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‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ director talks bringing bestselling book to the screen

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(L-R: Taylor Zakhar Perez, Nicholas Galitzine, Matthew Lopez) Prime Video

International relations take on a whole new meaning in the new romantic comedy Red, White & Royal Blue, based on the bestselling novel by Casey McQuiston.

The film follows fiery first son of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), and buttoned-up British prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) as they fall into an enemies-to-lovers romance that threatens to upend their prestigious families’ carefully curated public image.

It marks the directorial debut of Tony-winning playwright Matthew Lopez, who tells ABC Audio he knew he had to make the film after first connecting with the book.

“For me, I think it was my connection to Alex as a character and my strong desire to make a film that had such a positive depiction of a young Latin man in its center,” he says. “In addition to the fact that it was this beautiful queer love story.”

That love story hinges on the chemistry between Perez and Galitzine. Lopez says he saw hundreds of actors for the roles, but those two “stood out as special” and were able to bring the characters to life.

“I spent many months just sort of putting them through their paces and checking to make sure that I was right about them, including putting them together in a chemistry read on Zoom and seeing how well they played together,” he says. “And it was very clear to all of us over time that these two were just the perfect actors for these roles.”

As for what he hopes audiences feel while watching the film, Lopez simply says, “Love, hope, swooning romance and fun.”

Red, White & Royal Blue is available now on Prime Video.

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