Daniel Francis Talks … Bridgerton

Daniel Francis plays Lord Marcus Anderson in Season 3 of Netflix’s Bridgerton
A charismatic presence who lights up any room he enters, attracting the notice of certain matriarchs in town—and the ire of others.

A classically trained actor, Francis is known for his roles in AppleTV’s Liaison, Disney/ABC’s hit series Once Upon a Time, Steve McQueen’s Small Axe, and Netflix’s Harlan Coben thriller Stay Close. He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and immediately joined the Royal Shakespeare Company after graduation, working alongside award-winning actor John Lithgow before transitioning to the big and small screens.

In addition to acting, Francis is also an entrepreneur, being a founding team member of the multi-billion dollar tech company Hedera Hashgraph.

We spoke to the actor about his role on Bridgerton and his future in the tech world …

Please introduce yourself

Daniel Francis. I’m an actor and entrepreneur. Born and raised in South West London, Battersea to Jamaican parents.

Please share a word or sentence which best describes your life right now.

The manifestation of conscious design and relentless execution.

Bridgerton is one of Netflix’s biggest-ever hits, tell us how you secured the part of Lord Marcus Anderson.

I was in my least Bridgerton-like state playing High Lord Turak in The Wheel of Time when the self tape came through. I was working with a wonderful actress Karima McAdams who helped me with the Bridgerton tape, she was my secret weapon on that. Then I did a chemistry read with Ruth Gemmell and got offered the part.

Daniel Francis as Lord Marcus Anderson- Bridgerton

Bridgerton’s diverse casting, although successful has been a huge topic of conversation since the first season. Do you think it has changed, or at least expanded the industry’s approach and audiences’ acceptance of black actors in roles outside of the usual stereotypes?

Success is one of the best teachers. Shondaland and Netflix innovated on a genre and setting which usually isn’t diverse and inclusive and they knocked it out of the park. If we’re seeing change it’s because organisations have the undeniable data that diverse audiences want representation and when it’s done well people watch. But it has to be done well.

How has seeing Black men in high-status roles, like Will Mondrich, Lord John Stirling, and Lord Marcus Anderson, changed how you view our history and our place in it, beyond just being in the lower ranks of society?

It hasn’t changed my view. I know enough about our history to know these characters weren’t rare or unique throughout black history. However, for those who are less informed or misinformed it’s hopefully a jump off point to get educated and delve into what I call full-spectrum African history to uncover the often untold achievements and exploits of people from the diaspora.

The amazing Adjoa Andoh plays your sister, what was it like working with Adjoa and the rest of the cast?

It’s a real treat. She’s [Adjoa] a wonderful actress and person to work with. She always brings her A-game and you know every scene with Adj is going to be rich and dynamic. So it’s an enormous amount of fun. The cast on a whole is a blast to work with.

Daniel Francis as Lord Marcus Anderson & Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury- Bridgerton

Highs, lows, solutions …

Fortunately, on this project, I’m in front of the camera so I’m not having to deal with the insanely complicated logistics of putting Bridgerton together. I’m in awe of the production team. The trickiest thing was covid, the team were so diligent to keep everyone absolutely safe and so navigating that was a real feat.

You were educated at LAMDA Drama School, began your career on stage working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. As an actor, what’s more exposing, walking onto the stage opening night or onto a big-budget Netflix set for the first time?

Definitely stage – it’s exhilarating in a unique way and also terrifying if you haven’t done it for awhile. I do miss the stage.

Outside of acting you are a big deal in the tech world as a founding team member of the multi-billion dollar tech company Hedera Hashgraph. Can you tell us more about the company and how you juggle the tech world and your acting career?

I wouldn’t say I’m a big deal in tech … yet. Hedera is a distributed ledger platform that we called the trust layer of the internet and an important part of the “web 3”. The next company I’m working on is in the Quantum Computing space, that’s the potentially world changing project. I’m working with insanely smart people developing the next wave of computer processing capabilities that could quite literally be as big or bigger than the A.I revolution.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU…

If not this then what? If not acting or tech I’d be a songwriter, I love writing songs.

What are you watching right now? YouTube videos on Quantum Physics, Quantum computing, Photonics. I’m in full geek mode. Boring from the outside but deeply fascinating to me.

What are you listening to right now? Eminem’s new music.

The last thing you saw on stage? Mrs Doubtfire the musical. The performance from the actor who played Daniel/Mrs Doubtfire was nothing short of incredible.

What’s on your bucket list? Become a billionaire – not for the money, but because of the growth and shifts in my psychology I’d have to make and the positive impact on the world I’d have to help create. I’m really not materialistic, for me it’s just a measure of impact.

Where is your happy place? By the ocean with no one around.

Celebrate someone else … In acting, I love Lakeith Stanfield. He’s unpredictable, original, qwerky and just a really dope actor.

What’s next? Some things I can’t talk about alongside doing a Series A raise for our company.

Where can we see your latest work? Bridgerton on Netflix is the latest, absolutely loved working on this project from start to finish.


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