Never part of the plan. Despite becoming a huge star thanks to Netflix’s Bridgerton — so much so that he landed the coveted spot as Saturday Night Live host two months after the show’s release — Regé-Jean Page will not return for the second season. In fact, he never planned to.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” the actor, 31, told Variety following the Friday, April 2, announcement that he will not return.
The Mortal Engines actor explained that he spoke with the Shondaland producers after he worked with them on the short-lived ABC series For the People and felt that doing one season of a new show was appealing.
“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” the London native said. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit, and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
The streaming service announced Page’s exit on Friday via Twitter, sharing the news in the voice of narrator Lady Whistledown.
“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 statement read. “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.”
Page 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.”
The series, which dropped on Christmas Day and has since become Netflix’s most-watched original series, is based on Julia Quinn’s novels. Each book — and the season that follows — is based on a different member of the family’s love story.
“One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes,” the British-Zimbabwean actor told Variety. “They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby.”
Page, who is also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the upcoming SAG Awards, added that he has “nothing but excitement” for the show to continue telling new stories, “but there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”
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