In "Graduation (Friends Forever)," Vitamin C famously sings, "As we go on, we remember/All the times we had together." And fans will certainly remember all the moments they shared with Regé-Jean Page on Bridgerton.
In fact, the 31-year-old actor likens his departure from the Netflix show to leaving high school. "You're afraid of the unknown, thinking, 'Oh, my God, I'm never going to make friends as good as the ones I have,'" he told Variety for a new cover story, "and then you do."
Fans learned in April that Page—a.k.a. Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings—will not be returning for season two of Bridgerton. Considering the show is based on the Julia Quinn novels—and each book focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling—some readers may have seen his exit coming. Others? Not so much.
"We're used to speculation and drama when I kill a character off of a show, but this was different," executive producer Shonda Rhimes shared. "Regé was just doing what his character was written to do—ride off, alive, into his happily ever after."
And while some stars may be nervous to leave Netflix's biggest series ever, this isn't the case for Page. "Not at all," he said when asked about any jitters, "because that's what was meant."
As Page has previously explained to Variety, he always knew his character's storyline would be a "one-season arc."
"Simon was this bomb of a one-season antagonist, to be reformed and to find his true self through Daphne," he told the publication, citing Simon's wife played by Phoebe Dynevor. "I think one of the bravest things about the romance genre is allowing people a happy ending."
This next season will center on Anthony Bridgerton, portrayed by Jonathan Bailey, and will feature a few new faces, including Charithra Chandran, Simone Ashley, Shelley Conn, Calam Lynch and Rupert Young. And for viewers who are already yearning for more of the period drama, they're in luck, as the show has been renewed for seasons three and four, as well!
"I imagine it's possible that after each season," Rhimes said, "you'll be asking about a different actor returning."
Besides, Page already has several new projects in the works. For instance, he's set to star in The Gray Man along with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. There have also been rumors that he may take over for Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. Although, Page wouldn't confirm or deny "the B-word."
And when asked about the sex appeal of any future roles, Page, as Variety put it, replied in a way that was "equal parts sincerity and a wink that's practically audible over the phone."
"I want everything I do to be as sexy as Bridgerton," he told the publication, "just in different ways."