Regé-Jean Page is wondering how many times he need repeat himself: The Gray Man actor has no intentions of returning to the cotton-candy landscape of Bridgerton. (And with the prospect of James Bond on the table, can you blame him?) Maintaining its batch of beloved Regency characters—and the increasingly successful actors playing them—has already proved a challenge for Netflix, which lost Page as the rakish Duke of Hastings after season 1, then was forced to recast the role of Francesca Bridgerton following scheduling conflicts. Now, Page is doubling down on his stance, telling Variety he’d have no objections if Netflix were to recast his role in season 3.
“They’re free to do as they like,” Page told Variety’s Marc Malkin on July 13. “Shonda [Rhimes, executive producer of Bridgerton] 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.”
Although Page admitted he hasn’t watched Bridgerton season 2, he nevertheless had a few choice words for the character that shot him to fame. “We did so well on that redemptive arc that people forget that Simon was kind of horrific,” he told Variety. Tell us how you really feel, Regé!
Page continued, “He was the best example of a Regency fuckboy that any of us had come across. And so, because we came around full circle so well, because we stuck that landing, you’re left with this great feeling. You really do have to be brave about ending stories like that.”
Although Netflix has made no official announcements about recasting Simon, the Duke of Hastings, it seems increasingly likely such a decision is inevitable. After season 2 dropped in March 2022, numerous fans noted Simon’s obvious absence, especially in scenes involving his now-wife Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor, who returned to her role without Page beside her). If Daphne continues to play even a peripheral role in the ongoing family drama, it seems dubious that Netflix would be able to get away with eternally benching her husband. There’s only so much unexplained travel an audience can swallow!
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.