British-Zimbabwean actor Regé-Jean Page finds himself among Hollywood’s best British actors who are favourites to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.
The up-and-coming star, who was named among Variety’s top 10 TV stars to watch, finds himself competing with Tom Hopper, Tom Hardy, Mahershala Ali, James Norton, Henry Cavill, Lashana Lynch, Idris Elba and Sam Heughan to be the next 007.
The Bridgerton breakout star has even received the backing of Pierce Brosnan, who played the role of the iconic in the 90s.
Brosnan gushed when asked by Entertainment Tonight what he thinks of Page stepping into the role.
“I think he would be wonderful. Good luck, good luck,” said Craig’s predecessor.
Page has downplayed the rumours that he stands a chance to be the next James Bond.
“Well, of all the things you’ll read about yourself on the internet, it’s one of the more pleasant and more flattering. But I take it and leave it at that, personally,” said Page.
The 30-year-old actor has been making waves ever since he burst onto our TV screens playing a hapless teacher in BBC One’s Waterloo Road. In fewer than five years, he has gone from the world of British television to Hollywood, earning a supporting role in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Mortal Engines, as well quite a big role in the Emmy-nominated revival of Roots, which was watched by a whopping 6,9 million American viewers.
Page was reportedly born in London and spent his childhood in Harare, Zimbabwe, before returning to London for secondary school. His mother was a nurse from Zimbabwe and his father was an English preacher. In a 2016 interview with Interview Magazine, Page shared that he is the second youngest of four children.
“We were in Zimbabwe (until I was 14). But throughout that period my family was rather spread out. I have family in South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Grenada and Florida. So, you make pit stops and you grow your perspective. Home is a relative concept. Home is very much wherever it is that your people are and where you fit in.”
Page described Zimbabwe as the most beautiful place in the world.
“It’s the most beautiful place in the world. Everyone says this about their own country, but it’s objectively beautiful. And I think there’s a genuine generosity in people from Zimbabwe, which is slowly being chipped away at, as we hit our terrible teens and realise the world is a harsh, cold, difficult place that one must be strong enough to survive,” he said.
He credits growing up in Zimbabwe as giving him a much more worldly view — something he doesn’t think his LA, London, or New York counterparts have the ability to understand or appreciate.
“They think they are the centre of the universe, and they kind of are. Growing up outside of that, growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, you watch these important people making important decisions. They send ripples out to the rest of the world and you ride the ripples,” Page said.
Page speaks naturally with a North London accent and has convincingly mastered an American accent for his roles on Roots and For the People. Having lived in London, Zimbabwe, and LA, however, the actor admits that his voice sometimes changes depending on where he is or who is he with.
“My father spoke with something very similar to a 1920s newscaster type of English, and I learnt that accent of power in post-colonial Zimbabwe. So, I learnt that and I learnt how to copy it, and I learnt how to shift in and out of it, but also talk like my mother’s relatives in the village.
“Accents aren’t accents, they’re language. It’s almost like a code. Because that’s the key to who you are: it’s how you express who you are. And how you express who you are is how you speak,” he said in an interview with Square Mile.
According to MamaMia, Page graduated from the Drama Centre London in 2013, which has been responsible for stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Gemma Chan, Luke Evans, Emilia Clarke, Gwendoline Christie, and Colin Firth.
He made a very brief and uncredited appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I. His breakout role came in 2016 though, when he played Chicken George in the History Channel’s remake of the iconic 1977 miniseries Roots.