“You’re afraid of the unknown, thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I’m never going to make friends as good as the ones I have,’ and then you do,” Page, 31, told Variety in an interview published on Wednesday, May 26.
The For the People alum won over millions of fans — 82 million streamers worldwide to be exact, per Netflix — with his portrayal of Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, on season 1 of the Netflix drama, which premiered in December 2020. The massive success of the show led to the streaming giant renewing it for seasons 2 through 4.
Page, however, won’t be returning as the dreamy royal. Last month, he confirmed his departure from the period-piece series, telling Variety at the time that the Duke of Hastings’ “one-season arc” aligned with the Julia Quinn book series with a “beginning, middle [and] end.”
He later shared a statement, writing, “Pleasure and a privilege! An honor 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.”
One month later, the Roots actor revealed that he is “not at all” nervous about leaving the hit show, telling the outlet, “That’s what was meant [to happen].”
Page explained that his character’s story line was never supposed to spill over to the second season.
“Simon was this bomb of a one-season antagonist, to be reformed and to find his true self through Daphne,” he said. “I think one of the bravest things about the romance genre is allowing people a happy ending.”
“The thing that has always appealed to me most about this career is getting to encounter and interact with the unexpected,” he told Variety in May.
Page assured his fans, however, that he has no plans to tone down his sex appeal — as seen on Bridgerton — anytime soon.
“I want everything I do to be as sexy as Bridgerton, just in different ways,” he added.
While filming for season 2 is already underway in England, and Netflix announced earlier this month that they’re producing a spinoff show focused on the rise of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), Page’s exit is still being talked about.
Phoebe Dynevor, who plays the Simon’s love interest Daphne Bridgerton on the show, finally shared her reaction to Page leaving on May 20, noting she had a “bit of a heads up” about the news.
“I guess it is a spanner. But again, the show centers around the Bridgertons, and there are eight books. Fans of the books know that every episode is about a different sibling,” the 25-year-old actress said during the “Variety Awards Circuit Podcast” episode. “And we’re very much passing on the baton to the lovely [Jonathan Bailey], who plays Anthony, and that will be the main story line of season 2.”