Nicholas Galitzine Has ‘Drunk the Kool-Aid’ and Officially Entered His Star Era

It turns out Nicholas Galitzine has become sort of famous.

To get a sense for his current level of celebrity — especially after starring opposite Anne Hathaway in Amazon Prime’s “The Idea of You” — one only has to ask how he’d like to spend a theoretical day off.

“Where am I on this day off? What country am I in?” he asks back.

It’s a fair question. The English actor has “drunk the Kool-Aid” and officially relocated to Los Angeles’ west side, where he had mistakenly hoped he’d finally set down some roots.

“Classically, I was thinking I needed some consistency, and then have barely spent any time here given promotion of two projects,” he says. “But I am loving the pace of the industry out here. And just being able to meet with my peers and fantastic filmmakers and plot the future is really thrilling. But I’m so mercurial by nature that I never really ended up staying in one place for too long.”

Which works well, given the 29-year-old is quickly becoming one of the industry’s most in-demand actors. This spring, in addition to “The Idea of You,” he stars alongside Julianne Moore in the Starz period series “Mary & George.” They come on the heels of last year’s “Red, White and Royal Blue,” in which he starred as the Prince of England, a supporting role in “Bottoms,” and 2022’s “Purple Hearts,” which became one of Netflix’s most-watched films.

“Purple Hearts” came out during the pandemic, and the release of “Red, White and Royal Blue” hit in the midst of the SAG strike, as did “Bottoms.”

Cut to this spring at SXSW, and Galitzine found himself face-to-face with thousands of screaming fans, requests for selfies and book covers to sign at the premiere of “The Idea of You.”

“There were more people waiting to say ‘hi’ than I thought that there would be,” he says. “I was speaking with Julianne Moore when we were doing our ‘Mary & George’ press about how I’d never done a junket before. I was experiencing that for the first time, and I mean, it’s so special. I really always go into these projects assuming no one’s going to see it. To be so nourished by the love that people have shown my projects in the last couple of years, I feel so very humbled by it — but also it just makes future endeavors so much more exciting, that there are people who are willing to come on this journey with me.”

Which brings us to “The Idea of You.” A much-loved book by Robinne Lee, the film version had Hathaway on board early as producer and star, leading the story about a single mom in her 40s who falls in love with the 20-something lead singer of a boy band called August Moon. The role of that singer, Hayes, required someone with vocal abilities, pop star looks and fangirl-worthy charisma: Galitzine.

Galitzine wasn’t familiar with the book but was a fan of director Michael Showalter’s “The Big Sick” and quickly became interested in “The Idea of You” based on the script.

“It’s quite rare that you can actually feel chemistry within a script,” he says. “And I kind of thought to myself, there’s obviously heightened elements to the story, but there was this sort of intrinsic championing of women and a rediscovery of sexual autonomy in a way that was really unique. And I loved the angle that it’s ridiculous that a younger man and older woman is foreign to us and [speaks to] where we are as an industry and as a society as a whole.”

Hathaway has said that Galitzine could have chemistry with a lamp, and while that might be the case, the two have especially good chemistry. She’d asked each auditioning actor to bring a song that would convince her to dance with them and Galitzine, though not a dancer himself, swept her away with “Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes. 

“We just had an instant simpatico. It was very strange,” he says. “There was almost something a little spiritual about the way we were able to joke with each other. It was one of those occasions where I left the room being so creatively filled that even if I hadn’t gotten it, I would’ve been so proud of myself.”

The book was published in 2017, long before Harry Styles, one time boy-bander, would begin to date the older, single mom Olivia Wilde. Yet the film has drawn constant comparison to their relationship, and between Hayes and Styles.

“It’s not something that I really ever paid too much attention to. Obviously One Direction were one of the references for the bands, but so were BTS and older bands like the Backstreet Boys,” Galitzine says. “Hayes, his taste is very unique and who he wanted to be as a person and as a musician is very unique, and I just try to build someone very new from the ground up.”

Galitzine was whisked off to a “boy band bootcamp” and, as the sole vocalist (we hate to report that if you have a soft spot for One Direction then you’ll probably like the August Moon songs), spent several days in Sweden recording the songs. His main focus with Hayes, though, was about getting into the mind of someone dealing with that level of fame, which is one of the film’s major points of contention. 

“It was really trying to understand who this young man was and what it was like to grow up in the spotlight, this feeling of suffocation and people viewing you in a very warped way,” Galitzine says.

It’s tempting to point out to the actor that this may soon become his own reality, but luckily Julianne Moore is already guiding him through.

“Julie’s a consummate pro, and she just has her boundaries of how she lives. I so admire how she lives her life and how she works because the work comes first, always,” he says. “It’s about stressing the principles that you aim to live your life by and not become too swept up by all of it, which is true to how I like to be anyway. Both her and Annie have always been just very, very sage on how to deal with the oddities of the industry.”

That elusive day off may not come very often (when it does he favors morning relaxation, wood carving on the beach and escape rooms) but Galitzine would rather keep the momentum going.

“People have enjoyed the versatility I’ve shown in the last year or two, and [I’m] very much keeping in line with that [for my next projects],” he says. “I’m really excited for 2024 and 2025. It’s been very gratifying, to chart the next period of time of my career. And it’s mainly down to people really showing up to support me in all my projects, which, yeah, I feel very humbled by. I want people to feel a sense of unpredictability with me and be excited by the fact that they don’t really know what I’m going to do next because I’m not someone who needs to be seen in one particular way.”

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