Red, White & Royal Blue lead stars reveal what it was like creating the film’s steamy sex scenes

Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry (L) and Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz (R).

As anticipation builds for the summer’s buzziest rom-com Red, White & Royal Blue, lead stars Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez lifted the lid on the film’s steamy sex scenes.

It’s no exaggeration to say that LGBTQ+ fans are in a tailspin right now over the first look photos of Prime Video’s adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s bestselling novel Red, White & Royal Blue.

The enemies-to-lovers story sees First Son of the United States Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez) and British Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) who cause an international scandal after a silly brawl, but end up falling for one another after they’ve forced to work together on a publicity stunt.

Our two protagonists are joined by a standout cast including Uma Thurman as the first female US president and Stephen Fry as the King, alongside Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson (Love, Victor), Ellie Bamber (Willow) and Malcolm Atobrah.

Staying faithful to the novel, the R-Rated film has already sparked plenty of conversation with the promise of raunchy scenes between the two leads. In an interview with GQ, Zakhar Perez and Galitzine opened up about how they navigated the more intimate scenes with the support of intimacy coordinator Robbie Taylor Hunt.

Our first look at Taylor Zakhar Perez Alex (L) and Nicholas Galitzine as Henry (R) in Red, White & Royal Blue.
Our first look at Taylor Zakhar Perez Alex (L) and Nicholas Galitzine as Henry (R) in Red, White & Royal Blue. (Jonathan Prime)

Since the book sees clandestine moments between the pair in the White House, royal residences, hotels and even a polo game, there’s certainly no shortage of material for the film to explore.

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“There’s so much choreography to sexual scenes,” Zakhar Perez explained. “Our guards were down during the rehearsals. But as soon as someone would yell ‘cut’ one of us would say something stupid, like, ‘Get off me!’.”

Taylor Hunt, meanwhile, also said the dynamic between the characters in the book helped to create a genuine bond on set.

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“There’s a playful teasing [between them] that never veered into anything nasty, which was a lovely dynamic to be a part of. But also they just treated each other like colleagues and co-creatives in a really nice, collaborative way.”

“It’s a crazy thing to be intimate in that way with your friend,” Galitzine added. “And we want people to fall in love with these characters, because their love has to be real.”

Zakhar Perez previously recalled the practicalities of filming intimate scenes with Taylor Hunt in an interview with Glamour.

“He was incredible,” Zakhar Perez said about Taylor Hunt. “In London, there are these brand of mints called Smints, and we called him the Smint Lord because we would always come up to him and ask for a mint or Listerine strip.

“I didn’t want my breath to be offensive to Nick as soon as we get on set and have to be intimate with each other … “

Zakhar Perez also described how filming a sex scene was much like a “dance”, explaining that “there’s a musicality to intimacy”.

“Once your body remembers it, you can let it go,” he continued. “The muscle memory is so strong. Then it’s just about getting your mind in the game.”

Alex (L) and Henry (R) in the V&A. (Jonathan Prime)

“It’s a very vulnerable and trusting space,” Galitzine added. “Taylor and I had to rely on each other because we really wanted to tell that story honestly and feel that we weren’t hindered by any of our own boundaries that we were setting up.

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“It becomes a sort of wonderful choreography that all serves to facilitate these two young men who fell in love with each other. Robbie was really helpful in educating me in the physical language of the character.”

Book fans were particularly excited by the first look of the infamous cake scene when Alex and Henry cause an international tabloid scandal after destroying Crown Prince Phillip’s wedding cake.

Director Matthew Lopez opened up about the complicated logistics behind filming the cake scene, which was shot over three days.

“It was a huge scene with hundreds of extras in a grand ballroom and huge dresses and a seven-foot high wedding cake and stunts and lots and lots of frosting,” he explained. “It was also fairly early in the shooting schedule so I was still a fairly unpracticed director at the time. I wasn’t unpracticed at the end of it.”

Galitzine, who is also starring in Sky’s upcoming gay period drama Mary & George, doesn’t underestimate the importance of having prominent LGBTQ+ representation in one of the summer’s most hotly-anticipated films.

“Not a lot of films like this are made,” he said. “And I hope it’s important for the LGBTQ+ community because there needs to be more films like this.

“I hope it resonates with everyone. I’ve been really touched to hear how widespread the book became and affected many people from many different backgrounds. I hope our movie can do the same because a lot of love went into it.”

Red, White & Royal Blue premieres on Amazon Prime on 11 August 2023.

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