Rege-Jean Page, the breakout star of “Bridgerton,” is second in line to win Best Drama Actor at the 2021 Emmys, according to Gold Derby’s predictions. Emmy voters have this one shot to anoint the British actor with a trophy for the role that made him a household name, as it’s been announced he will not return for Season 2 of the Netflix period romance drama. The only actor with better odds is Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”), who recently took home precursor trophies at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.
Page plays Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, throughout the first season of the buzzy hit. He quickly becomes a love interest for Phoebe Dynevor‘s young socialite character, Daphne Bassett. “Bridgerton” takes place during London’s high society days of 1813, when debutantes like Daphne are presented at court. As the season progresses, she becomes smitten with Simon and they eventually get married. It’s only then that she finds out her new husband has not been entirely truthful with her.
Viewers became so obsessed with Page’s portrayal of the Duke that it was no surprise when “Saturday Night Live” called on him to host the February 20, 2021 episode. His “SNL” monologue was full of sizzling looks to the camera as he told the audience he was there to show them “a good time.” He was especially proud of how “Bridgerton” connected with so many fans at home, especially those “who don’t normally get to see themselves as romantic leads on television.”
Page earned two nominations at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards, losing his individual bid to Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) and his ensemble bid to “The Crown” cast. He later prevailed at the Image Awards for Best Drama Actor and the MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Breakthrough Performer.
Besides “Bridgerton,” viewers might recognize Page from his roles in “Sylvie’s Love” (2020), “Roots” (2016) and “For the People” (2018-19). It was the latter TV show that first introduced him to Shonda Rhimes, the prolific producer whose production company Shondaland oversees “Bridgerton.”
Last year’s Best Drama Actor winner, Jeremy Strong, isn’t eligible to return since “Succession” took the year off. However, the 2019 champion, Billy Porter, is back in the running for the final season of “Pose.” Besides Page and O’Connor, other likely Emmy contenders include Matthew Rhys (“Perry Mason”), Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Jonathan Majors (“Lovecraft Country”), Justin Theroux (“The Mosquito Coast”) and Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”).
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