- Regé-Jean Page removed himself from the “Bridgerton” group chat, he told GQ.
- The actor said he “respectfully exited” after deciding not to return for the show’s second season.
- “I didn’t want to put them in an awkward situation where they had to kick me out,” he explained.
Regé-Jean Page has officially left the “Bridgerton” group chat.
After deciding not to reprise his role as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, on the
Regency drama’s second season, the 31-year-old actor voluntarily removed himself from the cast’s WhatsApp group, he told GQ on Wednesday.
“The universe has expanded. So I’m no longer in it,” he explained, continuing, “I respectfully exited. I didn’t want to put them in an awkward situation where they had to kick me out.”
News of Page’s departure from “Bridgerton” broke in early April.
The post-season-one exit, though shocking to many, was always planned, he told Variety. When the actor joined the project, he signed a one-year contract with the understanding that he would walk away after Simon’s story resolved itself in the finale.
Phoebe Dynevor, who played Simon’s love interest Daphne Bridgerton, said she received notice of her costar’s departure ahead of Netflix and Shondaland’s public announcement.
“I had a bit of a heads up so I knew but yeah, I guess it is a spanner,” she said on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast.
Though Page emerged as a fan favorite, Dynevor pointed out that his character has a more minor role as the show’s plot moves forward. Like the Julia Quinn novels from which Chris Van Dusen adapted the series, each season of “Bridgerton” centers around a different couple’s courtship.
Season two will shift the focus from Simon and Daphne (Dynevor) to Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), mirroring Quinn’s second “Bridgerton” novel “The Viscount Who Loved Me.”
The new season will also introduce new cast members: Ashley, Rupert Evans, Charithra Chandran, Rupert Young, Shelley Conn, and Calam Lynch.
While fans remain hopeful that Page will make appearances on future episodes (the series has already been renewed through season four), anonymous sources close to the show told The Hollywood Reporter that he turned down an offer to guest star on three to five episodes of the show’s sophomore season for $50,000 per episode.
Page refrained from directly commenting on the possibility of a cameo during his interview with GQ. However, he did not shoot down the idea.
“Isn’t there something wonderful about being surprised by what you weren’t suspecting?” he asked.
Page, who scored his first Emmy nomination for his performance on “Bridgerton,” has a variety of Hollywood projects on the horizon.
The actor will appear in Paramount’s adaptation of “Dungeons & Dragons.” He will also join Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling in Joe Russo and Anthony Russo’s upcoming Netflix film “The Gray Man.”