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Credit: Alisha Wetherill/Prime Copyright: © 2022 Amazon Content Services LLC

Acting Up: Nicholas Galitzine Captures the Crowd as a Pop Star in Amazon’s ‘The Idea of You’

The Snapshot

In Amazon’s The Idea of You, Nicholas Galitzine is Hayes, a 24-year-old pop star and part of the international sensation boy band August Moon. During an appearance at Coachella, he meets and soon falls for 40-something single mom Soléne (Anne Hathaway), beginning a May-December romance that changes both their lives. 

(The Amazon original film was released on the platform on May 2, and is currently streaming)

The Performance

Nicholas Galitzine has been on Hollywood’s radar for a while now, but it’s only in the last year or so that his career has exploded.

The 29-year-old Londoner has been working for a decade, but after a key supporting role in the indie hit Bottoms raised his profile, he hit the big time with Amazon Studios’ Red, White & Royal Blue, playing a gay English prince.

More recently, there’s the Starz period drama, Mary & George, in which he plays the gay son of the Countess of Buckingham, raised to seduce King James the First and give them both enormous power in the king’s court.

But it’s his first straight leading role that is garnering so much attention. In The Idea of You, he plays a huge international star who falls in love with an older art gallery owner in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood. The young Brit shows why so many people were bullish on his career after seeing him in Red, White & Royal Blue.

Just like in that romantic comedy, it’s the chemistry he has with his co-star that sells it. In Royal Blue, his love interest was Taylor Zakhar Perez. In The Idea of You, it’s Anne Hathaway, and right from the start, the pair sparkles. If there was any question about Galitzine’s charm and onscreen presence, this movie takes ample care of that.

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway walking together outside. Photo Courtesy of Prime. Copyright: © Amazon Content Services LLC

Hathaway, who is also a producer on the film, knew from the start that Galitzine had what it took when they got together for a chemistry test. As she told IMDb, “I did something which, in hindsight, might have actually been terrifying …but we asked the actors coming in to prepare a song that they think Hayes loves and that he would play to get Soléne to dance. And then we were just gonna dance, and it was pretty clear just from dancing that Nick and I were gonna be just fine.”

It says something about an actor that his chemistry is so good with two different onscreen romantic partners of two different genders. That’s more than just an ability to act, it’s next-level movie star stuff.

By starring in two romantic comedies less than a year apart, one a silly romp and the other with a wee bit more gravitas, he has established himself as a go-to romantic lead in just about any form. Say what you will about bigger stars, not all of them are built that way. 

It’s one thing to carry a movie. Plenty of people can do that, though that number is certainly significantly lower than it used to be. Still, how many of those are reliable romantic leads?

Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington, just to name two random actors who are respectively the biggest movie stars on the planet and arguably the greatest actor, are not exactly known for their onscreen romantic prowess. Go back a bit and you can say the same thing about, for instance, Harrison Ford. But Nicholas Galitzine has that special thing that goes beyond a handsome face. He’s got a vibe. An essence. That innate something that only a very select few possess. 

It rarely happens, but when it does, and you get to see it from the start, as we are now with this young Englishman, you don’t want to look away. Luckily, Nicholas Galitzine makes that part easy.

Nicholas Galitzine onstage singing with a boy band. Photo credit: Alisha Wetherill/Prime. Copyright: © 2022 Amazon Content Services LLC

The Career

It took a half dozen smaller roles in movies and TV shows for Nicholas Galitzine to get his first lead, in Netflix’s 2022 schlock fest Purple Hearts, in which he plays a troubled Marine who marries a young woman for the military benefits, but of course tragedy strikes.

That’s not the thing that gets your attention about Galitzine, though, of course, he acquits himself perfectly well in the film. Playing a dumb jock in Emma Seligman’s 2023 comedy Bottoms, he’s sort of innocuous, but then, so is the character he’s playing. 

What’s especially interesting about the two roles he had before The Idea of You, the roles that have put him firmly on the road to superstardom, is that after playing gay in both Red, White & Royal Blue and Mary & George, he has since had to come out as straight. 

“I identify as a straight man,” he told British GQ, “but I have been a part of some incredible queer stories.” Again, not everyone can play that believably. So many handsome young actors rely solely on those looks and are then gone as quickly as they’ve arrived. Not Galitzine, who understands exactly the handicap —if being gorgeous can be considered that — he faces. 

Talking about this, he told British GQ, “I think the most important thing to me is that I’m taken seriously as a performer. I’m not gonna ask you to cry me a river here, but it’s been difficult being part of a conversation that feels very much like I am a cut of beef at a meat market. I think that being my defining feature is something I’m constantly terrified of.”

That’s probably for the best because then everybody wins. It will keep him on his toes and at the top of his game, and it will keep us very, very entertained. 

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