IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Nicholas Galitzine says life after 'Purple Hearts' feels like a 'fever dream'

"Is this, like, happening? Is this really happening?"
Los Angeles Premiere Of Amazon Studios' "Cinderella"
Nicholas Galitzine attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Amazon Studios' "Cinderella"at The Greek Theatre on August 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.Frazer Harrison / FilmMagic

From "Purple Hearts" heading to the top on Netflix to the online buzz around his new flicks, Nicholas Galitzine says his life feels like a "fever dream."

The 27-year-old sat down with TODAY to discuss the "entirely unexpected" success of "Purple Hearts," his extensive preparation to play a Marine and his upcoming projects.

"I think every single one of my movies go into this like black hole and no one’s gonna ever see them ever," Galitzine said of his films.

Leading with that expectation, Galitzine said he really didn't know how the audience would react to a "small indie film" like "Purple Hearts."

"The first day there was some decent viewership and then it just kept building and building and building," he said. "Sofia (Carson) and I, we'd text back and forth and be like, 'Is this, like, happening? Is this really happening?'"

(L to R) Nicholas Galitzine as Luke, Sofia Carson as Cassie in Purple Hearts.
(L to R) Nicholas Galitzine as Luke, Sofia Carson as Cassie in Purple Hearts. Mark Fellman / Mark Fellman

Preparing for the role was no small task, either. Galitzine said he went through basic Marine training to play Luke Morrow, a U.S. marine who is shipped out after he marries Cassie Salazar, played by Carson, for military benefits.

Because rehearsals began during the COVID-19 pandemic, Galitzine was physically preparing from London, while meeting with the rest of the cast over Zoom calls. After reading in the script that Morrow was a runner, he explained that his initial prep was primarily cardio-focused until he received a call weeks before filming asking that he "beef up" for the role.

"For the last few weeks, I had to desperately force feed myself to try and just gain a little bit of mass." he said.

The Marine training operated on a point-based system, he said, with requirements for running, pull-ups and squats, among other exercises.

Aside from the demanding physical training, Galitzine said the emotional preparation for Morrow was "draining."

He said it was "really difficult" to take on the part of "someone who’s a former addict, dealing with being injured in combat and sort of the mental strain of that the anxiety, of having to live with someone you don’t like at first, but then falling in love."

"You can’t really prep too far ahead of time," he explained. "You really just have to be present."

"Purple Hearts" prep hasn't been the only strain on Galitzine's life, however. The "Cinderella" star has been required to jump from filming the Netflix film to New Orleans to shoot "Bottoms," a comedy expected to hit the big screen in 2023, then to London to tape "Red, White and Royal Blue."

"For the first time in my career, it was a very interesting thing of having to sort of juggle a few characters because obviously you’re doing prep for these other movies while you’re shooting something else," Galitzine said. "So you kind of have this weird juggling act of personalities in your head."

For the actor, Galitzine said he attempts to create longevity in his career through playing a variety of characters, all of which aid in his versatility as a performer.

"We all have very human experiences, regardless of whether you're a prince or whether you're a Marine," he said.

Playing a British royal in "Red, White and Royal Blue," Galitzine is taking on the part of Prince Henry, who falls in love with First Son of the United States Alex Claremont-Diaz, played by Taylor Zakhar Perez.

Galitzine described the role as "extremely gratifying" and also a step outside of his comfort zone.

"You're a lot closer to the script than you are on a comedy, where it’s so loose and improvised," Galitzine said of the LQBTQ romance novel adaptation, set to be released in early 2023.

For "Bottoms," which also stars Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri, the performer said the film was a "fever dream experience," as he's "really wanted to work on a comedy before."

"Being able to use my funny bone and learn from (Sennott and Edebiri) and improvise was just so much fun," he said.

As for a lean toward more dramatic or comedic projects, Galitzine said he isn't as concerned about the type of creative job, but rather hoping to continue working with people that help him learn and grow as an actor.

"I think just like really excited based off the success of 'Purple Hearts' for people to see these movies and also what I've got coming up next," Galitzine said. "So, it's exciting times."