May 28, 2024

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Taylor Zakhar Perez said he was thinking about Pride and Prejudice, 10 Things I Hate About You and more classic romances when filming his big romantic scene in Prime Video‘s hit Red, White & Royal Blue. Perez plays Alex, the son of the President (Uma Thurman) who falls in love with British Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine). Alex confesses his love to Henry in the rain.

“It did feel very Mr. Darcy,” Zakhar Perez said on a panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television. “It felt a little Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, 10 Things I Hate About You in that realm of films. Those are things you watch growing up and you’re like I want to make that feeling for this film.”

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Matthew Lopez and Ted Malawer adapted Casey McQuinston’s book. Lopez directed. Producer Sarah Schechter joined Zakhar Perez at Contenders and credited Amazon with committing to optioning McQuinston’s book and making it a big production.

“We all want to feel good and feel like love wins,” Schechter said. “A lot of romantic comedies have been made, so there starts to be a little bit of familiarity in the beats. The stakes for this, the obstacles felt so real and universal. Anyone could understand why it would be hard for these people to be together.”

RELATED: Contenders TV – Deadline’s Full Coverage

Produced during the pandemic, Zakhar Perez and Galitzine had to meet first over Zoom. Zakhar Perez set up in his sister’s kitchen.

“You just really have to find something about your acting partner that connects you because you’re staring at a screen,” Zakhar Perez said. “You’re not connecting like we’re connecting right now, eye to eye.”

Once on set, Zakhar Perez and Galitzine got very close. In one of the film’s early scenes, Henry and Alex fall into a cake together.

“We smelt like sweet cream for probably three days, both of us,” Zakhar Perez said. “I think he found some in his ear two days later. I was like Nick, you gotta clean your ears better. It was a great time.”

Schechter acknowledged a desire amongst fans and filmmakers for a sequel. However, Schechter said many of the cast are committed to television shows, and McQuinston just finished another book.

“Everyone wants another party when a party’s good so I don’t know,” Schechter said. “We’ll see. People are very busy.”

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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