Dear Readers, It seems that a scandal could be afoot. There are rumblings amongst the ton that there may have been more to “Bridgerton” breakout star Regé-Jean Page‘s exit from the series than simply opting to not renew his one-season contract.
Initially when word spread that Page wouldn’t be returning to his role as Duke of Hastings Simon Bassett in the series, based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling books, fans were stunned, saddened, and confused. After all, playing that character shot Page to the top of many a heartthrob list. Page’s departure was announced by Netflix on April 2, on the platform’s social media pages.
“Dearest Readers, While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings,” reads the announcement. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne 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 replied, “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.”
With the second book in the series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” focusing on the love life of Daphne Bridgerton’s older brother, it seemed natural that Page would take on a smaller role, but his return being nixed altogether caught fans of the TV series off-guard, and now it appears that there may have been more to the “Roots” star’s exit behind the scenes.
According to a Page Six source, creative differences between “Bridgerton” boss Shonda Rhimes and Page could lie at the heart of the sudden departure. “Regé is not coming back to ‘Bridgerton’ because of creative differences with [executive producer] Shonda Rhimes and her team,” Page Six reports.
“He wasn’t happy with what was planned for his character for Season 2, which would have kept him a player but not the focal point of the show,” the source also dished, adding, “Regé has been inundated with offers for other interesting and challenging leading roles.”
Page confirmed news of his departure in an Instagram post shared on April 2, writing, “The ride of a life time. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family – not just on screen, but off screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans – it’s all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing ❤️❤️❤️💫.”
The “Sylvie’s Love” actor has wasted no time moving on from Shondaland. His upcoming projects include feature films “The Gray Man” and “Dungeons & Dragons.”