'Bridgerton' Drops Phoebe Dynevor From Cast for Season 3

Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Basset and Jonathan Bailey as Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton in Bridgerton

Phoebe Dyvenor as Daphne Basset, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

It sometimes seems like Shonda Rhimes never quite realized how popular Bridgerton would be. The thoroughly American idealistic fantasy of Regency England was a massive smash in its first season, forcing the production to hastily announce the actor playing Season 1 leading man Simon Basset, Regé-Jean Page, was never signed for more than the initial season. Despite turning the series into an ensemble, the production thought having each couple exit stage left once their story was over would be the natural process, as it's how romance novels work. Nor has it learned anything, as now the other half of Season 1's leading players, Phoebe Dynevor, is also exiting the show.

For those who have not read Julia Quinn's books, the Bridgerton siblings disappear from the pages once they're hitched. After the first book, Simon is never seen again, and his wife, Daphne, only appears in family emergencies. (Not real crises, mind you, just the ones that require a duchess to haughtily look down her nose at someone lest they were considering giving one of her brothers or sisters the cut direct.) That occurs in the second book, Anthony Bridgerton's story, from which Season 2 took its cues. But Daphne's less needed in the third book and barely mentioned in the fourth novel, which Season 3 will cover.

Though it is brother Colin's turn at romance, Book 4 focuses far less on the Bridgerton family, instead turning its gaze on love interest Penelope Featherington, who also happens to be Lady Whistledown. Unlike the series, the novel features a significant time jump of several years, so Daphne and Anthony (and Benedict) all have a run of minor children to look after at home, leaving them absent for long stretches. Though the time jump most likely won't happen, the show has prepped viewers for a Featherington-focused season by making Penelope's role much larger in Season 1, emphasizing her BFF status with Eloise, and giving the Featherington clan a more significant role in various B-plots.

And yet, despite getting rid of the time jump and seeing the fan outcry at Page's exit, the show is still sidelining eldest sister Daphne from the season. At the Sundance Film Festival, Dynevor was cornered by reporters looking for Bridgerton dirt, only to learn she hadn't got any because she wouldn't be in it. "Sadly not in season 3," she admitted before comforting shocked fans that Daphne might still come back. "Potentially in the future. But Season 3, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer."

Chances are Daphne won't be all that missed as the series moves Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, and Claudia Jessie to top-billing. The series will co-star Season 2 leads Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, whose story will play out more in the new episodes. The series also brings back Ruth Gemmell, Luke Thompson, Florence Hunt, and Will Tilston, with Hannah Dodd as the new Francesca. Shelley Conn and Charithra Chandran are the Sharma in-laws, while Polly Walker, Harriet Cains, and Bessie Carter are the Featheringtons. Other notable returnees include Julie Andrews, Adjoa Andoh, Martins Imhangbe, and Golda Rosheuvel

But never fret, fans, with the show starting to shed spinoffs, Dyvenor could return as Daphne in another series even if she says goodbye to Bridgerton for good. 

Bridgerton Season 3 and Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story are confirmed to debut on Netflix in 2023.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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