Nicholas Galitzine is Hollywood’s hottest rising star – but he doesn’t care what you think

British actor Nicholas Galitzine stars opposite Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You (Picture: Rex)

Nicholas Galitzine is very aware of how much love is out there for his luminous co-star in The Idea of You, Anne Hathaway.

‘I doubt there were there were many people who didn’t [have a crush on her], beforehand,’ he muses of Hathaway, who is about to make audiences fall in love with her all over again as single mum Solène in the new Amazon film.

However, the rising British star, who has been enjoying success with projects like Amazon Studios’ LGBTQ+ rom-com Red, White & Royal Blue and raunchy historical romp Mary & George with Julianne Moore, pleads ignorance when it comes to his own public perception.

More than once, the 29-year-old tells me in our sit-down chat that he’s ‘not very online’, despite an Instagram account boasting five million followers.

Despite being very, very not online, his sporadically-used TikTok account features a clip of him debuting a new hairstyle in 2022 with a cool 7.1million views to date. And the hashtag of his name on the social media platform has been used 20 times more than that of the film he’s promoting.

There are even fans making TikToks about his wide range of roles clocking in over a million views. He’ll probably never see them, though.

The 29-year-old now counts Hathaway, 41, as a close friend (Picture: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Unusual for a young star in 2024 to eschew social media, sure, but it likely helps him stay grounded amid the buzz that has gone into overdrive thanks to his saucy new project.

The Idea Of You, in which he stars opposite Hathaway, 41, sees them enjoy an age-gap romance. The extra spice? It’s based on a book that fans insist drew inspiration from fanfiction about British musical heartthrob Harry Styles.

The young actor doesn’t think he’s ‘ever had such an instantaneous connection with a co-star’, especially considering their lack of time to prepare for an intimate onscreen relationship.

Galitzine plays Hayes Campbell, the 24-year-old frontman of Solène’s daughter Izzys’s (Ella Rubin) former favourite band, August Moon, with the musician and the single mum randomly meeting backstage at Coachella. After that, sparks fly.

It was so natural, honestly. We clicked immediately, even in the chemistry test. Then we sent each other a bunch of voice messages, and we were just hanging out,’ he recalls.

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Galitzine and Hathaway share a few steamy moments in the film, with a delicious build-up to their first sexual encounter.

However, this was not his first rodeo in the ‘sex on film’ arena. Galitzine has previous experience thanks to Mary & George boasting orgies galore and Red, White & Royal Blue focusing on a sexy romance with co-star Taylor Zakhar Perez.

This, of course, has made him ‘more fluent’ shooting intimate content, he acknowledges.

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I’ve had a few different experiences, I really – generally – know what it is,’ he says of shooting sex scenes while giving a nod to the ‘great’ intimacy coordinators he’s worked with.

‘For Annie and I for this movie, the language of intimacy in the film was incredibly important. We learn a lot about these characters and who they are in these very vulnerable moments,’ he reveals. ‘And so there was this real sense of calm and purpose.’

‘I’d say there’s much, much less discomfort – if any – now, than there was when maybe I first started,’ he adds.

Galitzine made a splash in the 2023 LGBTQ+ rom-com Red, White & Royal Blue (Picture: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video)

He’s also recently been seen in the raunchy Mary & George TV series, opposite Julianne Moore (Picture: Sky UK)

Galitzine is also happy to advise newer, younger actors tackling their first experience of filming an intimate scene, emphasising that they shouldn’t ‘be nervous to stand your ground’.

‘Just because it can be a sort of pressurised situation, doesn’t mean that you should do something that’s going to make you feel uncomfortable. You are the boss of that scene, don’t let anyone else influence you into doing something you don’t want to do.’

He also advises ‘checking in constantly’ to make sure your co-star is happy too.

Both Galitzine and Hathaway have distanced themselves from fan theories that The Idea of You was inspired by Harry Styles fanfiction, as has the novel’s author Robinne Lee.

She has admitted to being inspired by a video of Styles in One Direction though, plus the discovery that he dated older women, before she first put pen to paper for the 2017 novel. (This was also before Styles embarked on a relationship with his Don’t Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde in 2021, something fans obviously cannot let go of when it comes to this markedly similar plot.)

Galitzine is swift at shrugging away that looming Styles shadow. I think Hayes is entirely his own person,’ he insists.

He plays singer Hayes Campbell, 24, who embarks on an age-gap romance with older single mum Solène (Picture: Prime)

Although the author of the book The Idea of You was adapted from was inspired by Harry Styles in part, it was written long before his high-profile romance with Olivia Wilde (Picture: Neil Mockford/GC Images)

‘My portrayal of him was really grounded in the script – that felt like a really unique, textured young man. I feel like I haven’t seen Hayes in terms of a sort of pop star archetype before.’

He also enjoyed working with the costume, hair and makeup teams to craft Hayes’ image.

‘Starting fresh and creating this person – I think that that was kind of my remit for this role,’ the actor says, although many fans have clocked similarities between Hayes’ inkings and that of Styles.

Galitzine got stuck in with designing the tattoos, as well as ‘[taking] some things that kind of already existed’.

At around six foot tall, with floppy dark hair, sharp cheekbones and a penchant for slick masculine fashion, London-born Galitzine, who has Greek heritage, has more than a few passing physical similarities to Styles.

They share a certain charm as well, although Galitzine’s broader build belies his talent for rugby, with the star playing for the Harlequins’ Academy as a teenager before an injury put paid to that career.

‘It was also about how early do I want to come in in the morning to the makeup trailer? Because they take a long time to put on… We need sleep as well!’ he laughs, something he’s prone to, despite quite a serious resting face.

Hayes sports tattoos that Galitzine helped design that have been compared to Styles’ collection (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)

When prodded on the fanfiction point, the star says he knows ‘close to zero about it’, genuinely seeming quite surprised by it sometimes being pretty R-rated.

Oh really?! Well, I think the reality is I won’t come across that online because I’m not very online, generally speaking, and that seems to work pretty well for me.’

He also insists he doesn’t have friends sending him anything about himself from those types of forums. ‘Thank goodness I don’t…’

In The Idea of You, Hayes and Solène enjoy a memorably awkward ‘meet-cute’ when she accidentally uses the toilet in his trailer backstage.

It begs the question of whether he has had any similar and equally awkward first encounters?

‘Well, perhaps not awkward – I met an ex-girlfriend in a chemistry test for a movie, which is very bizarre,’ he muses. ‘I don’t recommend actors using auditions as a place to meet significant others!’

Galitzine does all his own singing and dancing as Hayes in The Idea of You, which comes with a soundtrack of boppy tunes written by Ariana Grande and Ellie Goulding collaborator Savan Kotecha (who, coincidentally, is also credited on One Direction’s hit What Makes You Beautiful).

Galitzine has musical ambitions for later in his career (Picture: Getty)

The star has musical aspirations for the future too, but it sounds as though they will be quite different to those of his boyband alter-ego.

‘Acting is really kind of taking the forefront of my mental capacity right now!’ he laughs. ‘But it’s definitely something I’d love to pursue down the line.’

Performing the big set pieces, such as Coachella, in front of an audience – something he’s not done before – was Galitzine’s greatest intimidation on set, especially with the ‘steep learning curve’ of a three-week choreography bootcamp.

‘Also, I think just creating a sense that this person actually is a pop star when I, Nick, am not necessarily yet,’ he reveals was another challenge, despite his personal passion for music.

‘I’ve sung before, and I’ve been in recording studios, but doing things that were not my own style necessarily, and having to sort of shift and find Hayes’s voice, was really exciting but scary at the same time.’

For the young actor, his roles thus far have felt ‘so different to me in a lot of ways’, which is exactly how the polite and respectful Galitzine seems to likes it.

The young star was most intimidated by the dance routines and performing fictional band August Moon’s big show (Picture: Alisha Wetherill/Prime)

‘There’s a lot of people who like to play close to who they are or who they would like to be. And for me, it’s playing someone as repugnant as Jeff [in Bottoms], or as charming as Hayes or as devious as George [in Mary & George] – that’s where the joy is, you get to wear a lot of different hats.’

He’s tight-lipped about what’s next in the pipeline, other than to say his upcoming projects are ‘very different from other things that I’ve done before’.

He does go on record saying that he’d like to look at sci-fi as a genre – especially a video game adaptation – as well as return to comedy and do a Western.

‘Any time I get a chance to jump on a horse and ride around, I’m a happy actor!’ the Cinderella actor beams.

As a young British actor, I can’t resist hearing his thoughts on being considered for Bond in the future, given all the clamour surrounding rumoured favourite Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

‘I’m not online, so I don’t know if people have been saying that,’ he laughs. ‘But he’s obviously an iconic character and someone who’s very textured and multi-dimensional and I know there are a tonne of really talented English actors who would be great playing Bond as well.’

‘So, you know, we’ll have to see,’ he adds, gamely.

‘Offline’ Galitzine has plenty more in the pipeline, but nothing announced (Picture: Getty)

At another point, Galitzine also refers to the ‘camaraderie’ he feels has developed between him and his peers ‘who often at times you feel like you’re like pitted up against’.

‘Something I’ve really felt recently is, you go to these amazing parties and you meet a lot of your peers, and you’ve been up against them, maybe for years.’

He adds: ‘There is this camaraderie and this sort of connection to a lot of these guys who, you know, I’ve not known all of my [career] – [but] I’ve known from afar.’

When I ask if he would be happy to be in the Bond conversation though, he carefully responds: ‘I’m honestly just focusing on the roles I’m playing now which are really, really nourishing.’ Fair enough.

Before we part ways, I ask him what he thinks might be the biggest misconception about himself?

He sticks to his ‘offline’ label.

‘I mean, I hate to be a disappointment, but I don’t really look online at people’s perception of me. The people that I kind of derive validation from are the people I love and who are close to me,’ he replies, very sensibly.

‘They know me very well and they know that I’m an open, loving person, and I hope that carries itself over to my public perception. I’m, I’d say, one and the same.’

The Idea of You streams on Prime Video from Thursday May 2.

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