5 things you should know about British-Zimbabwean actor Regé-Jean Page, star of Netflix’s new hit series Bridgerton

Almost everyone is swooning over actor Regé-Jean Page’s romance with Phoebe Dynevor in the Shondaland-produced Netflix series, Bridgerton. Based on the bestselling novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton arrived on Christmas Day and follows two high-society families in Regency-era London.
Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor), is the oldest daughter in the Bridgerton family, who enters into a pretend engagement with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, played by the British-Zimbabwean actor and everyone’s latest Netflix obsession, Page. The actor who has learned how to be light about his work while taking it seriously recently attributed his on-screen chemistry with Daphne to “hours and hours” of dance rehearsals they did for the show. And if the 30-year-old looks familiar to you, that’s because you may have seen him on-screen before, having moved from the world of British television to Hollywood. Here’s what you need to know about the breakout star of Bridgerton, including his background and previous roles.
He grew up in Zimbabwe
Page was born in 1990 to a Zimbabwean nurse and an English preacher. When he was 14, he and his family moved to London. Growing up in different cultures has had a tremendous impact on his idea of home to date. “Home is very much wherever it is that your people are and where you fit in,” he told Interview magazine. What’s more, growing up biracial made him feel like a “walking political statement.” He told The Guardian that being a mixed-race child in Zimbabwe at a time it had just gained independence from British colonialism “means that you have to think about crafting your own identity and you question why you belong in that world.”
Music led to his calling as an actor
During his teen years, Page and his brother formed a punk band. Page did not only sing but played the drums and was mostly spotted with hair dyed in green, blue and purple. It was his start in music that got him interested in a career in arts. Thus, he moved on to train at one of the best drama schools the Drama Centre London where other top actors like Game of Thrones’s Gwendoline Christie, Michael Fassbender, and Tom Hardy trained.
His first big break was on on the BBC
Page’s first big break came when he played the role of a young teacher on the BBC drama Waterloo Road. He had before then earned his first on-screen role as a teenage tearaway in the BBC medical drama, Casualty. He also appeared in the Channel 4 comedy, Fresh Meat. Then came his American breakout role in 2016. That year, he played Chicken George in the History Channel’s remake of Roots, a role he said he found “hugely intimidating,” but an “honour”. Through his role in Roots, he caught the attention of Betsy Beers, the chief content officer at Shondaland and Shonda Rimes’s producing partner. He then got a role in Rhimes’ legal drama For the People, which aired for two seasons on ABC.
He wants inclusive casting for period pieces
Bridgerton was set inside the lavish world of Georgian high society but the period drama comes with an “on-screen Regency romance that feels made for the modern era”, according to a review. Page, who is a huge fan of romance as a concept, believes inclusivity is key for period dramas. “I think it’s immensely important for people to be able to see themselves at their highest elevation,” he told Esquire. “To see that you are worthy of love, romance, glamour, and status. Everyone is worthy of all of those things, and it’s our job in the creative industries to create an environment that reflects it.”He said in the same interview that “It’s perfectly possible to spotlight Black joy over Black suffering.”
He switches between accents
“Accents aren’t accents, they’re language … It’s almost like a code,” said the British-Zimbabwean actor, who is able to switch easily between accents, even in real life. This is not surprising though for an actor who has lived in London, Zimbabwe, and LA. “My father spoke with something very similar to a 1920s newscaster type of English, and I learnt that accent of power in post-colonial Zimbabwe,” he told Square Mile. “So I learnt that and I learnt how to copy it, and I learnt how to shift in and out of it, but also talk like my mother’s relatives in the village,” said the actor who just starred in the 1960’s romance, Sylvie’s Love.