Regé-Jean Page is breaking his silence after it was announced on Friday that he was leaving Bridgerton after just one season.
The British actor, who quickly became one of the series’ breakout stars, will not be returning as the Duke of Hastings for season 2 of Netflix’s steamy Regency drama. Though the character of Simon continues to be a presence in author Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, he is no longer the primary focus as the stories shift to different family members.
Page took to Twitter following the news to express his gratitude and thank the Bridgerton family for his time, which unexpectedly was brief, on the series.
“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,” he wrote.
“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Rege-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,” the message read in announcing Page’s abrupt departure. “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.”
Since Bridgerton dropped on Christmas, Page’s star has risen exponentially. The actor made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut in February and has lined up high-profile projects, including Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans’ The Gray Man and the film adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons.
Page recently won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series and is up for two Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend, including one for his individual performance.
The upcoming season of Bridgerton, which begins production this spring in London, follows Anthony as he “intends to dominate the social season.” Sex Education’s Simone Ashley will play Anthony’s love interest Kate Sharma, newcomer Charithra Chandran will play Kate’s younger sister Edwina and Rupert Young will play a new character specifically created for the series.
The Duke remains an integral part of the narrative fabric of Bridgerton as he and Daphne explore the early years of their marriage, and as Simon’s best friend navigates finding a wife. In the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, of which season 2 is loosely based on, Simon and Daphne are featured in one of the book’s most iconic scenes. Without Simon’s presence and Daphne still around, it is unclear how Bridgerton will choose to address his absence.
Interestingly, co-star Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury, told ET in March that Daphne and Simon’s future would resemble that of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s in season 2.
“I really can’t say too much, nor would you expect me to, but I guess what we do know absolutely is that they’re married now. It’s a new married life and they have the baby, so there are all the vagaries of what that is like for young people with a new baby,” Andoh explained. “I mean, Harry and Meghan, what’s it like when you have a new baby? How does it affect you when [you are] a young couple with a new baby?”
“I just think we’re going to see how Phoebe and Rege’s characters, Daphne and Simon, navigate being in love, very in lust still, but with a new baby in their lives,” she added. “Having to navigate and negotiate that between each other, between their families and between their wider social circles. Yeah, it’s going to be interesting…[And with Simon], how do you father when you haven’t even fathered [or had a father]?”