Survival of the Queerest

Josh O’Connor and Nicholas Galitzine are in a “fake gay-off,” according to fans

In Challengers, Josh O’Connor’s homoerotic rivalry with Mike Faist is the talk of the town. It even has fans drawing comparisons to another famous actor who’s known to go gay on screen: Nicholas Galitzine.

When one fan pointed out that O’Connor is coming up on his sixth queer acting role, another fan brought Red, White & Royal Blue actor Galitzine into the conversation, writing, “They’re having a fake gay-off.”

For the record, Galitzine clarified last year that he was straight in an interview with Variety, while O’Connor has never publicly stated if he’s queer. But regardless, the two are both inexplicably drawn to queer roles.

Galitzine has played queer in the TV shows Legends and Mary & George, as well as the movies Handsome Devil, The Craft: Legacy, Red, White & Royal Blue. Though his character wasn’t gay, he also starred in one of 2023’s queerest movies, Bottoms

Meanwhile, O’Connor has played queer roles in the TV show Peaky Blinders and the movies Amorous, God’s Own Country, The Color of His Hair, and now (arguably) Challengers. The yet to be released film The History of Sound will also see him spark up a romance with Paul Mescal.

Earlier this year, Galitzine shared that he “feels so lucky” to play so many queer characters, O’Connor hasn’t commented on what draws him to queer parts, but in a 2019 GQ interview, he said that queerness is “fluid and elastic, but we often don’t really have the tools to articulate that in our culture.”

So, which actor is taking the “playing gay” crown? They’re neck and neck when it comes to quantity, and fans are standing firm on both sides of the debate. 

To settle things, fans want to see O’Connor and Galitzine in a movie together — preferably opposite each other, and preferably for an extended runtime.

Until then, though, there’s plenty of queer media from both stars to enjoy. O’Connor’s God’s Own Country is a particular fan favorite, and it’s streaming for free on Tubi.

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