Moving on. Regé-Jean Page has put his Bridgerton role behind him, taking no issue with production if they were to recast the Duke of Hastings moving forward.
“They’re free to do as they like,” Page told Variety at the premiere of his new action film The Gray Man. “Shonda [Rhimes, executive producer of Bridgerton] and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of season 1. We were quite happy with how we stuck the landing on that one.”
The London native continued by acknowledging the praise he received for playing the beloved character of Simon Basset, who was at first an unbending suitor to Daphne Basset (Phoebe Dynevor), but went on to marry her at the end of the show’s first season.
“We did so well on that redemptive arc that people forget that Simon was kind of horrific. He was the best example of a Regency f–kboy that any of us had come across,” Page continued. “And so, because we came around full circle so well, because we stuck that landing, you’re left with this great feeling. You really do have to be brave about ending stories like that.”
He continued by disclosing that he hadn’t yet watched the second season of the popular Netflix series which debuted in March. “I haven’t caught up with it,” the Sylvie’s Love actor said.
Bridgerton has recast parts before, with Hannah Dodd set to take over the role of Francesca Bridgerton following Ruby Stokes’ exit. The writers didn’t take that approach with Page’s character, however, explaining his absence in the first few minutes of the second season with Daphne simply stating that her husband was simply “at home” taking care of their child.
Although the For the People alum has moved on to other TV and film projects, fans still wonder if he would ever return to the series. Page has maintained that it was always the plan for him to spend a brief amount of time playing Simon.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end — give us a year,” the Harry Potter alum recalled of his early conversations with producers in an April 2021 interview with Variety. “[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit, and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
He noted that he had “nothing but excitement” for the story to go on without him, adding, “But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”