Shonda Rimes Is Actually Shocked We’ll Miss Bridgerton’s Duke So Much

Plus, her reaction to the outcry from Duke of Hastings fans.

Bridgerton became Netflix’s biggest show for many reasons: a thrilling and low-stakes storyline, sumptuous costumes, and a refreshingly diverse cast. But let’s not kid ourselves, breakout star Regé-Jean Page’s performance as the Duke of Hastings left fans thirsty for more — and the news of his departure from the show came down harder than Queen Charlotte’s scoffs. Now, series producer Shonda Rimes has the inside scoop on rumors that Page turned down lucrative season two cameo offers.

“We made a one-season deal with him at the beginning of season one,” Rimes told Vanity Fair. “That was the plan: come and do one season as the duke. Anything else that was extra and wasn’t really the plan when we started wasn’t the plan when we finished.” This makes sense — the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton’s love story had concluded, and the next seasons will focus on the rest of the Bridgerton siblings.

But Rimes later clarified that yes, Page was asked to film a few cameos for the next season, along with other a “few other season one characters.” We now know that he declined this offer, and will instead be focusing on upcoming film projects.

Rimes also shared her surprise at the fan backlash to Page’s exit. “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! …We gave them their happily ever after!” Indeed, in the show’s universe, the Duke is a new dad, and presumably, busy enjoying family life as a newly emotionally available husband and father. Fans will just have to quench their thirst with season two’s new cast members.

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