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Nicholas Galitzine on Feeling “Perhaps Guilt” Over Playing Queer Roles as a Straight Man

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The U.K.’s newest heartthrob, Nicholas Galitzine, has opened up on his sexuality and feeling conflicted over the roles that have shot him to – as of Monday – Met Gala levels of stardom.

The 29-year-old told British GQ that while he identifies as straight, taking on some roles within “queer stories” has left him with a sense of “perhaps guilt.” In the last few years, Galitzine has starred as Prince Henry in Amazon Prime’s gay romance Red, White & Royal Blue, as well as George Villiers in Sky Original’s queer period drama Mary & George.

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“I think I have,” he said when asked if he has had to deal with people conflating him with his characters. “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. At the same time, I see those characters as not solely their sexuality.”

Galitzine stressed an intention to separate himself from the parts he’s taken on: “I am Nick, and I’m not my role.”

The actor also spoke about becoming somewhat of a pro at sex scenes across his relatively raunchy-charactered career so far, including on the recently-released The Idea Of You, in which he stars as uber-famous boyband member Hayes Campbell, who falls for an older art gallery owner, played by Anne Hathaway.

“You don’t see any bare body parts, you don’t get thrusting,” he said of the intimate scenes. “Hayes is kind of worshipping her. That aftercare scene was so sexy. Someone asked me once when I feel most loving, and not to be too crass, but it can sometimes be after sex, because that’s when you shed all your vulnerabilities.”

Galitzine’s character is widely-speculated to be inspired by Harry Styles, of One Direction fame – before the singer found even more success as a solo artist, of course. “I think it’s very important that we don’t draw too much of a comparison to him because [Harry Styles] is a real person, within both the music industry and the film industry,” the actor said.

“I think we need to normalize [keeping them separate] as opposed to drawing a direct parallel to someone who already exists,” he added.

Galitzine then touched on feeling “constantly terrified” of being seen as “a cut of beef at a meat market” as his career ramps up.

“I think the most important thing to me is that I’m taken seriously as a performer,” he said. “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.”

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