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Casey McQuiston’s One Rule for the Red White & Royal Blue adaptation

Casey McQuiston’s One Rule for the Red White & Royal Blue adaptation

When author Casey McQuiston handed the reins to her queer romance novel Red White & Royal Blue to director Matthew López for its big-screen adaptation, she had a couple of requests — like keeping the character of Alex’s (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez) Mexican heritage intact and ensuring that none of the gay characters had internalized homophobia. “I think the ultimate make-or-break was that I wanted it to feel like a celebration,” she said during a recent THR Presents Q&A powered by Vision Media. “To have that fireworks, confetti, sparkle to it.”

For fans of the book, one big surprise in the adaptation was the removal of June, Alex’s sister, who has a large presence in the novel. López told THR that during the screenwriting process, he struggled to find real estate that couldn’t be fulfilled by Alex’s friend Nora (played by Rachel Hilson in the film). He explained: “You can either have two roles for two young women in which neither of them have that much to do, or you can have one role for one young woman who has great scene after great scene.”

López managed to convince McQuiston to, as she jokingly referred to it in the panel, “kill June,” and then set out looking for other ways to condense the book’s pages to movie-length without losing any more of the beloved story. The director eventually settled on the use of montages, which allowed him to show — not tell — the beginnings of the central love story between Galitzine’s Prince Henry and Perez’s First Son. “When I watched it a few weeks ago and saw that montage where Nick and I are reading back and forth to each other, I kind of got the chills,” said Galitzine. “It strengthens the relationship that these two characters are building with one another — you see how quickly they put their guards down.”

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Watch the above video to see more from the cast and crew about the making of Red White & Royal Blue. This edition of THR Presents is sponsored by Prime Video.

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