It looks like “The Duke of Hastings” is still winning over the hearts and minds of fans around the world. Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page nabbed his first NAACP Image Award on Saturday for his breakout role in the hit Netflix series.
Since Bridgerton dropped on Netflix in December 2020, Regé-Jean Page has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand leadin men, with magazine covers, movie deals and a Saturday Night Live hosting gig. Now, the actor is adding a coveted award to his portfolio, winning the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for his role of Simon (The Duke of Hastings) in the period drama from Shondaland.
Page was seemingly shocked while accepting his award, screaming out, “Nah man, nah man!” after Misty Copeland announced his win. He said in his speech, “Congratulations to everyone in the category! This absolutely goes out to all of the incredible people on our team for making something so unique.” Page then took a moment to recognize the significance of his Bridgerton role, specifically as a leading Black man in a period drama, a genre that usually cast white actors.
He said in his speech, “It is the highest honor to represent us in the fullness of our humanity, of our beauty, of our joy, of our glamour, of our splendor, of our royalty, of our romance, of our love…it is the highest honor to represent that and to represent the people I do represent.”
Page’s recent SNL appearance became a ratings smash for the historic sketch show. As TheGrio previously reported in February, the actor was featured in almost every sketch that night, including a hilarious monologue in which some of the resident SNL players, Ego Nwodim and Aidy Bryant, flirted with the actor as he prepped for his hosting gig.
Shonda Rhimes, the CEO of Shondaland, is, of course, a huge fan of Page. Writing for his recognition in the TIME100, she wrote about Page, “He is that rare actor, one who brings an intensity, an intelligence and a precision to his work, providing endless depth to any scene. His disappearance into character builds a vibrant world for us to enter, making it impossible to imagine any other actor playing the role. Few actors craft their moments so beautifully—or steal our attention so quickly.”
She continued to praise the actor in her essay, writing, “As evidenced by his performance in Bridgerton, Regé is a singular talent whose prospects are limitless. Today, he may be our duke. By tomorrow… not even I can dream big enough to imagine.”
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