Masali Baduza Brings Charm As Michaela Stirling In Bridgerton Season 3

The South African actress has a humble background!

Fans of Julia Quinn’s novels have been left shocked and stunned after Bridgeton season three introduces the not-so-new but different character, Michaela Stirling, as John’s cousin.

Key Takeaways

  • Bridgerton season 3 introduces a new character named Michaela Stirling, the gender-swapped version of Michael Stirling from the books.
  • Michaela’s introduction suggests the show may explore Francesca’s bisexuality and queer representation, which has been confirmed by the showrunner.
  • The character is played by South African actress Masali Baduza, who has expressed excitement about bringing sapphic representation to the show.

If you have read the book “When He Was Wicked,” you may be familiar with a character named Michael Stirling, who is John’s cousin and Francesca’s future husband after John passes away. (Spoilers!)

When you connect the dots, you know where the story is going!

Although we didn’t believe Francesca Bridgerton’s asexual claim in the past, now we can predict that she may be bisexual.

Bridgerton showrunner has confirmed the show will feature queer love in the coming season, and this may be between one of the Bridgerton siblings, Francesca and Michaela.

So, Who Is Michaela Stirling?

Michaela Stirling is a cousin of John Stirling, who first appeared on-screen at the Dankworth-Finch ball episode in season three.

It was also revealed that she would accompany the newly wedded couple, Francesca and John, to Scotland with Eloise.

The charming girl’s first line states,

“Every sordid detail John has told you about me is a lie. The truth is far worse,”

Michaela Stirling; Bridgerton Season 3

which gives us a glimpse of her personality.

She Is Played By South African Actress

The role of Michaela Stirling is portrayed by South African actress Masali Baduza.

She has a humble background; she was born and raised outside of Cape Town, in South Africa’s East London.

Talking about her childhood, she said,

“Growing up in post-Apartheid South Africa, it was easy to relate to the power dynamics. My parents were oppressed on their land.”

Masali Baduza

Masali continued,

However, I acknowledge I was born with middle-class privilege; you have to understand your position and do what you can to empower those less privileged than you.

Masali Baduza

Although the details of her parents and siblings (she is the youngest of six) are unrevealed, the actress occasionally shares the family picture on social media.

Masali is thankful for her parents’ support and claims that none of her siblings could have escaped if they pursued arts.

They were just really supportive of whatever I wanted to pursue. I was never pressured to be something I didn’t want to be.

Masali Baduza

After completing her high school, she went to America and joined the New York Film Academy.

She graduated in 2016 and made her film debut in 2019 in “Bhai’s Cafe.”

Baduza got more roles as days went on and was cast in “Noughts + Crosses” from 2020 to 2022.

There she played the leading lady, “Sephy,” in the BBC drama series.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Masali Baduza was born in 1996, making her 28 years old.
  • After graduating from the New York Film Academy, she returned to South Africa because she missed her home.
  • There, Baduza gained some experience and got into theatre.


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