British actor Regé-Jean Page set pulses racing on Netflix’s Bridgerton as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, colloquially known as the Sexy Duke. As the on-again, off-again paramour of lead Daphne Bridgerton, Page cuts a cool, calm, and irresistibly charming figure, the period stylings suiting him down to the ground. The show, which is light, fluffy fun in the same vein as Gossip Girl, is the ideal low-stakes binge-watch, full of good-looking people hooking up and lounging around fancy places while wearing gorgeous clothes.
Although Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan is earning rave reviews for her portrayal of Daphne’s BFF Penelope, and newcomer Phoebe Dynevor is understandably gaining serious traction for her portrayal of the scheming protagonist, it’s Page who’s emerged as the real fan favorite. And while he’s got other roles to his name, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Brit is a fresh new face to most Netflix viewers. As a result of his fast-growing popularity, he’s now being touted for one of the biggest roles in Hollywood.
The British breakout might be throwing on a very famous tuxedo
Page set tongues wagging after posting a video of himself looking dapper as the Duke alongside the caption, “Regency, royalty. Shaken and stirred.” The clear reference to how legendary spy James Bond takes his signature drink — shaken, not stirred — set everybody off. According to Variety, the British betting firm Ladbrokes puts Page at just 5/1 to replace vacating Bond Daniel Craig (he was at 40/1 before Christmas). “Tom Hardy still leads the way as favorite, with James Norton close behind in second place. But it really is all to play for in the race for 007 and RJP has a great chance if the odds are anything to go by,” Alex Apati, a Ladbrokes representative, enthused.
It’s nothing new to see an actor’s odds increase exponentially after the success of a show, as Apati explained: “It’s the reason Cillian Murphy was once favorite during the peak of Peaky Blinders.” Murphy currently sits below Page, at 10/1, while Richard Madden, whose popularity skyrocketed following his take-notice turn in steamy drama The Bodyguard, is at 6/1. “However, what strengthens RJP’s chances somewhat more is that an announcement feels seemingly imminent [around] Daniel Craig’s replacement, so the timing of Bridgerton’s success may well have worked in his favor,” Apati argued.
Twitter is certainly pulling for him, with one user surmising, “Regé-Jean Page for James Bond….that is all.” It remains to be seen who Craig’s replacement will be, but for now, the Sexy Duke appears to be the hot favorite.
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