Regé-Jean Page | Biography 2021
Regé-Jean Page | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Regé-Jean Page
  • Birthplace London, England

Regé-Jean Page | Biography 2021

Actor

An English-‎Zimbabwean actor, Regé-Jean Page, rose to fame for his lead role in Netflix's original period drama Bridgerton (2020), where he starred as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.


Quick Information
  • Full Name Regé-Jean Page
  • Birthplace London, England
  • Profession Actor

An English-‎Zimbabwean actor, Regé-Jean Page, rose to fame for his lead role in Netflix's original period drama Bridgerton (2020), where he starred as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.

Who is Regé-Jean Page?

Page always had an interest in acting but did not pursue it till he came across the London Drama Center. He auditioned twice before getting into drama school and started his career in the theatre plays during his final year of college. Gradually, he bagged minor roles to recurring roles in movies and television series such as Waterloo Road (2015), Survivor (2015), Roots (2016), For the People (2018-2019) before he landed the lead role in one of the most-watched Netflix series of the season, Bridgerton (2020).

He portrayed Simon Basset's role, who had recently returned to London and had no interest in getting caught in the societal levies. However, his character comes across Daphne Bridgerton—played by Phoebe Denver—and spirals down the web of love, friendship, societal values, and novelty.

The series was a vast success, having gained more than 82 million views within a month of its release. Page got nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award 2021, Satellite Awards 2021 and won the Image Awards (NAACP) Outstanding Actor 2021.

Early Life

Page was born in 1990 to a Zimbabwean mother and an English father in London, England. His mother was a nurse, and his father was a preacher. Second child amongst four siblings, Page spent his childhood in Harare, Zimbabwe, and then moved to London at 14 for secondary education. 

When he was young, he used to be a drummer in a punk band with his brother. “We were writing loud, angry, righteous guitar music and screaming at people with various colors in our hair,” he recalls.

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

Although he was interested in acting from the age of 14 and pursued it as a hobby during the weekends, he joined the university to study Sound Engineering to compromise his interest and his mom's. “It was halfway between a science for my mum and an art for me,” he states.

But then, while at the university, he discovered the British National Youth Theatre, which diverted his attention. 

“It was the first time I’d ever been in a room with a group of kids who took acting as seriously as I did and went as deep as I wanted to go… and I pretty much immediately ran away from university to be an actor,” he remembers.

Then he auditioned for the London Drama Centre, got in, and graduated in 2013. One of his Drama Center professors recalled him as, “My memory is of someone elegant, charming and ferociously intelligent. As he started to work, it became evident that he was determined not to rest on the qualities he had for free but was set on really finding out what he was capable of as an actor. He worked incredibly hard.”

Career

Technically, he knew he was into acting before he joined drama school since he participated in a school play where he took the role of a Little Drummer Boy in the school’s nativity play. Then, he had a vague idea that there was a career in acting but did not indulge afterward.

So, after joining drama school, he acted in Michael Longhurst's The History Boys at the Sheffield Crucible in his final year. Then in 2014, he starred in a TV movie Space Ark,  

In 2015, he had a recurring role in tv-series Waterloo Road, followed by James McTeague’s Survivor (2015).

In 2016, he acted in a mini-series Roots, which was a remake on the History Channel of a 1977 mini-series. It focused on the horrors of the US slavery system and its other legacies. It was a prominent role in his career.

Then in the same year, he did a theatre play alongside Jonathan Pryce in Jonathan Munby's version of Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare's Globe. Page shares that he had to improvise during one of his shows because he forgot the letter which was an important object of the scene. He discovered the need for improvisation and understanding through teamwork to make the play look good.

“The play only works if, when I forget the letter, you pick it up and improve it on. Otherwise, I don’t look bad, everyone looks f**king bad. The play doesn’t happen, which is not a bad lesson to take into life in general. Even on TV, it’s the same thing: it’s this massive, almost socialist machine…,” he shared.

