Sorry, Bridgerton fans — it doesn’t look like Regé-Jean Page is coming back to the show anytime soon. In a Hollywood Reporter roundtable featuring the most powerful female executives in Hollywood, including Shonda Rhimes and Head of Global TV at Netflix, Bela Bajaria, the two addressed the possibility of Page making any cameos in season 2.
Fans were in an uproar last month when it was announced that the British actor was leaving Bridgerton after just one season. Rhimes says she was taken aback by the response.
“I was like, ‘I’ve killed many a man that people adore,'” Rhimes points out. “I’m so surprised that everybody is [losing it over a character we’ve watched] for eight episodes leaving. But obviously Regé is an amazing actor and he did an amazing thing and people responded. I also was surprised because the nature of this series is simply, this year it’s this couple, this year it’s [that] couple.”
Bejaria shared why it’s unlikely Page will do any cameos for season 2.
“Those books [the Bridgerton book series that inspired the show] really dictated what we did, and we want talent to have an amazing experience and tell the story they’re telling authentically, not, ‘Oh, can you just come over here and do this little thing?'” she says. “Like, is that satisfying? Is that what actors want to do? He delivered on his story.”
Rhimes noted that it wouldn’t make sense for Page to appear in bit parts. Season 2 focuses on Daphne’s (Phoebe Dynevor) older brother, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as he “intends to dominate the social season.”
“I was just excited about the idea of being able to tell a complete romantic tale that has an end, where you’re not finding 14 other reasons why the couple can’t be together or frankly having Regé stand in the background of somebody else’s romance,” she shares. “That doesn’t make sense.”
Page’s exit from the series did come as a shocker for fans, as the character of Simon remains a presence throughout the rest of author Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels on which Bridgerton is based. Rhimes Instagrammed at the time, “Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.”
Meanwhile, Page tweeted, “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.”
Rhimes later confirmed to Vanity Fair that Page had a one-season deal at the beginning of the first season and that anything else was “extra.” Rhimes also clarified that Page and a few other characters were invited to return for season 2 cameos, but Page ultimately turned it down. The actor previously told Variety that he was drawn to the role because it was a “one-season arc” with a “beginning, middle, end.” He said it was always his intention to “contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
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