'Bridgerton': Shonda Rhimes on 'Finding Guys' Who Are 'Devastatingly Attractive'

When Netflix producer Shonda Rhimes heard how angry Bridgerton fans were about Regé-Jean Page leaving, she was shocked. She didn’t expect so much of an “explosion” over the series losing the Duke of Hastings. However, in retrospect, Rhimes admitted the fans’ reaction means she did her job well. Over the past 20 years, the producer describes her career as “finding guys” who are “devastatingly attractive.”

Is Shonda Rhimes in ‘Bridgerton’?

Shonda Rhimes is a television producer, screenwriter, and author. However, she isn’t an actor. The 51-year-old produced the Bridgerton series but did not star in it. She based the hit-show off of Julia Quinn‘s 8-part book series by the same name. Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland, includes hit shows such as Grey’s AnatomyPrivate PracticeScandal, and various others. 

In August 2017, Rhimes left ABC and entered into a multi-year contract with Netflix. All of her future shows will be Netflix original series. As of October 2020, she worked on over 12 projects for the streaming giant, including Bridgerton.

Why did Regé-Jean Page leave ‘Bridgerton’?

Although there was a slew of speculation over the reason Page left the Bridgerton series, Shonda Rhimes admitted he’s just a “busy man.” In an interview with Vanity Fair via the Los Angeles Times, the producer explained why the fan-favorite Duke is not returning for Bridgerton Season 2.

“We made a one-season deal with [Page] at the beginning of season one,” Rhimes told the outlet. “That was the plan: come and do one season as the Duke. Anything else that was extra and wasn’t really the plan when we started wasn’t the plan when we finished.”

Rhimes added that they invited Page to return for a few appearances in Bridgerton Season 2. However, he is busy with many other projects. 

‘Bridgerton’ producer Shonda Rhimes admits her job is ‘finding guys’ who are ‘devastatingly attractive’

In the same Vanity Fair interview, Shonda Rhimes sat down with her partner and producer Betsy Beers to discuss the Bridgerton series on Netflix. The journalist asked the two women if they were surprised at how upset fans were that Page was leaving. Both admitted that they were shocked; however, ultimately, that’s their job.

“[Page] is amazing, but that’s our job and something that Betsy and I have been doing since—well, God, has it been 20 years now?—is finding guys,” Rhimes explained. “I mean, hopefully, ladies too, but finding men that our audiences find devastatingly attractive and they become incredibly overly attached to, and they get enraged about when we move them about in any way.”

She added that they didn’t kill him off, like Grey’s Anatomy’s Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).

“We didn’t kill him; he’s still alive,” she exclaimed. “He’s a powerful, amazing actor, and that meant we did our job—every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance.”

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