Bustle Booth

With John Stirling, Victor Alli Marks A New Bridgerton Era

The ton’s newest love interest is sweet, gentle, and downright devastating.

Meet Victor Alli, Who Plays John Stirling On 'Bridgerton' With Francesca
Victor Alli

Booking a role on Bridgerton is top-secret business. When Victor Alli learned he’d be playing John Stirling in Season 3, he was starring alongside Amy Adams in the West End revival of The Glass Menagerie. He couldn’t stop smiling — and, well, Adams noticed.

“She was like, ‘Go on, tell me what’s happened,’” Alli recalls to Bustle. “I was like, ‘I got Bridgerton.’” She’s like ‘Oh my God, you got Bridgerton!’”

Apparently, Adams can keep a secret, which is fortuitous, because Alli’s arrival was always meant to surprise the ton. (Spoilers ahead for the sixth Bridgerton book, When He Was Wicked.)

Unlike other love interests in the Regency romance series, John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin, doesn’t have a book dedicated to him. He dies early into his marriage with Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd), and the remainder of the book is about how (and with whom) she proceeds after the loss.

Alli discovered this sad development during a late-night rabbit hole on the Bridgerton wiki page. “I was like, OK, I obviously read that wrong,” the 28-year-old says. “He dies? I found a part of the book that’s about John passing away in his sleep. And I thought, What? No!


Of course, if there’s a silver lining to landing an ill-fated character, it’s that you’ll try your darnedest to make them feel very alive while you can. And in Alli’s short time in Season 3, Part 1, fans have already fallen for John and Francesca’s quiet chemistry — a departure from angstier Bridgerton couples.

“I think John just enjoyed every moment,” says the London actor, whose resume includes Belfast, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Last Light. “At every ball scene, he danced, he laughed, he drank with the family, played games, walked down the road with Fran. And when it happens, it happens.”

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Despite quickly becoming a fan favorite, the low-key nature of Alli’s introduction to the show — a Regency soft launch, if you will — has paved the way for a calmer path to Bridgerton stardom.

“I still get to go out, cycle, go down my favorite roads and get flowers and go to magazine shops, and get coffee,” says Alli, who also auditioned to play Edwina Sharma’s suitor, Lord Lumley, in Season 2. “I like the fact that I still have that balance.”

Get to know more about Alli in the Bustle Booth questionnaire below.

In The Bustle Booth

What’s your coffee order?


What are the saved weather locations on your phone?

Berlin, Paris, Venice, Mykonos, Rhodes, LA, NYC, Lubbock.

Favorite overused movie quote?

“Run, Forrest, run!”

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

Tom and Jerry.

What’s one movie or TV show you're currently obsessed with?


If you had to be on a reality TV show, what would it be?

The Traitors.

Go-to karaoke song?

“Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey.

What’s something that’s inspiring you lately?

My two nieces. They’re just incredible.

What is something you would want people to say about you?

“Have you met Victor? Well, you should. He’s really lovely 😂.”