Not the end? After playing Simon Basset in Bridgerton‘s first season, Regé-Jean Page explained that he was ready to move on — but is his decision permanent?
Viewers quickly fell in love with Page and his character, the Duke of Hastings, when season 1 of the Netflix drama premiered in December 2020. His streamy onscreen romance with Phoebe Dynevor‘s Daphne Bridgerton wrapped up when the couple worked out their issues and welcomed their son, Augie, in the season finale.
While fans were looking forward to more scenes between Simon and Daphne in future seasons, Netflix later announced that Page would not be reprising his role.
“Dear Readers, while all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton [Jonathan Bailey]’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings,” the network tweeted via its official social media account in April 2021. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne [Phoebe Dynevor] will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear. Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.”
The For the People alum retweeted the statement, writing, “Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family – on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans – the love is real and will just keep growing.” Soon after the news made headlines, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Page declined $50,000 per episode to return for season 2.
When Bridgeton returned, it centered Anthony’s love story with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) —but the Duke of Hastings was still on everyone’s mind. Dynevor’s appearances in the sophomore season provided some closure for the audience as Daphne transitioned into motherhood.
“I think the fans who have read the books and know the books are aware that every season will focus on a different sibling’s journey. And it might be a little bit more of a — not shock, but like a surprise for the fans that love Daphne and Simon’s story so much,” the Younger alum hinted to The Wrap in June 2021 about Page’s absence. “But I think that’s honestly the joy of the show in the long-term, getting to see these different love stories play out.”
Page, for his part, has teased his upcoming projects after leaving the streaming hit, including The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons. The England native, who has also explored voiceover opportunities, previously revealed that he decided to leave the Bridgerton cast’s group chat after moving on from the Regency-era show.
“I’m no longer in it,” he told GQ in September 2021. “I respectfully exited. I didn’t want to put them in an awkward situation where they had to kick me out.”
Scroll down for everything Page has said about a potential Bridgeton return: