TV & Movies

Regé-Jean Page Said Simon Was “Horrific” On Bridgerton & Is OK With A Recast

“I mean, they’re free to do as they like.”

Will Regé-Jean Page return for 'Bridgerton' Season 3? He addressed recast chat and Simon's character...
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It’s been more than a year since Regé-Jean Page stepped away from Bridgerton — but if you’re still missing the dashing duke, you’re not alone. Not only was the actor missing from Bridgerton Season 2 back in March, but he also just revealed he hasn’t kept up with the show as a viewer, either. “I haven’t caught it,” he told Variety at the world premiere for The Gray Man July 13.

Even though Page, then, hasn’t witnessed the pure steaminess that was Kate and Anthony’s enemies-to-lovers romance — “You are the bane of my existence... and the object of all my desires,” anyone? — he’s still connected with his friends from the show, as evidenced by his reunion with Jonathan Bailey (aka Lord Bridgerton himself) in Milan last month.

But still, Page’s absence is definitely felt on the show. So far, Daphne has offered vague explanations for her missing husband — at one point, he’s simply said to be at home with their child — but those might only work for so long, especially when Simon misses major family events like his brother-in-law’s wedding. So is he down for the character to be recast? “I mean, they’re free to do as they like,” Page told Variety. “Shonda [Rhimes] and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of Season 1. We were quite happy with how we stuck the landing on that one.”

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While it’s impossible to imagine anyone else stepping into the shoes of Page’s dreamy Duke of Hastings, Page was quick to remind us that Simon wasn’t always that great of a character. Granted, there were a lot of problems in his relationship with Daphne — including the duke’s decision to employ his own birth control method without explaining the details to his new (and very naive) wife, who assumed he simply couldn’t have children.

“I think we did so well on that redemptive arc, people forget that Simon was kind of horrific for most of that series,” Page said. “He was the best example of a Regency f***boy that any of us have come across. And because we brought that round full-circle, because we stuck that landing, you’re left with this great feeling. And I think you really do have to be brave about ending stories like that.”

Rhimes, who serves as executive producer on Bridgerton, shared the sentiment in a 2021 interview with Varietythough she did try to persuade Page to stick around. “Rightfully, he said, ‘I signed up to do this one lovely story, this closed-ended storyline. I’m good!’ And I don’t blame him for that,” Rhimes said. “I think that he was really smart to leave the perfection as the perfection.”