream she never knew she had! Especially as she got the chance to dance in the 2014 ad. "I didn't do high fashion, I wasn't ever aiming for anything like that, so to get to dance as well, as a dancer, was just amazing," she said to Marie Claire. "It's shot so beautifully. I look back at that now and think, I can't believe I ever did that, that's crazy!"

Hannah Dodd's acting career began with Find Me in Paris

Hannah Dodd got her first acting agent when she was still in school thanks to her Burberry campaign and quickly began auditioning for film and TV roles. However, it wasn't until 2018, after her graduation, that Dodd was cast in "Find Me in Paris," a young adult show from Hulu about a time-traveling ballet dancer. As she told Marie Claire, it was her first job after graduating from college. Her character, Thea, was the "mean girl" at a dance academy. "[It] was so much fun to play, saying and doing things that you would never get to do in real life," she said of the character.

Looking back at her career now, Dodd still holds a special place in her heart for the character after playing her for three years. "I feel like I spent the most time with her and loved her," she told us at Women Lifestyle in an exclusive interview. "I'm really grateful for that job because it was the job that set everything off. I spent the most time in her space and she's sassy and a high school know-it-all and it's really fun to click into that and have fun and then come home afterwards."

Being in the MCU's Eternals was one of the most bizarre experiences of her life

After appearing in two other shows, "Harlots" and "Pandora," Hannah Dodd landed her most exciting role yet in 2021 when she was cast as Sandra, a young woman whose likeness is used by Sprite (played by Lia McHugh) in Marvel Studios' "Eternals." Joining the MCU, even in a small role, was a huge career moment for young Dodd, who confessed that the film is "insane to even think about." "It was so crazy," she told us. "When I auditioned for it, I didn't know what I was auditioning for." 

Apparently, she didn't even find out what the project was until she booked the job six months later. "I was able to go to the table read, which was the most bizarre experience in my whole entire life," she said. "I was sat there in this room with amazing people. So bizarre." Sounds like she still can't quite believe she got to be part of such a giant project!

Hannah Dodd played a young version of Sienna Miller in Anatomy of a Scandal

In 2022, Hannah Dodd won another coveted role — this time, she played the younger version of Sienna Miller in Netflix's much-hyped "Anatomy of a Scandal." Naturally, Dodd was a little anxious about portraying the iconic Miller. "She'd walk on to that makeup bus at 6 a.m. looking amazing," Dodd recalled to the Daily Mail. "I was just like, 'Oh god, what are we going to do? How do you give me her face?' There was loads of makeup."

Luckily, Dodd did plenty of prep work — both physical and mental — before the shoot. "I needed to try and understand who she was in relation to somebody else's work as well, so it was an interesting style of prep, also vocally and physically trying to match somebody else and stuff like that," she told The Italian Reve of the process. She also did a deep dive into '90s culture so she could better understand the time period.

Hannah Dodd was shocked to be cast in Enola Holmes 2

Hannah Dodd's career success continued when she was cast in yet another Netflix project in 2022 — "Enola Holmes 2," the sequel to the hit Milly Bobby Brown film. Even after all of her success, landing the role was a big shock to Dodd. "I'm so grateful for that job. I'm not very good at watching myself, but this is one I really wanted to watch for everybody else: The cast is incredible! I don't really understand how I'm in it!" she confessed to The Italian Reve.

Once again, Dodd found herself star-struck when she first met her co-stars — especially the legendary Helena Bonham-Carter. "The table read was the first time and I could see all of our names and it was Helena Bonham Carter, Hannah Dodd. I was like, 'I have to sit next to her? What?' It was insane," she told us. It seems that no matter how many times Dodd gets to work on big projects, she never loses her sense of awe for the industry.

Hannah Dodd landed another big role in Flowers in the Attic: The Origin

Next up for Hannah Dodd was the Lifetime miniseries "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin," a spooky period drama prequel to the 2014 film and the 1979 graphic novel. In the origin story, Dodd portrayed Corrine Foxworth, the daughter of Malcolm and Alicia Foxworth.

