It’s safe to say that the world adores Regé-Jean Page after meeting him as the Duke of Hastings in Netflix’s Bridgerton — and producer Shonda Rhimes does too. The producer, 51, wrote a touching tribute to the actor, 31, who landed on the 2021 TIME100 Next list.
“You might dream of him, the one we call the Duke of Hastings,” Rhimes wrote on Wednesday, February 17. “But in reality, Regé-Jean Page is finer than fiction and better than any dream.”
She continued, “He is that rare actor, one who brings an intensity, an intelligence and a precision to his work, providing endless depth to any scene. His disappearance into character builds a vibrant world for us to enter, making it impossible to imagine any other actor playing the role.”
The Grey’s Anatomy creator added that the For the People alum is one of the very few actors who “steal our attention so quickly,” something everyone noticed from the moment Bridgerton was released on Netflix on Christmas Day.
“Regé is a singular talent whose prospects are limitless. Today, he may be our duke,” she concluded about Page, who is set to host Saturday Night Live on Saturday, February 20. “By tomorrow… not even I can dream big enough to imagine.”
The actor and his Bridgerton costar Phoebe Dynevor skyrocketed to fame following the show’s debut, so much so that many hoped the costars would spark a real-life romance.
On Sunday, February 14, the Younger alum spoke out their offscreen relationship for the first time.
“I’d love to say there was really something between us, but no, it has always been strictly professional,” Dynevor, 25, told You magazine. “There was so much pressure on us to get it right that it was all about the work. We have a really professional working relationship. I’m glad for that, actually. It would be very complicated if it went further.”
She added that while she’s “intrigued” by costars that fall in love with each other, it’s yet to happen to her. “People really root for us. We have to say we’re actors, we’re doing a job, there is something to be said for not spoiling the magic,” she added. “But at a certain point, you have to say ‘no.’”