Regency-era fans were whipped into a frenzy when it was reported that Regé-Jean Page could be making a spectacular return to Bridgerton after bowing out of the period drama following his lead role in Season 1. The word was that he was open to reuniting with Phoebe Dynevor in Bridgerton Season 3.
However, Page has now dashed fans’ hopes with a serving of reality, revealing the real reason behind his departure. Far from fearing being pigeon-holed as an actor, or some hidden falling-out behind the scenes, he insists the truth is far more straightforward. “It’s much simpler than that,” he told Vanity Fair. “I signed up to do a job and I did the job and then I did some other jobs. That’s it. That’s the story. I wish it was more glamorous than that. [After] we finished the story, the temptation would be to roll with the distractions and go, ‘Oh, well, the story went really well so we can kind of change this up and make some other stuff up, I guess.’ That was never what we’d signed up to do.”
Taking to his Instagram last summer, meanwhile, the actor dashed hopes once again when he posted a picture of his reunion with his fellow Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey, along with an update for his fans.
‘‘The boys are back in town,” Page wrote in June 2022, referencing the fact that he and Bailey were enjoying time together in Milan, Italy. But he followed it up with: “No, I’m not going back to the show, by the way. The papers made that one up.” Putting the focus back on his enjoyable European work trip, he continued: “But we had the best, and most stylish, catch up I’ve had in a while over some truly excellent Italian coffee and sunshine.’’
Sadly, for fans, this confirms that we won’t be seeing Page return to The Ton anytime soon. The actor portrayed the show’s very first raffish bachelor — Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings — in Season 1, and sparks flew after his rebellious character was coaxed into the tumultuous courting scene of London’s high society. Reluctant to settle down, and happily single, Bassett cooks up a ruse with the Bridgerton family’s fiery eldest sibling Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), and the pair pretend to date. But despite themselves, they grow feelings for one another. When the Duke suddenly leaves London ahead of schedule, Daphne realises what she’s lost, and after sharing a steamy snog in a maze, they’re left to navigate the strict expectations of the era together.
Though the course of love never does run smooth, the couple ultimately find their own fairytale finish, and according to Page, that neatly tied-up ending was part of his motivation for leaving the show — despite the fact his on-screen wife stayed on for the next season.
“It’s a one-season arc,” Page, the face of men’s fragrance Armani Code, told Variety, recounting his earlier conversations with Bridgerton’s producers Shondaland and explaining his reasoning.
“It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end — give us a year. [I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
Bustle contacted Page’s representatives for comment.
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