Red, White & Royal Blue’s Nicholas Galitzine wins praise as Bottoms’ airhead jock Jeff
British actor Nicholas Galitzine is winning fans and praise yet again with his hilarious portrayal of high school ‘bro’ Jeff in LGBTQ+ teen comedy Bottoms.
If there is one thing Nicholas Galitzine has, it’s range. After playing a string of LGBTQ+ roles – including as closeted Prince Henry in Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue – the 28-year-old actor has made a U-turn for his role as a deeply problematic airhead jock Emma Seligman’s outrageous new high school film.
Bottoms follows outcast high school students PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) as they set up a school-sanctioned fight club in order to hook up with the cheerleaders – Isabel (Havana Liu) and Brittany (Kaia Gerber) – they have hopeless crushes on.
The film also features a standout supporting cast including Willow star Ruby Cruz, football legend Marshawn Lynch (who accepted the role of Mr G in honour of his lesbian sister) and, of course, star-on-the-rise Galitzine.
In Bottoms, Galitzine plays the caricaturish quarterback Jeff, who is defined by his tragically relaxed approach to cheating on his girlfriend Isabel, high-camp energy, and crude comments to those below him in the social hierarchy.
One scene released by the official Bottoms account has already gone viral for showing a chaotic car park confrontation between PJ, Josie, Isabel and Jeff, which ends in Jeff dramatically sprawled out on the floor after getting lightly grazed by Josie’s car.
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Since the film hits US cinemas in August, Jeff has already carved out his place as a fan-favourite character. Fans have taken to social media to praise Galitzine’s frenetic performance, which stands in stark contrast to his recent role as the tortured Prince Henry in Red, White & Royal Blue.
“The juxtaposition of seeing Nicholas Galitzine as the refined, kind, intelligent Prince Henry in Red, White & Royal Blue and then seeing him in Bottoms as the dumb, douchey, shallow jock Jeff was jarring, hilarious and proof that this guy has range,” one fan wrote.
“Watching Nicholas Galitzine in Bottoms after Red, White & Royal Blue was such whiplash but so f***ing funny,” another added.
Elsewhere, fans are pointing out that although he’s ostensibly a straight character, Jeff exudes an undeniably, erm, “fruity” energy.
Others have been won over by Galitzine’s masterful physical comedy; using his body to create several laugh-out loud moments.
“Nicholas Galitzine about to be one of the best actors of our generation. Jeff in bottoms is a physical comedy masterpiece and showed that Nicholas has range,” one social media user wrote.
In an interview with VRAI Magazine, Galitzine spoke about his “liberating” experience flexing his physical comedy ability onscreen.
“I think the funniest thing about playing Jeff is that there is a lot of physical comedy you can use and he is hyper expressive,” he said. “I think in a comedy as broad as this, for someone who is usually a dramatic actor like myself, it was really liberating to be able to experiment in that way with my other talented castmates.”
The Handsome Devil actor is now looking ahead to his next royal role in Sky’s historical LGBTQ+ drama Mary & George as King James I’s lover George Villiers – based on real life events. And it is set to showcase yet another notch in Galitzine’s queer acting belt.
Talking about his character on the Just for Variety podcast, he said: “George Villiers was a fluid man and his sex was his power. it was how he dominated people and it was how he pulled his family from the edge of poverty and the edge of oblivion into being one of the most powerful families in England.”
Bottoms is currently showing in select US cinemas. There is no confirmed UK release date.
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