Regé-Jean Page left women swooning as the suave star of smash-hit series Bridgerton.
But the 31-year-old recently announced he would not be reprising his role as the heartthrob Duke of Hastings in the new series of the show.
Rumours have begun to swirl about his next move. And the rumour that is on everyone’s lips? Bond – James Bond.
Regé-Jean Page left women swooning as the suave star of smash-hit series Bridgerton
Page has previously teased fans with social media captions such as ‘Shaken and Stirred’ – an apparent nod to the famous Bond line.
Yesterday – amid reports that one major bookie had suspended betting on Page stepping into legendary spy role – he added fuel to fire by saying he was ‘flattered’ by the speculation.
But some fans believe the Bridgerton star might be ‘too young’ for the role, while others joked he might be ‘too good looking’ to play Bond.
Others, meanwhile, have urged producers of the world-famous series to snap up Page – saying that it’s time to ‘bring back good looking men like Pierce Brosnan’.
As speculation mounts, today MailOnline looks at the life of the rising star, who could now make history by becoming the first ever mixed-race actor – and second youngest – to play James Bond.
Born in London to a Zimbabwean nurse and an English preacher, Page, the youngest of four siblings, spent much of his young life growing up more than 5,000 miles away in southern Africa.
Born in London to a Zimbabwean nurse and an English preacher, Page, the youngest of four siblings, spent much of his young life growing up more than 5,000 miles away in southern Africa
He was raised in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare – home to more than 2million people – before making returning to London in his adolescence.
It was in North London where he would find his passion for acting – attending the Jigsaw Saturday School in Enfield for around 10 years.
Acting, however, wasn’t his first choice of careers.
And the heartthrob star may never have graced our screens with his good-looks had he followed his initial career choice, as a sound engineer.
‘It was already a compromise. It was halfway between science for my mum and an art for me,’ he told Interview Magazine in 2016.
Music was obviously an early passion for the future star, who sang and played drums in a punk band which he formed with one of his three siblings, brother Tose Page – with whom he still performs as part of the musical duo TUNYA.
Though his dress sense was somewhat different to the regency era clothing in which he would burst into super-stardom.
According to Interview Magazine, Page dyed his hair blue, green and purple during his punk days.
‘As a teenager, the idea of running around, screaming at people was very appealing to me,’ he said.
Regé-Jean Page looked worlds away from his high society role in Bridgerton as he rocked purple hair and jammed on stage with his teenage band in unearthed snaps (pictured in 2005)
Regé sang and played drums in a punk band in his teenager years. Here he is singing (left) and beaming a smile (right) as he rocked a black cap in another gig snap (pictured 2009)
He told The Fall Mag that he was draw to the style because it was: ‘clean, pretty, ugly and dirty all at once. (It was about) not needing to bow for validation. In fact, not even needing validation.’
Bonds compared: How old have the previous James Bond actors been?
Roger Moore – 1973 to 1985 – began aged 45 with Live and Let Die and was aged 57 in his last outing as Bond in A View To A Kill.
David Niven – 1967 – Niven was 57 when he starred in the first Casino Royale film.
Daniel Craig – 2006 to 2021 – was 38 when he began with Casino Royale aged 50/51 while making the upcoming No Time To Die.
Pierce Brosnan – 1995 to 2002 – was 42 when he began with Goldeneye and aged 49 in his last outing as Bond in Die Another Day
Timothy Dalton – 1987 to 1989 – aged 41 in his first outing The Living Daylights 43 in his final outing with Licence to Kill.
Sean Connery – 1963 to 1971 – aged 33 in his first outing From Russia With Love and 41 in his final outing in Diamonds are Forever.
George Lazenby – 1969 – aged 30 when he starred in his only Bond appearance – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Acting, at the time, was merely hobby for Page. Like so many others, he starred in his school’s nativity, playing the Little Drummer Boy.
But it was at his Enfield Saturday school where he began fine-tuning his skills.
He said: ‘I went to a Saturday school where you would do an hour of dancing, an hour of acting, and an hour of singing.
‘I was loud and attention-seeking enough that they put me on their agency on the side.’
It was during this time Page gained extra roles – once playing an ambulance thief in the long-running medical series Casualty.
He spent two years auditioning for the prestigious National Youth Theatre in London.
His persistence was rewarded when he was invited to join the famous drama school.
‘It was the first time I’d ever been in a room with a group of kids who took acting as seriously as I did and went as deep as I wanted to go,’ he told Interview Magazine.
‘I pretty much immediately ran away from university to be an actor.’
The school, in the Holloway area of London, has helped shape international film stars Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender.
But Page told the Huffington Post in 2016 that he wasn’t driven by a desire to follow in the footsteps of any current actor.
Asked who is hero was, he said: ‘I’m very wary of heroes. I try not to make them in the first place, but there was a phrase Idris Elba spoke a few years back, where he said ‘It’s not about being the next Denzel, it’s about being the first you,’ and I really took that to heart.
Page spent two years auditioning for the prestigious National Youth Theatre in London
Page’s persistence was rewarded when he was invited to join the drama school, which helped shape international film stars Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender
‘But there are a great many actors and actresses whom I respect, and so I believe I have a collage of influences than focusing on any one career path in particular.’
Page’s first professional job was in the History Boys in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre and he later landed roles in the likes of Fresh Meat and Waterloo Road.
His breakthrough came across the pond in the US, where he now spends much of his time.
He played Chicken George in the History Channel big budget 2016 miniseries Roots – based on a book following the story of an 18th-century African who becomes enslaved and transported to North America.
Page’s performance in the show, a remake on a 1977 series of the same name, earned him critical acclaim.
It also helped him land a spot in US Crime series For the People, based on the writing of hit screenwriter and author Shonda Rhimes – the mind behind Bridgerton.
