Regé-Jean Page Is Cool With Bridgerton Recasting Simon
It's not clear whether the show will actually do that, but Page gave his blessing anyway.
When Bridgerton returned for its second season earlier in 2022, one beloved character was conspicuously missing from the cast. Regé-Jean Page played Season 1’s romantic hero, Simon, the Duke of Hastings, but he did not return for Season 2. Now, Page said he’d be fine with the Bridgerton producers recasting his role entirely, disappointing any fans who were holding out hope he might someday return to the series.
When Bridgerton producer Shonda Rhimes initially envisioned the TV series adaptation of the Regency romance book series by author Julia Quinn, the idea was for one couple to be featured per season, so Page was not contracted to return for Season 2, since Simon’s love story with Daphne Bridgerton wrapped up neatly in the first book. But after the major success of Season 1, and specifically fans’ love for Page’s character, the producers tried to get him back for the rest of the series. But Page turned them down (he has a lot going on in his career), and his character was simply missing from Season 2. However, if the producers want to recast Simon with a new actor for Bridgerton Season 3 and beyond, they have Page’s blessing.
When asked about this possibility, Page was candid. “They’re free to do as they like,” he told Variety at the premiere of his new movie The Gray Man.
Page also shared his feelings about Simon’s character arc, especially the fact that he doesn’t feel like there’s much story left to tell with the character.
“We did so well on that redemptive arc that people forget that Simon was kind of horrific,” Page said. “He was the best example of a Regency f*ckboy 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.”
Page also said he hasn’t “caught up” with the latest season of Bridgerton, but he left the show on very good terms. “Shonda [Rhimes] and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of Season 1,” he said. “We were quite happy with how we stuck the landing on that one.”
Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix now.