Bridgerton fans were shocked and saddened to learn the show’s romantic lead and breakout star, Regé-Jean Page, won’t be returning for season 2.
The British-Zimbabwean actor played dashing Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, on the hit Netflix series. But the show delivered the news Friday on Twitter, that he would be bidding adieu, with the announcement coming in the form of a Lady Whistledown gossip sheet.
“Dear Readers, while all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton [Jonathan Bailey]‘s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings,” the statement said. “We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family. Daphne [Phoebe Dynevor] 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. Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.”
Page retweeted the post, writing: “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.”
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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 ??? https://t.co/YBk4RvKNpx
— Regé-Jean Page (@regejean) April 2, 2021
Later in the day, the actor did an interview and said it was never part of the plan for him to return for the show’s second season.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” the actor, 31, told Variety.
Page explained that he previously worked with Shondaland producers on the ABC legal drama For the People, and found the idea of teaming up with them on a new show appealing.
“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” he said. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit, and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
Bridgerton debuted in December and has become Netflix’s most-watched original series, the streamer said. It’s based on Julia Quinn’s novels, with each book centering on a different member of the family’s love story.