Rege-Jean Page as Paladin
Next up in our series on the casting choices for the upcoming DnD movie, Honor Among Thieves, is Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page. Page plays a paladin, Xenk, and has offered some insight into his experience with Dungeons and Dragons, and how he found playing Xenk. Page says that he’s listened to a few DnD podcasts, and played “a ton” of JRPGs (Japanese role-playing games), as well as a ton of Diablo. He described himself as being like a “second-generation Dungeons and Dragoner”. So far, so good - he seems to have a genuine interest in role-playing games, and real experience of playing one. This can only bode well for his performance in the DnD movie.
We think Rege-Jean will make a good paladin, and we’re interested to see what his character gets up to on-screen. In the meantime, here’s why we have high hopes for Xenk.
01 He’s noble and suave
It seems that Page was chosen for the role because he seems to embody all the qualities we’d expect in a paladin. Before DnD, Page was best known for his much-loved performance as Duke of Hastings Simon Basset in Bridgerton. Page has described his Bridgerton character as “the best example of a Regency f_kboy that any of us had come across”. Simon started from a very dark place, and is ‘emotionally broken’ in Page’s words. He then goes onto worry, have children, and become emotionally available. Simon Basset is an aristocrat; he’s sophisticated, well-read, charismatic, and possibly just a little bit too smug and self-satisfied. Do any of these attributes remind you of a paladin? We think that Page’s stint in Bridgerton shows that he will make an amazing paladin, with their divine magic and charisma. We know that Rege-Jean can play a sophisticated, charming character, and do it well. What’s more, he’s also articulate and charming in real life - just take a look at any of his interviews. We think he has the right personality, intelligence and acting ability to put in a stellar performance as a paladin.
02 He’ll make a great paladin….self righteous or not
Paladins are endowed with divine magic, and have a priestly quality; they’re typically known to be smooth-talking and charismatic. Paladins are purveyors of good; they aim to correct injustice where they see it. However, there are two potential sides to a paladin’s quest for justice; on one hand, it can be borne from a genuine desire to correct wrongs, and help those in need. On the other hand, paladins can offer their assistance out of a self-righteous, even arrogant belief that ‘they know best’, and their expertise is needed. They are kind of like the navel-gazing social justice warriors of the DnD universe!
As to the kind of paladin that Rege-Jean will be, the official synopsis for the movie is too bare to give us any indication. Honor Among Thieves producer Jeremy Latchman has, however, revealed a little about Xen’s character, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly before the Comic Con. Latchman describes Xenk as “the ultimate paladin [....] He is holy, smart, on point, just very, very determined, and does not love the vibe of some of the other people in the group because he’s a very moral man. He represents the player who takes [the game] too seriously.” So, it sounds like Xenk might rub some of the other group members up the wrong way. It does also sound like he will be a genuinely good paladin, who genuinely cares about correcting wrongs. Latchman is also giving away a little bit about the group dynamics on screen - Xenk doesn’t like some of the other members’ behaviour. It will be interesting to see how he interacts with Chris Pine’s carefree bard.
However, since the official synopsis is so bare, it’s possible that Xenk will have elements of both types of paladin. Whatever the case may be, we think Page is a talented enough actor to pull off whatever type of character the script writers have made Xen. Page’s Bridgerton character is multifaceted; while he is, in Page’s own terms, “kind of horrific”, he also has redeeming qualities as he turns his life around and marries his love interest.
03 He’s smart and interesting
Page is well educated and interesting in real life. He was born in London to a Zimbabwean mother, a nurse, and an English father who was a preacher. He’s had a string of hobbies in his time; he was in a band with his brother, and he took up acting as a hobby while at high school in London. He was eventually accepted at the Drama Centre London. Page certainly comes across as a charismatic, intelligent guy who we can imagine as a paladin. Paladins are smart and determined; we can picture Page as this character.
04 He looks the part
Paladins are tall, imposing and strong. Although their main skills are the magical powers they wield to heal those in need and smite the evil, they use their abilities in combat to protect the innocent. They train for years to learn the skills of combat, mastering many weapons. Page says that he trained very hard to get into shape for his role as Xenk. There were “lots of push-ups, lots of sit-ups”. Apparently, he got “everything that you’d want growing up” - swinging a sword around for a living. Swords were a whole aspect of training on their own. “I got really, really good with the swords. It was lots and lots of stunts training”, Page said. And his slaying skills are going to be in demand, when Xenk encounters the dragons and monsters we see in the trailer. Xenk’s combative skills will certainly be needed when the group tries to save the city.
05 Final Thoughts
All in all, we’re looking forward to seeing Xenk slaying some dragons and saving the day, and seeing how he interacts with the rest of the group.