Nicholas Galitzine says he feels ‘uncertainty’ and ‘perhaps guilt’ about playing queer roles

‘I am Nick, and I’m not my role,’ the ‘Idea of You’ actor said

Inga Parkel
Thursday 09 May 2024 15:38
Red, White & Royal Blue trailer

Nicholas Galitzine has addressed his sexuality after saying that fans often conflate him with his movie characters.

The 29-year-old British actor has appeared in several queer movies, including the 2023 gay romcom Red, White & Royal Blue, where he played a young prince who falls in love with the first son of the United States (Taylor Zakhar Perez).

That same year, he also featured in the teen lesbian comedy Bottoms, about two unpopular queer high schoolers who start a fight club to meet girls and lose their virginity.

In a new interview with British GQ, Galitzine clarified: “I am Nick, and I’m not my role.

“I identify as a straight man, but I have been a part of some incredible queer stories,” he said.

“I felt a sense of uncertainty sometimes about whether I’m taking up someone’s space, and perhaps guilt. At the same time, I see those characters as not solely their sexuality.”

In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate about straight actors playing queer characters. The discourse gained steam in 2019 when straight actor Jack Whitehall was cast in Disney’s Jungle Cruise as the studio’s “first openly gay character”.

Nicholas Galitzine attends The 2024 Met Gala (Getty Images)

In 2021, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies declared that gay roles should be left to gay actors in a move towards greater authenticity.

Last May, Suranne Jones, who played two gay characters in the BBC series Gentleman Jack (2019-2022) and Vigil (2021), disagreed with Davie’s verdict.

“I don’t agree with that, having done Vigil and Gentleman Jack,” she told The Times.

She added that she responded intuitively to job offers, and knew right away whether she had something to bring to a role.

“I don’t look at it in any other way. Maybe I’ve not had the right training. I don’t know. I’m totally instinctive like that,” Jones said.

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Galitzine currently stars opposite Anne Hathaway in the new Harry Styles-inspired romcom The Idea of You, based on Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel of the same name.

The movie follows a 40-year-old single mum (Hathaway), who becomes romantically involved with a 24-year-old boy band singer (Galitzine).

“Through sheer force of will, the Devil Wears Prada star transforms a wish fulfilment story about an ordinary mum being romanced by a pop star into a fierce ode to a woman’s sexual independence,” Clarisse Loughrey declared in her three-star review of the movie for The Independent.

The Idea of You is out on Amazon’s Prime Video.

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