“Bridgerton” was the talk of the town on Tuesday, when the Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix period romance TV series scored Emmy nominations in multiple categories, including Outstanding Drama Series and Lead Actor in a Drama Series for now-exited Season 1 star Regé-Jean Page. Though Page won’t be reprising his role as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, for Season 2 of the series, “Bridgerton” creator Chris Van Dusen is thrilled for his former leading man’s triumph — and for the show as a whole, too.
“It’s everything to me. It’s amazing. It’s extraordinary. And it feels a little surreal, but in the best way possible,” Van Dusen told TheWrap of “Bridgerton’s” 12 Primetime Emmy nods. “I think you always hope that people are able to find and fall in love with your show, but I certainly never could have anticipated this level of response and the reception that we’ve got. I’m beyond humbled and proud.”
One of the first things Van Dusen did after the noms came out was reach out to Page to congratulate the actor on his big achievement in what is a very competitive category.
“Absolutely, absolutely!” the “Bridgerton” showrunner said when we asked if he’d already spoken to Page during our conversation just an hour after the nominations were revealed. “You know, it was such a privilege to work with him and he is ‘Bridgerton’s’ Duke. He is our Duke and he will always be our Duke. And I know that he’s about to continue charming the world in some really amazing ways. So, I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Netflix revealed Page would not appear in Season 2 of “Bridgerton” in April, though his Season 1 co-star and love interest, Phoebe Dynevor (who plays Daphne Bridgerton), will return to the show in a supporting role as her character’s brother, Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), takes center stage with his love story. But with Tuesday’s reveal of Page’s love from the Television Academy voters, we asked Van Dusen if there’s a chance that the Duke will be included in the second season in some former — including a potential flashback to Season 2.
“It’s all very, very exciting and so I can’t tell you specific details because I don’t want to spoil it,” Van Dusen said. “But as you know, in Season 2, we’re following Anthony Bridgerton’s journey. And I think we’re going to be doing some really interesting things in this season, as far as with Daphne and with Anthony. And we literally see Daphne hand the baton over to Anthony. And I think viewers are going to be in for a real treat when they see what Anthony’s been up to.”
Also in Season 2, fans will get to see “how the Lady Whistledown sausage gets made,” as Van Dusen puts it, because the Season 1 finale revealed the true identity of the society gossip columnist voiced by Julie Andrews to be Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and now viewers will be following that secret side of her life as well.
“There’s a portion of the audience that has read the books and knew who Lady Whistldown was, according to the books, watching Season 1. But, you know, for people new to the books, I think that there will definitely be delight in some of the things that Julie Andrews gets to say as Lady Whistledown in Season 2. And it is different, because now we know what Penelope is up to. So in Season 2, just to give it a little tease, we get to see how the Lady Whistledown sausage gets made. We get to be there and it’s very illuminating and it’s surprising. And it’s been a lot of fun to write to.”