Harlots cast: Why did Jessica Brown Findlay leave Harlots?

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Harlots season three has arrived on the BBC iPlayer after than one year of waiting. The star-studded cast includes Lesley Manville, Liv Tyler, Jessica Brown Findlay, Samantha Morton and Kate Fleetwood but why did Jessica Brown Findlay leave the series? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers about Harlots

Why did Jessica Brown Findlay leave Harlots?

Jessica Brown Findlay played the role of Charlotte Wells in Harlots from 2017 until 2019.

Charlotte was the eldest daughter of bawd Margaret Wells (played by Samantha Morton) and went onto run a brothel of her own on Greek Street by the third series.

In a shocking turn of events, Charlotte was killed off in episode three of the final series.

READ MORE Harlots cast: Who is Lesley Manville? Meet the Lydia Quigley star

In the third season, she started a war with The Pincher gang, led by Isaac Pincher (Alfie Allen).

However, she also had a secret toxic, sexual relationship with him, as well as sleeping with Lady Isabella Fitz (Liv Tyler).

The Pincher brothers American land deal fell through after Margaret’s Wells new American husband learnt of the arson attack Isaac committed, destroying Charlotte’s home at Greek Street.

Moments later Charlotte and Isaac were caught kissing by Isaac’s brother, Hal Pincher (Ash Hunter), who blamed Isaac for the collapse of the deal.

Hal then started to beat Isaac and Charlotte attempted to separate the boys.

In the middle of the fight, Charlotte was thrown back and over the stair rail down onto the marble entrance hall floor below by accident, hitting her head.

Lydia Quigley and her ward witnessed the entire incident and Quigley cradled Charlotte in her arms as she took her final breath.

The fourth episode of Harlots mainly focused on the Wells family and friends mourning Charlotte’s death.

According to Executive Producer Moira Buffini explained to TV Line, Brown Findlay left Harlots to “explore new experiences.”

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Speaking to TV Line in 2019, Buffini said: “Jess is one of life’s genuine free spirits and she was ready to explore new experiences, so we set about writing her an exit to do her proud.”

Reflecting on writing Charlotte’s death scene, Buffini said: “Charlotte Wells is such a fighter.

“We wanted to tell the story of the risks she took but we didn’t want her death to be a horrible, sordid murder.

“It is as shocking as it should be and affects every single character, changing some of them forever.

“The repercussions are still being felt at the end of the series.”

Speaking to IndieWire, Brown-Findlay said: “She is at her best when she doesn’t have a tether when she can rebel and push.

“And I feel like we found that in spades this season. And wow, does she go out with a bang.

“I had a real moment at the end when I took stock of what an amazing time Harlots has been. Being able to come into work every day and play, properly play, was a hard thing to walk away from.

“I always cry at the end of a job as it means so much to me to be there at all, but this one really hit me hard.

“Charlotte helped me find my confidence and my joy again. She taught me there is nothing wrong with being bold or loud or broken.

“And as such, each person that came into her world touched mine. Because I was free.

“It’s wild how much three years can do when you let yourself dive into a character like that. She changed my life.”

Since leaving Harlots, Brown-Findlay has gone on to star in Brave New World on Peacock’s Brave New World, an adaption of the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name.

In Brave New World, she played the role of Lenina Crowne, starring alongside Alden Ehrenreich, Harry Lloyd and Nina Sosanya.

In 2018, she starred as Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, alongside Lily James and Matthew Goode.

Harlots is streaming on the BBC iPlayer now

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