Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page has said the series is like “Downton Abbey’s wayward sibling” but “much more scandalous”

In Netflix’s slippery new romance drama described as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey, Page plays the mysterious and rebellious Duke of Hastings

It follows Phoebe Dynevor’s character, Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of the mighty Bridgerton family, as she makes her debut in Regency London’s competitive marriage market

Page told BBC Breakfast: “I don’t know if we’re the answer to Downton Abbey I think we may be Dwardson Abbey’s wayward sibling, possibly a lot more scandalous”

“I think the idea we had with Bridgerton was very much in the early conversations to do something fresh and exciting and totally funnier, faster, funnier and more glamorous than what was done in the genre before

“It’s supposed to be a little colorful and fluffy for Christmas, hopefully like a big warm hug from Regency to help you get through a festive period that was a little different for everyone this year””

Born in Zimbabwe, Page, 30, described the character of Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, as “tall, dark, brooding and thoroughly broken”, adding, “But also very charming if he wants to be”

The actor, who also starred in the legal drama For The People, said he was interested in exploring the particular nature of masculinity in such a character

He said, “He can do better than your least objectionable option, but that’s the kind of journey we take him through the series. I was very interested in investigating what made this big, dark, and broken one Archetype initially makes attractive, what is attractive about our Darcys and our Heathcliffs and how we make a conversation of the 21st Century can bring ”

Page also talked about his most recent role as Prince Charming on BBC Two’s Cinderella: A Christmas Comic Relief Mime that also starred Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and James Bond star Daniel Craig

He said, “That was an absolute joy I had a 10 hour Zoom call with Olivia Colman and Anya Taylor-Joy and Helena Bonham Carter – like literal Netflix and Acting King and it was anarchic and funny and kind of really just one good fun

“I think again, the theme of this year is that we need entertainment to remember the connections we lost and to brighten up what was a very challenging Christmas … I had a very busy Christmas and I am honored to be in this kind of company ”

Bridgerton is the first series from Shonda Rhimes, the Shondaland production company of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, following their lucrative deal with streaming giant

Dame Julie Andrews is also the voice of Lady Whistledown, an anonymous and mysterious gossip writer

Over six series of ITV’s lavish Downton Abbey, created by Julian Fellowes, traced the fortunes of the Crawley family and servants who worked for them in an Edwardian-English country house at the turn of the century

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World News – GB – Rege-Jean-Page: Drama from the new era “like Downton’s scandalous sibling” – Evening Express