We’ve been trying to find the best way to describe Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series, “Bridgerton,” leading up to the Regency-era drama’s premiere on Christmas Day. And now we finally have the words, thanks to star Regé-Jean Page.
“It’s a little bit of Jane Austen meets ‘Gossip Girl’ with maybe ’49 Shades [of Grey’],” the actor, who leads the cast of “Bridgerton” along with Phoebe Dynevor, told TheWrap in a recent interview, which you can view above.
Yeah, we aren’t going to top that very concise logline from Page, who plays the handsome Duke of Hastings on the Netflix drama and is well aware of how scandalous and steamy the period piece gets throughout its first season.
But in case you want the official description, here it is, courtesy of Netflix: “Bridgerton” follows Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parents’ footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne. Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings, committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable, and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.
The series is based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling series of romance novels. Because that genre isn’t exactly mainstream, you might have even known the show had source material and wasn’t just dreamed up by Rhimes and series creator Chris Van Dusen. But Page thinks once “Bridgerton” premieres on Netflix, romance will get even more love than it already does — which is a lot, just from a smaller group of people.
“I think it gets a lot of love, I think it’s just a little bit of an indulgence,” Page told TheWrap. “It has a huge fan base. And one of the thrilling things about this show was walking into a project that has all of these people invested into it. And they’re not just invested, they are incredibly, passionately invested. And you learn this very, very quickly. So I think the one thing that cannot be said about this genre is that it doesn’t receive love. It receives huge amounts of love, just in very, very kind of close-knit-type communities in very passionate ways, but it hasn’t necessarily been discovered by the mainstream yet. But I don’t think it’s for lack of love. If anything, it’s something of an overflow in that regard.”
“Bridgerton” premieres Dec. 25 on Netflix. Check back with TheWrap post-launch for more from our interview with Page.