Initially, Dodd was a little overwhelmed by the role. "I was very nervous and really overwhelmed ... I didn't know when I was auditioning what a big role Corrine was," she told us at Women Lifestyle. "Once I learned, the panic set in and I was like, 'I need to do everything there possibly is I can do.'" So, she dove into her prep work, watching the old film and reading the books. 

The series was filmed in Romania during the COVID-19 pandemic. "What was really nice is most of us lived together in a hotel for the three months that we were filming," she recalled. "Everybody got really close and because of COVID, people weren't able to fly back and forward because of quarantine." When filming wrapped, Dodd took to Instagram to share her feelings about the show. "Don't really have the words to sum up the past few months, but I am beyond grateful," she wrote.

Hannah Dodd was cast in a life-changing role in Netflix's Bridgerton

Although Hannah Dodd has landed some big roles in her career so far, none have been quite so big as Francesca in the Netflix smash hit "Bridgerton." Dodd landed the leading role after Ruby Stokes played the character for the show's first two seasons. In the third season, Francesca takes on a more central role as the show gears up to put her love story front and center in one of the coming seasons.

At first, Dodd didn't even know what she was auditioning for. "It was all kept quite secret," she told Fabric Magazine. In fact, she only found out moments before meeting the team. "[W]hich was kind of terrifying, but also good, because it meant that I just had to kind of go in, and be present, and respond to what they were asking for," she explained. Dodd landed the role just a few weeks later.

Dodd may have been nervous, but she ended up having a wonderful time on set. "They'd known each other for years at that point, so I needed to kind of get in there, but also be really respectful, and focus on my job, as well," she said of her experience fitting in with the other cast members. But, she added, "They were just the best and there is not a day that you're on that set that you are not crying with laughter — it's the funniest place to work."

Hannah Dodd learned the piano for Bridgerton

As soon as Hannah Dodd found out she'd be playing Francesca in "Bridgerton," she went straight into preparation mode, reading Francesca's book before tackling the entire series. She also had to learn about the Regency era. The trickiest thing to learn, however, was the piano, which Dodd actually plays in the show. "I went straight into piano lessons," she told The Italian Reve. She had never played before, but she was up for the challenge. As she told Fabric Magazine, "One of my favorite things about being an actor is getting to learn different skills, somebody tells you you've got to learn piano, and you're like, 'Why not?'"

Luckily, her dance training proved to be useful. "I had to use my dance brain and learn finger choreography," she told the Daily Mail. "My piano teacher taught me it as a little dance." However, she confessed, she forgot how to play each piece after filming each respective scene. 

Hannah Dodd bought her first apartment after Bridgerton

Let's face it — a role on "Bridgerton" is bound to be life-changing for any actor. The show is one of Netflix's most popular offerings — season three became one of the streaming platform's top 10 most-watched shows within just 24 hours of its release.

For Dodd, the show didn't just bring fame, it also brought her a new level of independence. After years of living in a rented house share with friends, she was finally able to buy her first apartment of her own. As she told the Daily Mail, it was just a "teeny flat" in Southeast London. "It's my own little space," she said. "Before that, my dad had moved me so many times. I was literally in a single bed a few months ago, in my friend's spare room, in between moves. I was like, 'I can't do this anymore.'"

Hannah Dodd has dreams of being in a musical

So, what's next for Hannah Dodd? She may have landed a role that most actors could only dream of, but there's still a lot she wants to do. In fact, Dodd is keen to get back to her musical roots. "I would love to get the opportunity to do a golden age Hollywood, proper musical vibe," she told us at Women Lifestyle. But, she added, "I don't want any of them remade because they're all perfect as they are."

Her dream type of role? "Kind of like an old school Hollywood, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Busby Berkeley vibe," as she put it to Fabric Magazine, adding, "Yeah, that would be the ultimate dream." In the meantime, she's hungry to take on more projects, and she's open to just about anything that comes her way. "I don't think I'd say no to a lot," she said. "Anything ... I'm available!"

For now, the young starlet is already hard at work on her next project, an upcoming thriller called "Family Secrets," also starring Eric Dane and Hermione Corfield. The project began filming in Montenegro in late 2023.