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Red, White & Royal Blue director responds to claims Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez ‘lack chemistry’

Exclusive: "Anybody who criticises their chemistry doesn't know what chemistry is," Matthew López tells Attitude.

By Alastair James

Nicholas Galitzine, Taylor Zakhar-Perez, and director Matthew López on the set of Red, White, and Royal Blue
Nicholas Galitzine, Taylor Zakhar-Perez, and director Matthew López on the set of Red, White, and Royal Blue (Image: Instagram/@matthewmichaellopez)

The director of the gay rom-com Red White & Royal Blue has defended the film’s leading men against criticism they lack chemistry.

Matthew López directed the Prime Video adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s New York Times Best Seller novel of the same name.

It follows the friendship-to-romance journey of the fictional Prince Henry of England and Alex Claremont-Diaz, the first son of a female US President.

In the film, Henry is played by Nicholas Galitzine, and Alex by Taylor Zakhar Perez.

When Prime Video began promoting the film in August 2022 with videos featuring both actors engaging in friendly competition over their height, many people celebrated the film and its stars.

One person wrote on one video: “The casting is *chefs kiss*.”

However, some of the comments concerned a lack of chemistry.

On one TikTok one person wrote: “I have 0 faith in this movie”. Another person added: “I’ve never seen less chemistry in a room.”

Meanwhile, someone else said: “Vibes are off, my expectations are low… i really liked the book tho.”


Every rivals-to-lovers story begins with some competition. 😇 #RedWhiteAndRoyalBlue #PrimeVideo #RedWhiteAndRoyalBluePV

♬ original sound – Prime Video

Someone else dueted the video on TikTok adding the caption: “They can’t even fake chemistry or the fun light hearted competition HELP”

Responding to these criticisms López told Attitude exclusively: “Anybody who criticises their chemistry doesn’t know what chemistry is.”

He continued by praising Galitzine and Zakhar Perez as “trusting” and “respectful” of one another and their approaches to acting.

“They gave room to each other to breathe and grow. I don’t think you can make a movie like this with two actors who don’t trust each other. You might be able to, but I don’t know if it would work.

“Those two from the very beginning made a decision to trust each other and to support each other.”

Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez in Red, White and Royal Blue.
Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine in Red White and Royal Blue (Image: Prime Video)

Away from the serious side of acting, López also told Attitude that they all had fun on set. Occasionally, he explained, he had to be the one to calm the fun so they could shoot.

“But those two are wonderful human beings,” López also added. “And I loved working with them. And I know that they took their jobs incredibly seriously. But, we made sure that we never took ourselves too seriously.”

Red White & Royal Blue will premiere globally on 11 August on Prime Video.