Further in 2018-19, he appeared in the movie Mortal Engines, then as a recurring cast in the ABC-produced TV series For the People.       

Bridgerton

In mid-2019, Page was set as the lead cast of a Netflix series Bridgerton—produced by Shondaland. The series was based on Julia Quinn’s novel. It unveiled the Regency London High Society in its competitive nature, centered around an aristocratic Bridgerton family. The historical drama carried series of a seductive, lavish world filled with intricate rules along with dramatic power struggles.

Page portrayed the role of Simon Bassett, a bachelor Duke of Hastings, who recently returned to London and had no interest in getting caught in the societal levies.

After knowing he was hired for the lead cast, he did his own research. On his portrayal on the show, he shares:

As soon as I knew I got the job, I read the book so that I could very quickly forget the book. And then I had loads and loads of conversations with the wardrobe department,…We talked a lot about Simon being in Byron-ic collars because he is this Byron-ic type of hero…and how the necklines would be different and how Byron had this jewel he wore with like a token from maybe a lover or a loved one, or maybe he is was just being a bit prince-like and mysterious…That translates in the clothes and from the clothes then comes back to developing the character. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it starts with the shoes. You walk out in someone else’s shoes, and I like to do that quite literally. The first thing I do on a job is asking for the shoes or the boots so I can walk around them at home while I’m working and build from the ground up.

Page practically views his role of Simon as an advanced character that could represent "21st-century problems" brought up by "societal restrictions."

 “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 was 200 years ago or now, it’s just dressed up in different clothes and shaped by different societal restrictions. We see 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,” he explains.

“One of the most exciting things about this project was to deconstruct what’s perceived as masculine strength because that's a conversation we're having right now. We're asking what masculinity is, and a lot of it is letting go of this constant projection of dominance. Simon holds an utterly self-destructive grudge, and the only way to defeat that is to release vulnerability. We're still trying to figure out how to let men be vulnerable, to realize there’s strength in vulnerability, and that it’s how you fill out the circle of masculinity,” he analyses his character's vulnerability through the lens of societal perception of masculinity. 

Page even mentions about the struggles he had on delivering the emotional scenes, which were integral to the character while at the same time he had to be in control of the character. He reminisces:

There’s a moment in the house of the Bridgertons where it’s ostensibly a quiet, calm, happy scene. I’m at dinner for the first time with this family. I really don’t want to be there, but you can’t say that. The kids are there, and they’re all happy and playing and being accepted in exactly the warm and loving family that Simon never had. And that is never explicitly mentioned in the script at that moment. No one’s going to say it. But it is the biggest thing about that scene for him. Inhabiting that space is the most challenging but also the most gratifying part.

Bridgerton released its first eight episodes on Christmas Day of 2020 and had nearly 82 million views within its release month. It was one of the most-watched series of 2021 and peaked at no. 1 in 76 countries on Netflix! 

Awards & Nominations

Page was previously nominated for NAMIC Vision Awards in 2017 under the Vision Award Best Performance category in a Drama for his role in Roots (2016).

Later, for his role in Bridgerton, he was nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award 2021 under Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and then under Outstanding Performance Ensemble in a Drama Series along with the entire cast of the show.

Then, he was nominated for Satellite Awards 2021 under Best Actor in a Series, Drama/Genre, and IMDb Awards 2021 under Breakout Star.

Eventually, he won the Image Awards (NAACP) 2021 under the category of Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, which was his first win in his acting career.  

Upcoming Projects

In February of 2021, it was announced that Page was starring in Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s Dungeons and Dragons, co-starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith.

Later in March of 2021, Page was cast under the Russo Brothers' production, The Gray Man, alongside Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana De Armas.

Personal Life

After the success of Bridgerton, Page was widely rumored to have been dating his co-star Phoebe Denver. Page denied the rumors and stated that all of the chemistry was for the show and that they were just portraying the roles.

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