8 Things You May Not Know About Regé-Jean Page
Regé-Jean Page stole our hearts as Simon Basset in Netflix's "Bridgerton." But he was making waves long before that. The 34-year-old actor burst onto our TV screens playing a hapless teacher in BBC One's "Waterloo Road." In fewer than 10 years, he's gone from the world of British television to Hollywood, earning a supporting role in Peter Jackson's adaptation of "Mortal Engines" as well quite a big role in the Emmy-nominated revival of "Roots," which was watched by a whopping 6.9 million American viewers.
Up next, Page is starring in the star-studded "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" movie alongside Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Hugh Grant. Of his role in the forthcoming action-comedy, Page told "Today" that "the hardest part about this movie was not cracking during the takes."
"It's a fun movie. It's about adventure. It's got a little bit of 'Princess Bride' in there, it's got a little bit of that Marvel," Page explained. "It's about having somewhere where you can with your friends, just hang out, and have a good time."
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Page ahead.
It Was Actually Music, Not Drama, That Got Regé-Jean Page Interested in a Career in the Arts
The actor formed a punk band with his brother in his rebellious teenage years, singing and playing the drums. Fittingly for a punk singer, his hair has been dyed everything from blue and green to purple. Explaining how his start in music nudged him in the direction of the thespian life, Page told The Fall in 2017, "When I got involved in the punk scene, my notion of what a career was changed. I realized that a career in the arts was actually about having the people and community to support you making your art."
As a Child, He Moved From the UK to South Africa and Back Again
Page was born in North London but moved to his mother's native Zimbabwe when he was young and spent his formative years there before moving back to the UK at 14. The actor has spoken about how growing up in different cultures shaped his perspective, most notably his idea of home. "Home is a relative concept," he told Interview. "Home is very much wherever it is that your people are and where you fit in."
He Trained at One of the Best Drama Schools in the UK
Page trained at the National Youth Theatre before earning a place at the Drama Centre, a London-based acting school that counts Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, and "Game of Thrones"'s Gwendoline Christie among its illustrious alumni.
Regé-Jean Page Got His Start on the BBC
Page's first onscreen role was in the BBC medical drama "Casualty," in which he played an ambulance-stealing teenage tearaway. He also appeared in the Channel 4 comedy "Fresh Meat," but his first big break came when he was cast as Guy Braxton, a young teacher on the BBC drama "Waterloo Road."
His First Role on American Television Was in the Critically Lauded Remake of "Roots"
Page wowed audiences in the US in for his portrayal of Chicken George in the History Channel's 2016 remake of "Roots" before being cast in the 2018 adaptation "Mortal Engines" and the Shonda Rhimes-produced legal drama "For the People." Discussing his breakout role in "Roots," the actor told Deadline that he found it "hugely intimidating" but "an honor" to be trusted with a story and a character that means so much to people.
His Role in "Roots" Is What Helped Launch His Career
It was Page's role in "Roots" that brought him to the attention of Betsy Beers, the chief content officer at Shondaland and Shonda Rimes's longtime producing partner. He was cast in "For the People," and his performance stuck with Betsy and the Shondaland team. When speaking to Esquire, Beers recounted hearing Regé-Jean's name come up continuously in the casting room with comments like, "It would be so great to get somebody like Regé. I wish there was somebody like Regé." Luckily, Beers was ultimately able to cast Page himself.
He Switches Easily Between Accents, Even in Real Life
Page speaks naturally with a North London accent and has convincingly mastered an American accent for his roles on "Roots" and "For the People." Having lived in London, Zimbabwe, and LA, however, the actor admits that his voice sometimes changes depending where he is or who is he with.
"My father spoke with something very similar to a 1920s newscaster type of English, and I learnt that accent of power in post-colonial Zimbabwe. So I learnt that, and I learnt how to copy it, and I learnt how to shift in and out of it, but also talk like my mother's relatives in the village," he said in an interview with Square Mile. "Accents aren't accents, they're language . . . It's almost like a code. Because that's the key to who you are: it's how you express who you are. And how you express who you are is how you speak."
He Currently Lives in LA
The actor moved to LA in his 20s.