Regé-Jean Page, one of the most exciting new stars on the rise, is still something of a mysterious figure. He doesn’t share much of his life online, nor has he been caught up in any Lady Whistledown-worthy scandals. Thanks to the pandemic, he’s barely even hit that many red carpets. But he’s starting to open up just a bit, and recently revealed why he’s so at peace with the decision to leave Bridgerton.
“That’s what was meant,” he recently told Variety of wrapping up his time on the hit Netflix romance. “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.” It’s true! Don’t you hate it when shows put a character through hell just to have something to do with them?
Page also reflected on the still somewhat novel image of a non-white actor in a period piece, in this case, in a Regency-era romance. “Me and my friends used to joke about the fact that you don’t see a Black man on a horse,” he said, adding, “I didn’t think it was possible, and that’s my mistake for not believing in that and not accepting my own responsibility to make it possible through what we do as actors. I’m pleased that I’ve taken a couple of good first steps into what seems to be an ever-widening pool of possibility, and long may that continue.”
He takes this responsibility seriously, explaining, “It’s so simple. I can get on a horse and I can put it on the screen; that’s step one. 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.”
When he got cast there was some backlash from fans of Julia Quinn’s book series because Regé-Jean Page didn’t look like the Simon she described. But Page focuses on the positive, saying, “I’m going to shout out [the book’s] Brazilian fans specifically, because they had my back before anyone else did…When everyone else was still passive aggressively getting all knotted up because I didn’t have blue eyes, the Brazilians were there for me.”
It’s an attitude he seems to carry with him always. Elsewhere in the interview, he declared, “I decided a very long time ago that I would refuse to be defined by trauma and would only be defined by success, when and where it comes. And I will not waste what breath I have on feeding things that are not worth it. So I choose my words carefully. I spend my energy carefully, and I’ll continue to do that where it is necessary and welcomed.”
Page has a number of exciting projects coming up, and even more exciting rumors swirling around, but the private star won’t jinx anything with speculation. Thankfully, though, he did drop this juicy tidbit: “I want everything I do to be as sexy as Bridgerton, just in different ways.” Thank God.