Should Bridgerton Recast Regé-Jean Page’s Character Ahead Of Season 3? Here’s What The Actor Thinks

Regé-Jean Page on bridgerton season 1 as simon basset, the duke of hastings
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. There; you just had a reaction, didn’t you? Even if you weren’t as enthralled by Bridgerton Season 1 as, well, the rest of the known world, you still know who Simon is and were likely quite taken with the man who brought him to life on screen, Regé-Jean Page. Sure, fans turned out in droves for Bridgerton Season 2 (which was one of many 2022 TV premieres), but many of them dearly missed watching Page’s duke cavort, woo, marry, and bang the day away to Taylor Swift songs. So, should Bridgerton recast Simon before Season 3? Page himself has an opinion on that.

What Did Regé-Jean Page Say About Recasting Simon Basset On Bridgerton Season 3?

While I’m sure that everyone who was involved in Bridgerton Season 1 hoped it would be well-received, I bet few people expected the romantic Regency adaptation to become the major hit that it did when it first debuted. Obviously, a lot of the fervor surrounding the sexy series was due to the work of Regé-Jean Page as Simon, so when it was revealed that the Emmy nominee wouldn’t return, fans nearly rioted. When asked recently by Variety if Bridgerton should simply recast Simon to bring the Duke back for fans, Page said:

They’re free to do as they like [Laughs]. Shonda [Rhimes] and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of Season 1. We were quite happy with how we’d stuck the landing on that one. I’m still proud of how we stuck the landing on that one.

OK. OK. Calm down, folks! Look, what Page said could sound a bit huffy in print, but if you watch the video of the interview you’ll see that his laugh at the end of his response that those behind Bridgerton can do whatever they want with his former character just seems like a genuine, relaxed attitude of “I’m not involved, so it’s not up to me.” After all, Page has been nothing but complimentary in talking about his time on Bridgerton.

As Page noted, one of the reasons fans love his character so much is how well the show did with his story. Simon went from a rake determined not to carry on his family name to a good friend to Daphne Bridgerton, to a loving husband and father, all without his development ever seeming rushed or strained. But, Page thinks the good work they did developing the Duke may have blinded some fans to his character’s, you know, character:

We did so well on that redemptive arc that people forget that Simon was kind of horrific. 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.

I love what Regé-Jean Page did as Simon on Bridgerton Season 1 as much as the next fan, but he makes a very good point. Fans love him as the character so much that seeing him pop in to say a line or two (if Bridgerton’s producers could even convince Page to guest star) would be a letdown, and any new actor cast in the role would probably just have to face the wrath of many fans and not have a real chance to prove himself. 

The best thing to do is leave Simon with his happy ending, so we can all move on to watching Anthony and Kate enjoy married life (and maybe a kid or two), while Bridgerton Season 3 finally brings us the Penelope Featherington/Colin Bridgerton love story that’s been brewing for two seasons

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.