Do you hear that horrible sound? What you have heard is all the hearts breaking after the official exit of British-Zimbabwean actor Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings in Netflix drama series 'Bridgerton.' The Production company behind the show 'Shondaland' made the announcement taking the character of Lady Whistledown as the one to break the sad news.
“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-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 note reads.
Jean Page answered Whistledown’s note on Twitter, calling his time on the show a “pleasure and a privilege.” For those fans who have read Julia Quinn novels, this is not a surprise. The first installment which was based on “The Duke and I” is the only one to focus on The Duke of Hastings' story. Regé-Jean Page told Variety that the most appealing thing about his character was his short-time story “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.” His character will be referenced going forward though he won’t appear.
“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,” the statement continues. Phoebe Dynevor plays Daphne Bridgerton Basset and will stick around for the second season, which will revolve around her character's brother, Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, and his attempts to find a wife (Simone Ashley has been cast as his love interest.)
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes commented on Page's exit on Instagram saying, “Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge-watched all over again.” Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen spoke about Dynevor and Page's characters "They are now, of course, the Duke and Duchess of Hastings but in my mind, they will always be Bridgertons and I think they will always be part of the show.”
The Netflix show itself has been a huge success. 82 million households watched Bridgerton the first month after its release. Also, Page gained his first acting prize, winning the NAACP Image Award for outstanding actor in a drama series, thanking all the people and teams who helped create something so unique. "It is the highest honor to represent that and to represent the people I do represent and I will do my absolute to be worthy of that."
Cry no more, you can watch Regé Jean-Page in the upcoming Netflix spy thriller “The Gray Man,” starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans and in the 'Dungeons & Dragons' film.