Nicholas Galitzine feels ‘guilt’ about taking queer roles as a straight man

Nicholas Galitzine poses on the red carpet at the Idea of You launch.

The Idea Of You star Nicholas Galitzine has referenced his recent string of queer roles, saying he sometimes feels “guilt” about taking them as a straight man.

Galitzine’s profile reached new heights last summer when he featured alongside Taylor Zakhar Perez in queer rom-com Red, White & Royal Blue, in which he played a British prince who falls for the son of the US president (played by Uma Thurman).

Six months later, Galitzine went from playing a British royal to being inside one, as he played the stunning, cunning and King James I-topping George Villiers in historical and horny sky drama Mary & George.

While those are his most recent queer roles, he’s also played LGBTQ+ characters in films and TV shows including Angelo in Legends, Handsome Devil, and The Craft: Legacy – despite identifying publicly as a straight man.

Nicholas Galitzine
Nicholas Galitzine. (Getty/Daniel Boczarski)

During a conversation with British GQ, Galtzine touched on his role as (straight) boyband heartthrob Hayes in the Anne Hathaway rom com The Idea Of You, in which Hayes has to deal with fan intrusion into his personal life – an experience the actor has also dealt with.

It’s not the first time fans have conflated Galtizine’s characters with his own personal experience – particularly when it comes to the queer characters.

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“I am Nick, and I’m not my role,” he 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.”

However, he expanded by saying that he feels OK playing queer roles as the characters he portrays are more than their sexuality.

“At the same time, I see those characters as not solely their sexuality,” he continued.

Tony Curran and Nicholas Galitzine in Mary & George.
Nicholas Galitzine has a fair share of gay sex scenes in Mary & George. (Sky Atlantic)

As an actor who has played several queer roles, the question of whether it’s right for him to do so has cropped up several times in recent months. 

The screen star has lightly addressed the question in previous interviews, saying that he takes “a lot of care” when portraying queer people, and is pleased with the way the community has responded.

“I feel so overwhelmingly proud of the resonance. I feel like I’ve been able to have and been so touched by conversations I’ve had with people from the community,” he explained during a conversation on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show earlier this year.

“First and foremost, I love interesting, textured characters and I’m so glad you mentioned those [roles], because I feel like I have a lot of care for my characters and I hope that is evident in the work that I do and I feel very powerful with their backing behind me, so yeah. Just very grateful.”

Nicholas Galitzine. (Getty)
Nicholas Galitzine. (Getty)

While some actors and TV stars, including Glee star Darren Criss, Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies, and Philadelphia actor Tom Hanks, have said that some roles should be reserved for queer stars, others are not so sure.

Actors including Ian McKellan, Stanley Tucci and Cate Blanchett have suggested someone’s sexuality has no bearing on their ability to play a certain role.

Meanwhile, other publicly straight actors including Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor have become known for playing queer characters.

The Idea Of You is streaming now on Prime Video.