The series announced in a statement (via Variety): “Dear Readers, 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 statement confirmed that Page’s on-screen love interest and fellow Bridgerton Season 1 main cast member Phoebe Dynevor will return for Season 2. Dynevor stars as Daphne Bridgerton. The character’s husband, Page’s Simon, will be off-screen for the entirety of Season 2. The statement reads: “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 news comes as a shock as Page was one of the breakout talents involved with Bridgerton Season 1. Page just won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series and is nominated in the same category at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards. The full cast of Bridgerton also earned a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble in a Television Drama.
“It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year,” Page told Variety about his early conversations with Shondaland producers about the show, indicating he always knew Bridgerton would be a one-off in his career. “[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
“One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes,” Page continued. “They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby…I have nothing but excitement for ‘Bridgerton’ continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe,” he says. “But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”
We are crushed.