Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page: 7 Things You Need to Know About Netflix's New Heartthrob
Regé-Jean Page is making quite the graceful entrance into our lives — for those who didn’t know him already, that is.
Starring as the sexy, slightly scandalous Duke of Hastings in Shonda Rhimes’ new Netflix series Bridgerton — a confectionary delight of a period piece that follows British high society’s romantic pursuits through the lens of a gossip column in Regency-era England — Page has quickly attracted the attention of the masses, who’ve flocked to his Instagram to glean any information they can on the rising star. Luckily, we’ve made it easy for everyone and rounded up our findings here.
1. He Started Acting as a Kid
Page, 30, grew up between Zimbabwe and the U.K., according to an interview with InStyle, and currently splits his time between London and Los Angeles.
He began acting at a young age, landing his first “role” as the Little Drummer Boy in his school’s nativity play. “And oh how I played! Such drums, such playing!” he joked to Netflix’s Queue & A. “I clearly had a career in musical theater ahead of me and somewhere took a left turn and started getting all dour and serious and doing emotionally broken dukes.” Clearly, he’s got a deft sense of humor as well.
2. He Wanted to “Be an Explorer” When He Grew Up
Page says he was first drawn to acting when he learned he wasn’t “very good at anything else at all,” he told Queue & A. “Also I wanted to be an explorer when I was a kid. That was my first idea of what would be a really great thing to do in the world: to discover unknown things and pick around in them and see what you could bring back home to go, ‘Look! The world is bigger than you thought it was.’”
“Acting is the closest thing I found to that, honestly,” he continued. “It’s about exploring and getting the opportunity to live in worlds and understand people that I would have no reason otherwise to interact with. One day I can be a spaceman, the next day I can be president, the day after that I can travel 200 years into the past. It’s this really freeing profession. It’s a great way to spend your time as a human: learning about other humans and then sharing that knowledge.”
3. He’s Determined to Showcase Black Joy
For Page, who starred in Shondaland's For the People for two seasons, roles in Bridgerton as well as Sylvie’s Love, a romantic film set in 1960s Harlem now streaming on Amazon, hold particular significance, as he feels Black joy has rarely been shown in historical context on the screen.
"What happens in culture often is, you go back in time and only white folks are happy,” he told InStyle. “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.”
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the responsibility of representing a wider range of Black stories, he added, “We're at a moment in time where it is part of my job for people in my generation of artists to start telling those stories and filling them in.”
4. He’s a Romantic
In case that wasn’t abundantly clear by his choice of recent projects, he spelled it out for fans (and meddling mamas looking to marry off their daughters) in his chat with EW. “I'm a huge fan of romance as a concept. Romance is a wonderful thing and we need more of it in the world,” he said. “Most things at their core are love stories anyway, whether they realize it or not."
That being said, Page appears to keep his own love life private, with no indications on his social media accounts of whether or not he’s as much the aloof-yet-eligible bachelor as his Duke is.
5. He’s a Renaissance Man
In addition to reading the basis of Bridgerton, Julia Quinn’s novel The Duke and I (which is the first in a nine-book romance series), Page dug into his role by learning a host of new skills, from boxing to horseback riding to dancing in the style of the time, according to InStyle. He also does voice-over work, including as Kong Jr. in this trailer for a graphic novel.
6. He Sings (and Hums)
Page's pipes deserve a category of their own. He and his brother, Tose, form a musical duo called TUNYA. According to their website, the brothers have “written together and featured in various bands since their teens, [and] now independently produce their own music and collaborations.” Page’s vocal talents are on display in the short film Don’t Wait by Lanre Malaolu featured on their website.
The song he sings in the short film came to him in a dream, he shared on Instagram. Recounting the dream, he explained in part, “I began to hum to myself. It’s a thing I do to manage stress or distress.” He continued, “I hum to myself in the dentist’s chair when they get the drill out. Or anything else that buzzes menacingly, but they told me they don’t mind, and I think they and the assistants are quite amused by it. It beats screams.”
7. He Has Very Particular Snack Preferences
In his InStyle interview, Page revealed that he recently — or as he more charmingly put it, “of late” — has “accidentally invented my new favorite bagel at home. It is a blueberry bagel with cream cheese and cherry conserve, and it's kind of like this weird cheesecake bagel that is so wrong and so right.”
To Netflix’s Queue & A, he added that he’s addicted to coffee. “I’m a being of caffeine when I work. It is a vice, but as far as vices go, I’ll take it.”
Bridgerton is now streaming on Netflix. Sylvie's Love is currently available on Amazon.
This story originally appeared on people.com