Royal Blues

Here’s what Taylor Zakhar Perez had to say about Nicholas Galitzine’s sexuality

Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine built a massive queer fanbase last summer when they played lovers in Red, White & Royal Blue (roles they’ll be reprising in the newly announced sequel). In the process, though, they also reignited an age-old debate: Should queer roles only be played by queer actors?

It’s fair to want genuine representation for marginalized communities on screen, but it also implies actors have to publicly declare their sexualities in order to play any character, queer or otherwise. In a new interview, Zakhar Perez made it clear where he stands on the topic, using his co-star as an example of where asking for representation might go too far.

When asked where he stood on queer actors playing queer roles, Zakhar Perez told Men’s Health that what really matters is if an actor can do their job.

“Cate Blanchett said something, ‘We must fight to the death to suspend disbelief,” Zakhar Perez said. “And that just always stuck with me, because if you’re watching a film and there’s nothing outside the room that matters, the actors are doing their jobs.”

“Nicholas was just asked the other day about his sexuality, and I just find it so rude,” he continued. “It’s unprofessional and no one’s business. That’s someone’s personal life.”

Zakhar Perez is likely referencing Galitizine’s recent interview with British GQ, in which the actor clarified that he’s straight and expressed some regret for taking on so many queer roles, from a closeted prince in Red, White & Royal Blue to a king’s consort on Mary & George

“I am Nick, and I’m not my role,” Galitzine said. “I identify as a straight man, but I have been a part of some incredible queer stories. 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.”

Zakhar Perez echoed Galitzine’s sentiment, saying that though characters like the ones he and Galitzine played in Red, White & Royal Blue may be queer, their sexualities are only one small part of who they are.

“I’m grateful to be part of a project where, yes, it is a love story, but again, it’s not the sole focus,” he said. “These people have robust, full lives. They’re educated. Alex is in law school. Henry is crazy smart and he’s a prince, and his sense of duty is unparalleled. The less people focus on sexuality and see what these people are capable of, that’s when we’ve created real change.”

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