Lady Whistledown never fails to shock, but her latest dispatch was almost too much for Bridgerton viewers: Rége-Jean Page, the hunk behind the Duke of Hastings, will not be returning for season 2. (It turns out the British-Zimbabwean actor only signed on for the first, in accordance with his storyline in the books.) Page’s costar Phoebe Dynevor, on the other hand, is staying put. “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister,” Shondaland hinted, “helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer—more intrigue and romance than [Whistledown’s] readers may be able to bear.”
Meanwhile, Netflix and Shondaland are making up for the loss by adding more targets for Lady Whistledown’s acidic pen. We already know that Season 2 will focus on the taming of Jonathan Bailey’s eldest Briderton sibling Anthony. Simone Ashley has been cast as his potential love interest, Kate Sharma. With an all-new storyline comes new chances for supporting characters and fresh faces as well.
Edwina Sharna seems to be something of a mirror of Daphne’s Season 1 attitude. “She’s kind-natured and endlessly endearing,” Shondaland teased. “But while she may be young and naïve, she also knows what she wants: a true love match.” And thanks to her older sister, Edwina knows how to be “the perfect debutante.” She’ll be portrayed by Charithra Chandran, a newcomer who’s so far only appeared on the Amazon Prime series Alex Rider.
Theo Sharpe, a “hardworking printer’s assistant” and “intellectual who fights for the rights of all,” will be played by Calam Lynch. The Irish actor has a theater background, going back to his days at Oxford, though also has experience with blockbusters: His first on-screen role was in 2017’s Dunkirk.
Shelley Conn, whom Steven Spielberg handpicked for the 2011 TV series Terra Nova, seems set to deliver one of this season’s juiciest plot lines. The 44-year-old’s character, Lady Mary Sharma, is returning to Bridgerton after a stint in London, where she and her two daughters fled after becoming embroiled in a marital scandal.
Jack, a well-connected character who was not in the Bridgerton books, is shrouded in mystery. He’ll be portrayed by Robert Young, the 42-year-old who’s previously starred in the BBC’s fantasy series Merlin and appeared in the West End’s production of Dear Evan Hansen.