“This Is a Really Complex Question”: Playing “Smash, Marry, Kill” With Nicholas Galitzine

Nicholas Galitzine, The Idea of You

As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you’ll like too. POPSUGAR has affiliate and advertising partnerships so we get revenue from sharing this content and from your purchase.

As I log on to Zoom for my interview with Nicholas Galitzine for The Idea of You, I’m nervous. This is only the second celebrity interview I’ve done, and my first was earlier this week. Suddenly, Galitzine is on my screen, smiling from his kitchen.

“Hi Bernice, how are you doing?” he asks. I won’t lie, I’m a little startled. I didn’t expect him to immediately be there in front of me, but here we are!

“I’m good, how are you?” I reply, hoping I sound calm. He tells me he’s doing great, and with that, the interview is off.

As an icebreaker, I ask him how his back is feeling from carrying the vocals in August Moon, the fictional band his character fronts in The Idea of You.

Nicholas Galitzine as Hayes with August Moon in The Idea of You. Credit: Prime Video

He laughs (thank God).

“Well, I felt very carried by the boys in the band,” he says, “because had it not been for them, I would’ve been tripping over my own feet.

“They’re all incredible, professional dancers, and I think that when they first saw me in rehearsals, they were probably thinking, ‘Oh my God, how are we going to carry this boy band thing off?’” he continues. “But they managed to reduce their energy to sort of meet me at my point, and so we kind of benefitted each other in different ways, which I really love.”

What Drew Nicholas Galitzine to The Idea of You

In The Idea of You, Galitzine plays Hayes, a young pop star who’s navigating fame and relationships. Then, he meets Solène (Anne Hathaway), a 40-year-old single mother, and sparks fly. Galitzine says that it was the “emotional complexity” of Hayes’ character that appealed to him, as well as the evolution he goes on through the film.

“[Hayes has] grown up in the spotlight, he’s become a man in the spotlight in a lot of ways,” Galitzine says. “His tastes are constantly evolving, he’s learning a lot about himself, he knows that he doesn’t want to be seen as a joke; he wants to be taken seriously.”

Galitzine says that Hayes has grown up being “defined by other people’s perceptions” of himself, which his character finds “really, really difficult”.

When Hayes meets Solène, then, he’s enchanted.

“He meets someone who doesn’t perceive him in a negative capacity or in a pre-judged capacity — she really takes him for who he is, it’s an incredible breath of fresh air,” he explains. “And I think due to his emotional maturity, we completely take this relationship for what it is, which is a beautiful connection between two people who really need something from one another.”

He adds: “And you know, it doesn’t half help that the chemistry with Anne was so natural; I think really helps sell our relationship on screen.”

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You
Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway as Hayes and Solène in The Idea of You. Credit: Prime Video

How Nicholas Crafted His Own Version of Hayes

While The Idea of You is based on Robinne Lee’s novel of the same name, many have speculated that Hayes’ character is based on Harry Styles, and that August Moon is based on One Direction. In fact, some One Direction fans have gone as far as to label the story “Harry Styles fan fiction”. Lee has denied any intentional similarities to Styles or any other boy band members, and even told Vogue in 2020 that her book “was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles”.

“It was supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself, just at the point that society traditionally writes women off as desirable and viable and whole,” Lee said at the time.

As for Galitzine, he credits screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt and director Michael Showalter for adapting the novel “in a really fantastic way” that made the script feel “so unique” and separate from today’s pop stars.

“We really worked through a lot of different ideas when it came to [Hayes’] aesthetic, and his accent,” he explains, “and really it was just through a sense of collaboration with Michael that we were able to land on this guy that feels, I think, very unique.

“He just felt so real to me,” he continues, adding that he would often “imagine him going to the Grammys and being in these real life pop scenarios”.

“I think when you really do the research to texture a person, that’s the most exciting thing for me, rather than necessarily using too many outside references,” he adds.

Smash, Marry, Kill — One Direction, Backstreet Boys, The Wiggles

As our time draws to an end, it’s time for me to ask my final, silly question.

“Are you familiar, by any chance, with the Australian band The Wiggles?” I begin.

Galitzine pauses.

“Wait, are they the children’s band? Like, the group, they dress in different colours, right?” he asks. I say yes, and he exclaims, “I didn’t know they were Australian!”

Watch the trailer for The Idea of You:

With that out of the way, it’s time. “Smash, marry kill — One Direction, the Backstreet Boys, and The Wiggles,” I ask.

“Oh my God!” he laughs. “But what does that even mean?!”

He pauses, pondering the question.

“I think they all — I can’t… I definitely can’t kill children’s performers,” he muses.

“This is a really complex question, I don’t know if I can answer this!” he laughs. “Can I turn it to you? Have you thought of this?”

Reader, I had thought about this.

“I would kill the Backstreet Boys because I feel like that’s before my time; I’m 25,” I say. “I would marry The Wiggles, because I grew up with them, and I would smash One Direction.”

“Those are very fair answers,” Galitzine says. “But I also have to say, the Backstreet Boys, were a very important band [for me] growing up, too. I mean, my sister was really the avenue by which I found my music, so the Backstreet Boys were kind of… they were forced into my consciousness, so, I feel bad. Let’s not kill the Backstreet Boys; let’s just let all of them live and perform in the same tour.”

“Let’s turn them into a supergroup!” I suggest.

“Yes! Exactly!” he exclaims. “I like where your head’s at.”

The Idea of You is streaming on Prime Video from Thursday, May 2.

Want some entertainment stories? Click through the articles below:

Related Posts
Latest Celebrity
The End.

The next story, coming up!