Trust Bridgerton to bring the drama, both on and offscreen!
If you’re a fan of Netflix’s regency-era romance, then you were probably disappointed to hear that Regé-Jean Page, AKA the Duke of Hastings, wouldn’t be returning for season two. Let’s be real, his brooding, smoldering Simon Basset was a BIG part of the enormous success of the series, so fans were understandably upset.
But the actor told Variety he was only ever contracted for one season, and following the path of the books that the show is based on, the next season will focus on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) rather than Simon and his bride Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor). So it made sense that the British star wouldn’t be returning.
However, a source for Page Six insinuated that wasn’t the whole story. They shared:
“Regé is not coming back to Bridgerton because of creative differences with [executive producer] Shonda Rhimes and her team. … 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 insider added:
“Regé has been inundated with offers for other interesting and challenging leading roles.”
TBH, we can’t blame him for not wanting to take a backseat to a Bridgerton brother in the next season. When your name is being tossed in the ring for James Bond, why settle for a side player? And for the record, it seems like this is more about artistic integrity than salary, because the For the People alum allegedly turned down a big payday for a cameo in the upcoming episodes.
While all this sounds like it could have been a tense situation behind the scenes, the source assured that the 31-year-old is leaving on “good terms.” But they noted:
“If you look at all the big names who have left [Rhimes’ hit show] Grey’s Anatomy in the past, you see you don’t disagree with Shonda, nobody is bigger than the show.”
Well, he might not be bigger than the show, but he certainly was one of the biggest parts of it. Personally, we wish that they could have expanded the story so that he continued to be a lead, but we understand that’s not the direction things were headed. And so did Regé-Jean, per his explanation to Variety about his departure:
“One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes. They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby.”
We’ll definitely miss the Duke of Hastings, but we’re really looking forward to what Regé-Jean does next. No doubt he has a bright future ahead of him!
[Image via Sheri Determan/WENN]