‘Bridgerton’ Star, Regé-Jean Page Recalls Shonda Rhimes Putting Actors ‘In Our Place’

For years, Shonda Rhimes has been proving that she is the queen of television. Years before Bridgerton released into the world, the writing and producing powerhouse found massive success with shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Bridgerton, of course, marks Rhimes’ first project with Netflix and it has already proven to be a huge success despite releasing less than a month ago.

Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page talks Shonda Rhimes
Regé-Jean Page | Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images

Described as Gossip Girl influenced period piece, Bridgerton is a fresh and fun approach to life in the Regency Era. The show is packed with humor, romance, and plenty of seduction. Though the show is often told through the female lens, one male cast member has certainly stood out to viewers. Fans of the show are positively swooning over Regé-Jean Page who plays Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.

Regé-Jean Page worked on another Shonda Rhimes show prior to ‘Bridgerton’

Funnily enough, Bridgerton isn’t the first Shondaland project that Page has worked on. Back in 2018, the actor starred in the short-lived legal drama, For The People, but the show was canceled after just two short seasons. Fortunately, after seeing Page’s work, the executives felt that he could be a great fit for Bridgerton and they began to have conversations with him about the role. In an interview with Who What Wear, Page recalled his early conversations with the team about Bridgerton.

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“I was very familiar with the people I was working with at the company and with the company’s ethos from the inside out,” Page shared about Bridgerton. “I love the people in this company, and I trust them. When they want to reinvent something, I know they will bring not only this kind of quick, fast-paced, modern, sexy sensibility to it, but they also have a very strong sense of social responsibility. And so when we talk about representation, it’s about representing who the audience is now and that for me is what we do with the drama. I knew these guys would do it with their hearts in the right place.”

Page recalls the first time he met Rhimes

But what is it like to work with Rhimes? Though the producer isn’t always involved in the day-to-day processes of her shows, Page can still recall the very first time he met her. According to the Bridgerton star, the experience was extremely impactful and showcased the respect that Rhimes had for everyone who was helping to bring the story to life.

“It was at the table read for For the People,” Page shared about the first time he met Shonda Rhimes. “You know what? She was probably in an audition and I blanked that part of the room out so I could concentrate. But the first one I can remember is we had a table-read for For the People, and she very firmly told everyone before we started, ‘By the way, if you see a comma, I want you to observe that comma. If you see words on the page do not change them. We respect the writers in this company, so please read what is written.’ And so we were like, ‘Excellent. Thank you, queen Shonda. We have all been put in our place and will read the words from the page.'”

As a writer herself we can certainly see why Rhimes implored the actors to honor what it written. Clearly, the producer wants to make sure everyone’s work is well-respected which is likely part of the reason her shows are so impactful and popular.