Shonda Rhimes Surprised By Bridgerton Fans’ Reaction To Regé-Jean Page’s Exit

photo: Liam Daniel / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Shonda Rhimes, TV mogul and producer of Bridgerton, was surprised to see the overwhelming reaction by fans to the news that Regé-Jean Page would be leaving the acclaimed Netflix series in season 2.

“I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while. Like, we didn’t kill him, he’s still alive,” the producer told Vanity Fair on Tuesday. “[Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job — every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance.”

She continued, “I don’t know that I expected this much of an explosion, given that every book [in the Bridgerton series] is a different romance. What would be the ever-after of this combo? I mean, really: What would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming. And so yeah, I was like, ‘Whoa!'”

Page quickly grew a loyal fan base through his role of Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings on Bridgerton. Fans were surprised when he announced on April 2 that he was leaving the series after just one season. “The ride of a life time,” he wrote via Instagram.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. Joining this family — not just on screen, but off screen too. Our incredibly creative and generous cast, crew, outstanding fans — it’s all been beyond anything I could have imagined. The love is real and will just keep growing.”

Bridgerton season 1 is available to stream on Netflix.

Olivia Di Pede

Olivia Di Pede

Olivia loves all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. In her free time, she can be found taking yoga classes, reading thriller novels, and styling outfits on Instagram.