The series was canceled after two seasons in 2019. But the Page and Rhimes combination was not over yet.
In 2020 he would land the role of Simon Bassett, aka the Duke of Hastings, in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton.
The series, set in a fictional version of regency era London, follows the steamy and dramatic romance between the determined-to-stay-single Duke and love interest Daphne Bridgerton, played by English actress Phoebe Dynevor.
In 2020 he would land the role of Simon Bassett, aka the Duke of Hastings, in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton
The series, set in a fictional version of regency era London, follows the steamy and dramatic romance between the determined-to-stay-single Duke and love interest Daphne Bridgerton, played by English actress Phoebe Dynevor
Page landed a spot in US Crime series For the People, based on the writing of hit screenwriter and author Shonda Rhimes (pictured) – the mind behind Bridgerton
His outstanding performance earned him a win at NAACP Image Awards and two nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
And his dashing good looks earned him the hearts of many adoring fans.
But much to their disappointment, Page already has a girlfriend – Emily Brown – a copywriter and amateur football star.
Brown, a supporter of non-league Dulwich Hamlet, plays for South-West London’s FBB Warriors.
The pair were spotted last week spotted embracing in a street close to the £800,000 home they share in North London.
Ms Brown attended Manchester University between 2009 and 2012 and was once interviewed by student newspaper The Tab.
In the interview, speaking about her time at university, she said: ‘I managed to sneak a giant vase, about 75cm [30in] tall, from a club without anyone noticing, even though there were flowers poking out of it.
‘I also decided I wanted curtains for my room so I stole a blind. And a guy from the band Faithless gave me a load of weed once when I was in Ibiza…’
Before her relationship with Mr Page, Ms Brown dated Jack Badu, a football coach who would accompany her to Dulwich Hamlet games.
Colleagues on the networking site LinkedIn describe her as ‘witty’ and ‘great fun to be around’.
Another rather enviously wrote of her: ‘Even after a massive party, she seems to skip about the world like a bunny who’s never even heard the word hangover.’
The future now looks bright for Page, who was seen returning to the UK on Tuesday after his odds were slashed to become the new favourite to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.
He was spotted touching down at London’s Heathrow after heading home from Los Angeles where he has been staying recently.
His return comes after bookmakers Coral revealed that the newcomer is hot favourite to play the iconic spy role following Craig’s departure from the franchise.
The hunky star has even admitted that he’s ‘flattered’ to be included among a host of British stars tipped for the iconic role.
He told The Mirror: ‘Ah, the B word. I think that if you are British and you do anything of note, that other people take notice of, then people will start talking about that.’
He added: ‘I think that’s fairly normal and I’m flattered to be in the category of Brits that people have noticed. Nothing more – or less – than that.’
However despite being the bookies favourite, he said he was bemused by the idea of making any plans at ‘this moment in history’ and has ‘given up’ doing so.
His odds have been slashed to 5-2, overtaking long-running favourites Tom Hardy and James Norton – who had previously been the top picks at 3-1.
Huge stars including Idris Elba, Sam Heughan, Richard Madden and Henry Cavill are all currently trailing behind the others on 10-1
A spokesman for the bookmakers said: ‘The news that Regé-Jean Page will not be returning for the second series of Bridgerton has prompted plenty of bets from punters who believe he’ll make the perfect James Bond.
The future now looks bright for Page, who was seen returning to the UK on Tuesday after his odds were slashed to become the new favourite to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond (pictured)
After being announced as favourite at the time, Regé-Jean added fuel to the fire when he took to Twitter to share a glimpse of his character Simon Bassett, Duke Of Hastings, and referenced 007’s iconic drink order
Statement: The hit Netflix series took to its official Twitter account to reveal that the actor will not be back
‘We now make him favourite, ahead of Tom Hardy, for who succeeds Daniel Craig as 007.’
Back in January, Page hinted that he could be a good contender to succeed Daniel Craig as James Bond.
If he does land the role, Page would be the first ever mixed-race actor to play Bond – who has so far been played by seven white actors in the main film series.
Aged 31, Page will also be the second youngest, behind 1970s actor George Lazenby – who was 30 when he stepped into the shoes of the spy character.
His age has raised eye-brows among some die-hard Bond fans – who are used to seeing older men in the role.
Pierce Brosnan was 49 when he featured in 2002’s Die Another Day, while Craig was 47 in Spectre.
Others fear Page might even be ‘too good looking’ for the role with one saying: ‘Isn’t he too young to be a 007, besides he is too sexy to be bond.’
Another said: ‘Need a mature looking man to be James Bond please!!’
However others agreed he was the right choice, with one fan saying: ‘Bring back the charm. Either hire Rege-Jean Page or Henry Golding. Bring back good looking men like Pierce.’
Page meanwhile added fuel to the fire when he took to Twitter to share a glimpse of his Bridgerton character and referenced 007’s iconic drink order as he wrote: ‘Regency, royalty Shaken and stirred.’
However the speculation future hit fever pitch this week after the news broke that he won’t be returning to Bridgerton for a second series.
He later confirmed the show had a ‘one-season arc’ and his character’s story was finalised in one series and he never intended to return.
He told Variety: ‘It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year.
‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.’
The hit Netflix series took to its official Twitter account to reveal that the actor won’t be appearing on season two – leaving him potentially open for the job of the suave MI6 agent.
Even if Page isn’t the man to step into Craig’s shoes, he has plenty to look forward to in the coming months.
He is set to star in the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film, and will feature in The Gray Man – an American action directed by the Russo brothers.
But as Page continues to cause shake-up the film-world, his fans will be left to stir the speculation over his chances of landing the role of Bond.