As the actor behind one of BookTok’s most beloved queer characters, Taylor Zakhar-Perez felt pressure to portray Alex’s bisexuality in Red, White & Royal Blue as accurate as he could.

Zakhar-Perez plays Alex Claremont-Diaz in Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue, a romantic comedy based on Case Mcquiston’s 2019 book of the same title
. The book and movie follow the love story between Alex, the first son of the United States, and Prince Henry, a British prince. Alex is the son of President Ellen Claremont, the first female President of the United States, while Henry is the grandson of King James III.

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Red, White & Royal Blue

In an interview with Newsweek in August 2023, Zakhar-Perez revealed that he didn’t know how popular the Red, White & Royal Blue book was until he received the audition for Alex. “I hadn’t heard of the book or read the book before the audition came. I think a friend of mine auditioned or something, and he sent it to me. He’s like, ‘Hey, have you got this audition?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t know what that is,’” he said. “He’s like, ‘Well, here’s the book, I think they’re gonna start casting it.’ So I started to read it, and it was an incredible book. I really didn’t have any idea that it was so popular until I started telling people that I might be going to England for a project, and everybody was freaking out. Even my publicist was like, ‘Oh, my God, I read that during COVID. It’s amazing book.’ I really didn’t know the magnitude of it.”

In Red, White & Royal Blue, Alex is bisexual, while Henry is gay. Read on for what Taylor Zakhar-Perez has said about Alex’s bisexuality in Red, White & Royal Blue and how he wanted to represent the community as accurate as possible.

Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video.

Taylor Zakhar-Perez’s quotes on bisexuality in Red, White & Royal Blue

In an interview with Newsweek in August 2023, Taylor Zakhar-Perez, who plays Alex Claremont-Diaz in Red, White & Royal Blue, explained that he wanted to play Alex to represent the character and his sexuality as accurate as possible. “From the beginning, there was an enormous weight on my shoulders, making sure that we were accurate with representation and accurate with character portrayal,” he said. “Because I think it’s so easy for an actor to phone it in, I’ve seen it. So I think that’s why I took it upon myself, knowing how important this film is for many communities. And I’ve been reminded throughout.”

Zakhar-Perez also told Newsweek about how he’s often stopped by both queer and non-queer fans telling him how important Alex and Red, White & Royal Blue are to them. “Everywhere I go, people stopped me. I’ve had three young women yesterday come up to me at the airport, two of them had books in their hand and asked me to sign them, which was really sweet,” he said. “And then I had two flight attendants, both men, talk to me on the plane in the last few weeks like, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re part of this film.’ I was in the bathroom, at the urinal, and somebody was talking to me from the sink and was like, ‘Hey, you’re playing Alex in the film, right?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m super excited about the film man, my girlfriend and I, we love that book. We read it over COVID. Can I get a picture with you?’ I was just like, ‘Yes, but not in the bathroom. Like far from the bathroom, please.’”

He continued, “And so just seeing the diversity of the fans that have been coming up to me, I’m like, wow, this film truly transcends everything. It’s such a love story, at its core, that it just appeals to such a wide audience. I think going into reading the book, I felt that and then my mom read it. She called me and she was like, ‘Taylor. I am a quarter way through this book. It is very risqué.’ I’m like, ‘Mom, what are you talking about?’ She’s like, ‘Oh my God. There’s so many sex scenes. There’s so much sexual stuff.’ I go, “Mom. You watched me on Minx. There’s flailing genitalia in that show.’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, but I think it’s just so descriptive in this book about how sexual you are with different people that I can’t read it and not think of my son being sexual.’ So everybody kind of came at me with their opinions. And it definitely helps me.”

Zakhar-Perez also told Newsweek about how he, director Matthew Lopez, and co-star Nicholas Galitzine, who plays Prince Henry, wanted Alex and Henry’s sex scenes to also be accurate of how real gay couples are intimate. “I mean, that was the community that I was thinking about the entire time filming,” Zakhar-Perez said about the queer community. “We had so many conversations between the three of us [Nicholas, Matthew and Taylor] about accuracy. Because once you get into filming, it might look good in the script, right? But then when you’re in the moment, and you’ve felt these characters, you’ve been living in these characters for a few weeks, you’re like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ And then Matthew goes, ‘Oh, that’s so interesting. I never thought of that.’”

He continued, “Because what he had already written is beautiful, I can’t fault Matthew anywhere with his writing. He’s just impeccable. But we would have these incredible conversations, and sometimes we change it, sometimes they stay the same, but we were just hypersensitive to making sure everything was properly represented and properly accurate.”

Zakhar-Perez went on to talk about the intimacy coordinator on Red, White & Royal Blue and how he and Galitzine worked together to portray Alex and Henry’s intimate scenes. “Even down to the sex scenes, like with our intimacy coordinator, those conversations were borderline funny because we were talking so seriously about a kiss,” he said. “And we were so grateful to have Robbie Taylor Hunt [the intimacy coordinator], because he was so professional, he kind of felt like your best buddy or like your sibling. And he didn’t make it feel weird. And Nick and I were always in deep discussions with him about this because the intimacy part is so important because Alex’s arc as a character as somebody that has only dated women in the past—maybe a couple guy hookups—to not liking Henry to getting kissed by Henry and then having a relationship.”

He continued, “It’s just like, excuse me, the different degrees of comfort that Alex starts to have, this needs to be represented in in a proper way. And Robbie was with us the whole way. And Matthew was there. It was always a group effort, which I really respected. I think you see some films, and it doesn’t matter if it’s about sexuality, if it’s about a certain profession, if it’s about like a family, you’re like wow, this came from one person. You can tell. And then you hear interviews and stuff and they’re like, this was his vision, or this was her vision. And with us, it was kind of like this crowdsourcing of questioning whenever we would have those questions, because there were tons of different people with different backgrounds that were cast and behind the scenes that it just became this collaborative effort if we ever got stuck somewhere. Everything just was so beautiful. Every conversation was wonderful.”

Zakhar-Perez also described Alex’s sexual journey to Refinery29. “Alex is a man-child becoming an adult who is also going through his sexual journey,” he said. “Also, playing Alex meant that ‘no’ was never an option, and he constantly needs to pivot. I realize that part of his identity was wrapped in being a good representative of the White House and launching his political career.” Alex proposes an agenda to rally voters in his home state of Texas and sees law school as the first step to his professional goals. “That makes other parts of his life very lonely.”

Red, White & Royal Blue is available to stream on Prime Video. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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