(Warning: This post contains major spoilers through the Season 1 finale of “Bridgerton.”)
“Bridgerton’s” A couple, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset/the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), are wed a little over halfway through the eight-episode Season 1, making them a pretty quickly resolved “will they or won’t they?” pairing in comparison to some of TV history’s most drawn-out relationships. But interestingly enough, settling down is actually what throws their relationship into its most dramatic moment, one that Page compares to the iconic, long-running debate between David Schwimmer’s Ross and Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel on “Friends.”
“We went through this constantly during filming. This was our Ross and Rachel, ‘We were on a break’ [moment],” Page told TheWrap.
If you’ve finished “Bridgerton” Season 1, then by now you know that Page is referring to the fight that results between Simon and Daphne when she finds out that Simon can have children, he just doesn’t want children because of how cruel his father was, and he has been preventing himself from impregnating her while they enjoy the pleasures of sex during their honeymoon.
This devastates poor Daphne, who learns how babies are made from one of their servants and uses that information to trick Simon into ejaculating in her, in hopes she would get pregnant after figuring out Simon had been deceiving her.
“Hey, he was straight off from the top. He was like, ‘Don’t want babies. Not going to happen. You’re the one who somehow thought that was gonna change,'” Page said, laughing.
OK, but seriously, Page thinks “Simon is absolutely, squarely in the wrong.”
“You don’t get to deceive someone going into a marriage and then play out the whole ‘would versus could; situation,” the “Bridgerton” star said. “But you know, this is the nature of your dark, brooding, broken antihero. They are generally broken and wrong. And Simon’s whole redemptive story is figuring out how essentially wrong he is and how he needs to stop being self-righteous and love himself before he can give that to others. And then we have our big, heroic, romantic moment. But until then, there’s no hope for anyone. Until he can learn to love himself, until he can learn to be honest with those who offer him love.”
And ultimately, Simon does get there with Daphne, letting go of the resentments he had toward his father that led to him promise he would never have children, and the couple has their first child by the end of the Season 1 finale.
Page says that “if we’re not careful, this archetype of the dark, brooding, broken antihero gets held up on a pedestal for the wrong reasons.”
“Because the whole point is this man is incredibly intelligent and generous and inventive, but all of that is locked away behind this prideful false strength that he can only express through spite and through dominance of others,” he said. “Even if it’s something quite frankly pathetic as someone who is already dead. Like, you’re not winning a fight there. And quite frankly, there isn’t a fight to be won. I think a lot of guys need to hear this. The fight that needs to be won is over that false pride before you can discover the vulnerability that allows you to unlock all the good stuff that does actually make you attractive, hopefully.”
Watch TheWrap’s full interview with Page above.
Readers can find TheWrap’s interview with Dynevor here.