Regé-Jean Page is best known for his role in the History Channel’s 2016 remake of Roots, but what other shows and films has the British-Zimbabwean actor been in? The original Roots miniseries aired in 1977 on ABC and was based on the novel Roots: The Saga Of An American Family by writer Alex Haley. The series tells the tale of Kunta Kinte (The West Wing’s John Amos) – a young man abducted from his Gambian village and sold into slavery in the U.S. – and chronicles the lives of he and his descendants, including grandson Chicken George (Ben Vereen).
Roots received widespread critical acclaim and is still considered a cultural milestone today, so the History Channel’s decision to remake the miniseries was risky. Luckily the network managed to avoid the pitfalls of so many inferior remakes before it and made an impressive Roots reboot that was on a par with the original. That’s thanks in part to the remake’s talented cast which included Malachi Kirby (Black Mirror), Forest Whitaker and – of course - Regé-Jean Page, who took the role of Chicken George and got rave reviews for his work.
Page started acting in his teens when he nabbed a recurring bit role as a young tearaway on British medical drama Casualty. He later had a two-episode role on the Channel 4 student comedy Fresh Meat but his big TV break came with Waterloo Road – a BBC drama set in a school that chronicled the ups and downs of its staff and students in which Page played newly qualified teacher Guy Braxton.
His other TV work includes a lead role in the ABC pilot of Spark which was set in an alternate steampunk reality but wasn't picked up by the network. Page recently played federal prosecutor Leonard Knox in the ABC legal drama For The People, but it proved a short-lived gig when the network canceled the Shondaland-produced show after just two seasons.
Page made his big-screen debut in the 2015 spy thriller Survivor alongside Pierce Brosnan and Milla Jovovich and later played Captain Khora in Christian River’s adaptation of the acclaimed YA novel Mortal Engines. He’ll return to film in 2020 when he plays jazz drummer Chico in Sylvie – a romantic drama set in 1950s Harlem directed by Eugene Ashe and starring Westworld’s Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. Next year, Regé-Jean Page will reunite with Shondaland to make a TV adaptation of Julia Quinn’s best-selling novel series Bridgerton for Netflix. Set in the high society of Regency-era London, Page will play the handsome Duke of Hastings Simon Bassett.