Shonda Rhimes ‘Was Really Shocked’ By Fans’ Reaction To Regé-Jean Page’s Bridgerton Exit: ‘We Didn’t Even Kill Him!’
The queen of Shondaland cannot believe the outcry Regé-Jean Page’s exit from Bridgerton has caused from fans around the world!
In a new interview with Vanity Fair on Tuesday, Shonda Rhimes finally addressed the Duke of Hastings’ shocking exit from the Netflix hit. Confirming that Page was only ever meant to appear on the series in the first season (keeping in tune with the style of the books by Julia Quinn), Shonda admitted she was “really shocked” when fans — including Kim Kardashian — responded to the news with heartbreak.
The Executive Producer of the Regency-era series said she never expected “this much of an explosion,” noting:
“I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while. Like, we didn’t even kill him, he’s still alive!”
LOLz!! For fans of Shondaland shows, that is a pretty big deal, too! Just think of how many beloved Grey’s Anatomy characters have come and gone? (*cough McDreamy cough*) At least there’s a chance Phoebe Dynevor’s hunky on-screen lover could return (especially now that the series is green lit for Season 3 and 4)!
Dearest readers, this author brings a most exciting announcement… pic.twitter.com/sV0QiYcn8z
— Bridgerton (@bridgerton) April 13, 2021
Mostly, the momma of three seems pleased viewers were so enthralled with the performer:
“[Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job — every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance.”
The 51-year-old added:
“I mean, really: what would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming.”
Well, we think many fans would love to see Regé-Jean do just about anything!! But we totally get it. This sense of boredom for the character is exactly what encouraged the actor to ditch a HUGE check for a special guest appearance in the second season and instead pursue other acting gigs.
Betsy Beers, Rhimes’ long-standing production partner, added that it’s “delightful” how into the Duke fans have become in such a short period of time. She even gushed how happy she was for the 31-year-old and his newfound fame since he’s “a terrific guy.” Love to hear that!! It’s always nice when an on-screen favorite is a good guy in real life too.
On all the fame, adoration, and attraction that has been sent the star’s way, Rhimes, a three-time Emmy-nominated creative, noted that outcome was literally her job as a successful writer and producer who has created fan-favorite romances for decades. We’re talking MerDer and Olitz — and now, of course, Simon and Daphne.
“He’s amazing, but that’s our job and something that Betsy and I have been doing since—well, God, has it been 20 years now?—is finding guys. I mean, hopefully ladies too, but finding men that our audiences find devastatingly attractive and they become incredibly overly attached to, and they get enraged about when we move them about in any way.”
Bridgerton fans were definitely “enraged,” so guess that’s a job well done!! Are you still holding out hope for a return of the Duke in a future season of Bridgerton or will the exciting new romances be enough to tide you over, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below)!