Regé-Jean Page apparently didn’t burn for the pay increase Bridgerton was willing to give him to reprise his role as Simon Basset in season 2.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed the hunky Brit rejected an opportunity to return “as a guest star in three to five episodes,” which sources say would have included a massive paycheck to the tune of $50,000 per ep if he had accepted. However, the 31-year-old actor reportedly “declined for a multitude of reasons,” which included wanting to focus on his budding film career.
As you may know, the leading man has already secured roles in major projects like The Gray Man and Dungeons & Dragons. There are also some rumors flying around that he could be the next James Bond. So it’s possible that scheduling conflicts could have blocked his availability to potentially appear on Bridgerton.
However, THR claimed he actually never planned to be a part of season 2 and only received word about his possible comeback after he became a popular asset to the show. As we already reported, news of Page’s departure first broke on Friday via the official Bridgerton Twitter account and the show’s narrator Lady Whistledown. It read:
“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. 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.”
Your Grace, it has been a pleasure. 💜🐝 pic.twitter.com/kX1nIG8pz7
— Bridgerton (@bridgerton) April 2, 2021
The Roots star opened up about his decision to leave in an interview with Variety, noting he was drawn to the Duke of Hastings because it was meant to be a one-season gig.
“I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit, and then the Bridgerton family rolls on. There is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”
Page later expressed his gratitude for the show in an Instagram post, 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.”
Of course, the London native’s surprise exit from the hit series left fans heartbroken, but many viewers still hoped Page would at least make a brief cameo in the coming storyline. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will happen, though THR mentioned how he COULD appear in future seasons.
So keep your fingers crossed and try not to cry, Perezcious readers! As of right now, the Regency-era drama will continue with Anthony as the main suitor, and we will have to make do without our beloved Duke.