Shonda Rhimes, 51, was surprised at how devastated Bridgerton fans were after they found out Regé-Jean Page, 31, was leaving the popular series after just one thrilling season, and it’s because that was the plan all along.
The talented producer, who is also known for producing hit series like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, with fellow producer Betsy Beers, sat down for a new interview with Vanity Fair to discuss the popular series, which became Netflix’s biggest to date, as well as the mark Regé-Jean left before exiting.
“I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while,” Shonda Rhimes said when discussing the fan’s reaction to Regé-Jean Page, who played the main role of Simon Basset on the show, and his exit.
“Like, we didn’t kill him, he’s still alive! [Regé-Jean Page] 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.”
Shonda Rhimes also opened up about the rumors that Regé-Jean Page was offered a deal to make some cameos in season two of Bridgerton but turned it down. “We made a one-season deal with him at the beginning of season one. That was the plan: come and do one season as the duke,” she explained.
“Anything else that was extra and wasn’t really the plan when we started wasn’t the plan when we finished.” She later clarified that he was invited to return for cameos along with other season one characters outside the Bridgerton family.
“So there’s a lot of fantastically interesting talk that’s been going on, mainly cause I think people are having a hard time letting go,” she admitted. Producer Shonda Rhimes created Station 19 and Private Practice too, and has won a golden globe for her fantastic work.