Regé-Jean Page is one of the biggest stars in the world right now thanks to his breakout role as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton. The show brought him to the attention of a worldwide audience, but he could have had his breakout role sooner, on the show Krypton.
Per Rotten Tomatoes, the superhero show is centered on Seg-El, the grandfather of Superman. Cameron Cuffe plays Seg-El, but, as fans just found out, Page also auditioned for the role. From the sound of it, Page’s audition went pretty well but the main reason he wasn’t considered for the role was the color of his skin.
The Hollywood Reporter said that, according to multiple sources, Page was turned down because of DC Films’ Geoff Johns, who refused to allow a Black man to play Superman’s grandfather. A rep for Johns e-mailed the outlet, however, saying that Johns was looking for an actor who resembled Superman actor Henry Cavill.
Regé-Jean Page said the casting controversy 'hurts'
Page seems to believe that the casting decision was, in fact, based on his race. The actor took to Twitter after the story broke, writing, “Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
Page’s casting as the Duke of Hastings on Bridgerton proved to be controversial with some, as many believed that the Regency-era show should not have featured such diverse casting. The upper echelon of London society in the early 19th century was white, but the world of Bridgerton is less discriminatory.
Page defended the casting in an interview with The Guardian, saying, “This show is a glamorous, ambitious Cinderella fantasy of love and romance – I don’t know why you wouldn’t invite everyone to come and play in it, especially since we’re serving a global audience on Netflix. It takes so little imagination to include people, as opposed to how much thought and effort it takes to keep people out of these stories.”
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