Returning cast member Jessica Madsen, who portrayed Cressida Cowper in season 1 of the popular Netflix series, donned her corset and fascinator once more as she filmed scenes with newcomers Melissa Advani and Priya Kansara on May 25. The period drama set up shop at the historic Old Royal Naval College at the University Of Greenwich in London.
Bridgerton made its debut on the streaming platform in December 2020, with a steamy first chapter that followed the budding romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Page). The Shondaland series has already been renewed for seasons 3 and 4 despite the shocking news of the For the People alum’s exit.
Page confirmed in April that the Duke of Hastings wouldn’t be gracing viewers’ screens again, telling Variety at the time that he signed up for a “one-season arc.” He addressed his departure via social media, 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.”
While some fans were blindsided by the British heartthrob’s step back from the series that catapulted him to superstardom, Dynevor knew it was coming.
“I had a bit of a heads up, so I knew,” the Younger actress said on the May 20, “Variety Awards Circuit Podcast” episode. “But yeah, I guess it is a spanner. But again, the show centers around the Bridgertons, and there are eight books. And I think maybe the fans of the books were more aware of that happening than the fans of the show.”
The SAG-nominated series is based on Julia Quinn‘s successful YA novels, each of which gives a different Bridgerton sibling the chance to shine as the main protagonist. “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 and the story arc of season 2,” Dynevor explained.
Saying goodbye to the Bridgerton team wasn’t easy for Page, however. He opened up about his decision to pursue other projects during a conversation with Variety on May 26, comparing it to the bittersweet transition from high school to college.
“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,” he told the outlet.
Though Page has come to accept that he won’t be part of the show for seasons to come, fans have had a hard time adjusting to the change. Shonda Rhimes, whose production company is responsible for the successful series, was floored by the response to Page’s departure.
“I don’t think I fully expected or understood what releasing all eight episodes around the globe at once was going to do,” she told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. “I was like, ‘I’ve killed many a man that people adore.’ I’m so surprised that everybody is [losing it over a character we’ve watched] for eight episodes leaving.”
Keep scrolling for a closer look behind-the-scenes of Bridgerton season 2: