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Regé-Jean Page’s Decision To Leave Behind His Role As The Duke Of Hastings In “Bridgerton” Did Not Hurt the Show

Did fans of “Bridgerton” miss the dashing and charismatic Duke of Hastings? I’d be lying if I said we didn’t, but, according to the series’ executive producer Shonda Rhimes, not as much as we thought.

“Bridgerton” Season 2 is till “Bridgerton” season 2 in every way, just without Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings.

Shonda Rhimes – Shares Bridgerton Secrets In New Interview

Fans were shocked when it was announced late last year that “Bridgerton” breakout star Regé-Jean Page won’t be making an appearance in season 2 of the hit Netflix show, despite being a main character in the series’ first season.

At the time, the movie’s writers said that Page’s story as Simon Bassett has come to an end, and while his costar and onscreen love Phoebe Dynevor will be returning, the charming Duke will only be mentioned in passing.

To add salt to the wound, Page announced in July that he was okay if his character on the show was recast, meaning that there are no plans for him to return to the movie.

Regé-Jean Page's Decision To Leave Behind His Role As The Duke Of Hastings In “Bridgerton” Did Not Hurt the Show

“They’re free to do as they like,” Page told Variety at the premiere of his new Netflix spy thriller, “The Gray Man”. “Shonda [Rhimes] and I had a wonderful conversation at the end of season one. We were quite happy with how we stuck the landing on that one.”

However important and central Page’s character was to the show, Shonda Rhimes recently revealed that his absence did not change the show’s storyline one bit.

“It didn’t actually change our plans at all. Season 2 proceeded exactly like we planned it to,” Rhimes, who released a new book “Inside Bridgerton” in collaboration with Betsy Beers on Tuesday, exclusively told PEOPLE.

Rhimes then explained that the reason Page’s absence didn’t matter much to the show was that each season could act as a standalone, since they each explored the Bridgerton siblings’ love story individually.

“Every season on the show is a close-ended romantic story between two characters. And when their season is done, their story is really finished being told,” Rhimes added.

For his role as Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings, Page won a 2021 NAACP Image Award. Even though we might not get to see Page, 31, reprise his famous character, his character and Phoebe’s character’s love story will continue to grow offscreen.

Last we saw the two lovers together, they had just welcomed their first child.

Be sure to catch up on everything happening with Regé-Jean Page right now. Come back here often for all Regé-Jean Page spoilers, news, and updates.

Editorial credit: DFree /

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