Bridgerton

(Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix show is finally here and it’s just the Christmas Day gift that fans of Shondaland series were craving. Bridgerton was one of the most anticipated shows of 2020.

Not only does it feature a royally intriguing story fans of The Crown, Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey will die for, but it will also get temperatures rising. Move over McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and McSteamy (Eric Dane)–when Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), Duke of Hastings, makes his entrance onto the Regency London social scene after an absence of several years, one glance and he sets hearts pitter-pattering in ladies’ bosoms, and not just single ladies!

“It’s a little bit of Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl with maybe 49 Shades [of Grey],” Page described Bridgerton to TheWrap, and here’s why.

Season 1 of Bridgerton, based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling romance novel, The Duke and I, follows the journey of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), eldest daughter of the socially-elite and wealthy Bridgerton family, as she makes her debut in Regency London’s competitive marriage market.

Daphne catches the eye of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), who christens her the season’s debutante to watch. This should give her just the boost she needs to make an excellent match, but when her older brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) begins to rule out her potential suitors and the high-society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) casts aspersions on Daphne, things quickly take a turn for the worse.

But Daphne is as clever as she is beautiful and she hatches a plan with the brooding–and oh-so captivating–Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, a friend of her brother’s, to entice the single men in search of a wife to court her by faking an attachment. After all, if a Duke is enchanted by her, her reputation will soar, and, for his part, Simon will be able to avoid all the presumptuous mothers who are hoping to fix him up with their unmarried daughters. But for it to work, they must appear madly in love. We wouldn’t mind being in Daphne’s shoes–who wouldn’t want to be courted by this guy? Even if it is fake!

But who is this mysterious Duke, and even more intriguing, who is this fresh, swoon-worthy, face that plays him?

Photo: Liam Daniel/Netflix

(Photo: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Who plays the duke in Bridgerton?

The would be Regé-Jean Page. He grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, the child of an interracial couple and the second youngest of four children, but spent half his life in London, having moved to the UK at age 14. As a teen, he formed a punk band with his brother, singing and playing the drums. As if we needed more reasons to adore him!

“When I got involved in the punk scene, my notion of what a career was changed,” he told thefallmag.com. “I realized that a career in the arts was actually about having the people and community to support you making your art.”

This led him eventually to acting. He trained at the National Youth Theatre and later graduated from the Drama Centre London in 2013, launching his acting career on stage, appearing in The History Boys and Merchant of Venice.

How old is Regé-Jean Page?

Page was born in 1990, making the British-Zimbabwean actor 30 years old.

What is Regé-Jean Page’s relationship status?

Despite a presence on social media, Page is not one to share the details of his personal life. Even so, all reports are that the actor is single.

Related: Julie Andrews on Choosing Roles: ‘I’m Always Open to a New Adventure or Something Fresh’

Who does Regé-Jean Page play in Bridgerton?

Page plays the rakishly debonair Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, who has zero interest in his title, society or taking a wife.

“You realize that these characters are dealing with very 21st-century problems in the show; people have always had the same desires and needs, no matter whether it’s 200 years ago or now, it’s just dressed up in different clothes and shaped by different societal restrictions,” Page told The Guardian. “We’re seeing this Regency romance through a feminist lens, examining what masculinity means for a broken antihero like my character and how he can then allow himself to change and be loved.”

Related: Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons’ New Sitcom Call Me Kat Is the Purr-Fect Way to Start 2021

What else has Regé-Jean Page been in?

This isn’t Page’s first time on a Shondaland show. He previously starred in the 2018 legal drama For the People. In the seven years since he graduated from the Drama Centre London, Page has gone from the world of British television to Hollywood, getting named one of Variety’s Top 10 TV stars to watch after his introduction to an international audience with his breakout performance as Chicken George, in the 2016 Emmy award-winning production of Roots. His film credits include playing Captain Khora in Peter Jackson’s sci-fi blockbuster Mortal Engines and his role in the upcoming Amazon Prime jazz-age epic Sylvie’s Love.

Regé-Jean Page’s Instagram handle

Follow Page at @Regejean. Or simply enjoy some of his best posts below, including a childhood headshot!

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