Bridgerton’s creator Shonda Rhimes was shocked by the intensity of the fan heartbreak over Regé-Jean Page’s departure from the hit Netflix series.
The Shondaland founder told Vanity Fair that she was "really shocked" when fans and even stars like Kim Kardashian sharing their horrified responses on social media. "We didn't even kill him, he's still alive," Rhimes joked, admitting that she usually gets that sort of reaction when she's killed off a fan-favorite.
Rhimes' production partner, Betsy Beers, said that it's "delightful" that fans are invested in Page and his character, because the 31-year-old British actor is "a terrific guy." Rhimes added that finding performers that audiences will love and become "incredibly overly attached to," has been their job for 20 years now, and the goal is for fans to get "enraged" when they move them around — or kill them off.
She promised that season 2 will star Jonathan Bailey, a suitable replacement. "[Regé-Jean] 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," she said. "I mean, really: what would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming."
Sex Education's Simone Ashley will play Anthony's love interest, Kate Sharma, Charithra Chandran will play Kate's younger sister, Edwina, and Rupert Young will star as a new character created for the series.