Regé-Jean Page Compares 'Bridgerton' Exit to Leaving High School

The actor touches on his 'Bridgerton' departure and what it meant for people of color to see him as Simon Basset.

Regé-Jean Page knew his time on Bridgerton wasn't meant to be a long one, but he was still emotional about saying goodbye. The 31-year-old British actor compared leaving the hit Netflix regency romance show to graduating high school.

“You’re afraid of the unknown, thinking, ‘Oh, my god, I’m never going to make friends as good as the ones I have,’ and then you do,” Page told Variety.

The actor was Bridgerton's breakout star, portraying the suave Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Fans fell in love with his character as Simon and Daphne Bridgerton's (Phoebe Dynevor) romance was the focus on season 1. As for being nervous to exit the show just after one season, he noted, "Not at all."

"Because that’s what was meant," he said. "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."

Matthew Brookes for Variety

While the character of Simon remains part of the book series and show, season 2 of Bridgerton will turn the focus to Daphne's older brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), as did The Viscount Who Loved Me, the second book in Julia Quinn's series on which the show is based.

Page said he loved that his role gave people of color the chance to see themselves as royalty.

"Me and my friends used to joke about the fact that you don’t see a Black man on a horse… It’s so simple. I can get on a horse and I can put it on the screen; that’s step one,” he explained. "I can be royalty, and [other people of color] can see the possibility of being royalty. Standing there, wearing the boots and the jacket, doing the dances, inhabiting a space that is perfectly possible for me to inhabit, changes how you see the world."

Expect to see Page in plenty of projects. He's starring in the Netflix action-thriller The Gray Man, due to hit theaters in 2022, as well as the Dungeons & Dragons movie.

"It’s a brilliant job. I’m literally paying my mortgage by fighting imaginary dragons,” he excitedly said about the latter project.

"The thing that has always appealed to me most about this career is getting to encounter and interact with the unexpected,” he expressed, adding that as far as the sex appeal of future roles, "I want everything I do to be as sexy as Bridgerton, just in different ways."