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Regé-Jean Page, the actor who plays the sexy Duke of Hastings, aka Simon Basset, in Netflix’s Bridgerton, has been the subject of recent rumors that he will be the next James Bond. When you’re a person with a British accent (or anyone, really), that’s a pretty high compliment to receive, even if it’s not true.
On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Friday, Page addressed the reports. When Fallon said that the betting odds were “at 5 to 1” that the Bridgerton star would be filling Daniel Craig’s shoes, Page laughed.
“I think the internet thinks a lot of things, and that’s one of the more pleasant ones,” Page said with a smile. “So I can please as far as that goes. “I think there might be an element of cultural translation to be done here. Like if you’re a Brit, and you do something of any kind of renowned that people regard well, then people start saying the ‘B’ word. It’s like a merit badge, like the ‘B’ word merit badge.” But, he added: “I don’t think it’s more than that.”
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It doesn’t seem as if Page is going to be gracing the screen as Bond any time soon, but he has already impressed the world in his steamy role as the duke. He explained the show to Fallon as “Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl meets 35 shades of grey.”
In a December interview with InStyle, Page said he likes to be part of projects, such as his recents Bridgerton and Sylvie’s Love, that show Black people experiencing joy, especially in the context of historical fiction.
“What happens in culture often is, you go back in time and only white folks are happy,” he said. “And you know what? We’ve all known how to smile since the beginning of time. We’ve all gotten married since the beginning of time. We’ve all had romance, glamour, and splendor. Representing that is incredibly important, because period drama for people who aren’t white shouldn’t mean only spotlighting trauma.”
Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.
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