Regé-Jean Page says he was rejected for this role due to his race

Before the actor was on Bridgerton he auditioned for another show

Rege-Jean Page arrives at the premiere Of Universal Pictures' "Mortal Engines" at Regency Village Theatre on December 5, 2018 in Westwood, California.
(Image credit: Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images)

Before Regé-Jean Page charmed us as the Duke in Netflix's period drama Bridgerton, he originally auditioned to play a certain superhero's grandfather. That's right, Bridgerton fans, that means Regé-Jean wouldn't have become our beloved Duke.

It's now surfacing that before Bridgerton, Regé-Jean actually auditioned to play Superman's grandfather on the Syfy show Krypton, but ultimately, he was rejected for the role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the reason why he didn't land the role was because the then-DC Films chairman Geoff Johns "said Superman could not have a Black grandfather."

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THR's exposé detailed actor Ray Fisher's negative experiences while filming the Justice League (including alleged racism that occurred behind the scenes at Warner Bros). At one point, the report described how the creators of Krypton "were passionate about doing some nontraditional casting." This ultimately encouraged Regé-Jean to audition for the role, but Geoff, who was overseeing the project, "said Superman could not have a Black grandfather."

Geoff's representatives explained the rejection was because he "believed fans expected the character [Superman's grandfather] to look like a young Henry Cavill." For those who haven't seen the DC movies, Henry is known for his titular role as Superman in DC's Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League. 

Regé-Jean took to Twitter to respond to the claims, clearly still hurt over the incident.

"Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then," the actor wrote. "The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still, we do the work. We still fly."

So who ended actually landing the role? Geoff ended up casting the English-American actor Cameron Cuffe in place of Regé-Jean.

Regé-Jean struck gold with his role on Bridgerton though, which landed him status as a "sex symbol" and an NAACP award.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.