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Is Regé-Jean Page Returning for 'Bridgerton' Season 2? The Producer Never Anticipated Fans' Reactions to the Actor

Laura Beatham
Feb 22, 2022
07:20 A.M.

It seems fans were not excited when Regé-Jean Page was cast as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, for the first season on "Bridgerton." However, many changed their mind after the show came out in December 2020.

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Regé-Jean Page was one of the breakout stars in the Shondaland and Netflix period drama, "Bridgerton," based on the Julia Quinn romance Regency-set book series.

He portrayed Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, alongside his fake and then genuine love interest, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor). Fans loved watching their resentment for each other turn into love and eventually marriage.

Rege-Jean Page as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hasting on "Bridgerton" [Left]. Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton on "Bridgerton" [Right] | Photo: YouTube/Netflix

Rege-Jean Page as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hasting on "Bridgerton" [Left]. Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton on "Bridgerton" [Right] | Photo: YouTube/Netflix

Although audiences loved watching the Duke of Hastings in the show, Page once shared that many fans of the books did not like that he was cast as the character who had icy blue eyes in the novels.

During an interview, Page explained that many fans questioned his casting as Simon because he does not have Simon's signature blue eyes. However, he was immediately accepted by the Brazillian Brigderton fans:

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"Brazilian fans... had my back before anyone else did. When everyone else was still passive aggressively... knotted up because I didn't have blue eyes, the Brazilians were there for me."

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Despite some fans' apprehensions about Page, the role became a launching pad for his career. It earned him a host of nominations and awards, including an NAACP acting award, a nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble.

So it came as a surprise and created a big upset for "Bridgerton" fans when the show announced via a Lady Whistledown notice that Page would not return as the Duke in the second season of the show.

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Although fans might have been surprised by Page's exit, the actor had always known he would only be a part of the "Bridgerton" world for one season.

He explained that during an early conversation with Shondaland producers about the role, production told him that his character's love story would only be a one-season arc:

"It's a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year. [I thought] "That's interesting," because then it felt like a limited series."

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Shonda Rhimes, the show's producer, discussed the decision during an interview with People magazine. She explained that she understood the fans' adverse reaction, although she had not expected it.

The second season focuses on Anthony Bridgerton's quest to find a wife, so having Page stand around in the background did not make sense to Rhimes because he is a massive star, and there would not have been much for his character to do.

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Despite the reasonable explanation, fans were vocal about Page's exit online. One fan explained Page was the reason for the show's success, and without him, production might as well cancel the following seasons.

Season two will release on March 25, 2022. It will focus on Viscount Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) in a love triangle with sisters Kate Sharma portrayed by "Sex Education" star Simone Ashley and Edwina Sharma, played by Charithra Chandra.

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