Much like the scandalous characters written in the show, Bridgerton was the talk of the town when Season 1 dropped on Netflix last December. The dashing Duke of Hastings was one major leading man that fans were drooling over, and the man who played the Duke, Regé-Jean Page, surprised fans by departing after just one incredibly successful season. Now, creator of the modernized period drama Shonda Rhimes has a warning for fans teasing even more character deprivation while Page talks about why Netflix's Bridgerton is so "brave."
It seems like the biggest scandal of Bridgerton is that Season 1 star Regé-Jean Page won’t be returning for a second season, but he doesn’t seem phased by the departure from his career-making role, because he says that’s what was always meant to happen. In his cover issue interview with Variety, Page talks about how "brave" it is for Bridgerton -- and potentially other additions to the romance genre -- to let popular characters move on within their happy ending. Here it is in the star’s own words:
Simon was this bomb of a one-season antagonist, to be reformed and to find his true self through Daphne. I think one of the bravest things about the romance genre is allowing people a happy ending.
Those who have read the books that Bridgerton is based on should know that this exit of the Duke of Hastings was indeed meant to happen. Each of the novels focuses on a different member of the Bridgerton family, with the first being Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her marriage to the Duke, played by Regé-Jean Page. It would make a lot of sense that the series would follow this same format, even though that means popular characters are put to rest in some way.
Creator of Netflix series Shonda Rhimes has something to say in this regard, however, and sent out a kind of warning to fans of the popular series. Rhimes tells Variety that more of this character loss or loss of focus on a certain character should be expected to happen, even after fans fall in love with particular characters in the same way they did with the Duke. Here’s what the Grey’s Anatomy creator has to say, in her exact words:
I imagine it’s possible that after each season you’ll be asking about a different actor returning.
Shonda Rhimes is known for killing off major characters, especially in her long-running ABC series Grey’s Anatomy. Bridgerton is very different in the way that Regé-Jean Page’s character is actually alive and even happy in his love story at the end of Season 1. However, Rhimes’ words pretty much confirm that the series will be following the books series’ lead and we may expect more exits on Bridgerton in the same vein.
While fans may be disappointed by the lack of Regé-Jean Page in Season 2 (and potentially future seasons) of Netflix's Bridgerton, they can take solace in the fact that thanks to the show’s “bravery," the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton are living their best lives off-screen together. Fans can also take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of other characters to still fall in love with, even if they may be short-lived on our screens too. Season 2 of Bridgerton has started filming, and we can expect even more scandals to hit our screens via Netflix this December.