So long, Duke of Hastings! Regé-Jean Page tested out a new nickname in the first promo for his Saturday Night Live hosting debut.
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The Bridgerton heartthrob, 31, stood alongside musical guest Bad Bunny and cast member Melissa Villaseñor on the iconic SNL stage as they prepared for the Saturday, February 20, episode. Each of the trio wore face masks to keep themselves safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After Page introduced himself and the 26-year-old Puerto Rican singer, the 33-year-old comedian teased that she’s “gonna go by Bad Melissa now.” The Netflix star, for his part, dubbed himself “Regé-Jean Bunny.”
When asked if he was interested in changing his name too, the “Te Boté” artist replied, “Bad Bunny is already cool, so I’m gonna keep it.”
The upcoming episode will mark the first appearance on the NBC sketch comedy show for both Page and the “Dakiti” singer. Along with scoring the prestigious SNL gig, Page recently landed a spot on the 2021 TIME100 Next list after he was catapulted into the spotlight following Bridgerton’s December 2020 debut.
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“You might dream of him, the one we call the Duke of Hastings,” Shonda Rhimes — whose production company is behind the major Netflix success — wrote in a tribute published on Wednesday, February 17. “But in reality, Regé-Jean Page is finer than fiction and better than any dream.”
She continued, “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.”
The Grey’s Anatomy creator, 51, hailed the British actor as “a singular talent whose prospects are limitless,” concluding, “Today, he may be our duke. By tomorrow … not even I can dream big enough to imagine.”
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Page’s chemistry with Bridgerton costar Phoebe Dynevor quickly grasped fans’ attention as the period drama became one of the most-watched original series in the streaming platform’s history. Though viewers wondered whether the pair were an item offscreen, Dynevor, 25, swiftly shut down romance rumors earlier this month.
“I’d love to say there was really something between us, but no, it has always been strictly professional,” the Younger alum told You magazine. “There was so much pressure on us to get it right that it was all about the work. We have a really professional working relationship. I’m glad for that, actually. It would be very complicated if it went further.”
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