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Matthew López Is Creating the Gay Romance Stories We Need Right Now

Matthew López Is Creating the Gay Romance Stories We Need Right Now

<p>Matthew López Is Creating the Gay Romance Stories We Need Right Now</p>
Cindy Ord / Getty Images

Cindy Ord / Getty Images

This year, the Tony Award-winning writer brought one of the most delicious gay movies ever, Red, White, & Royal Blue, to life.


Matthew López is bringing queer Latinx representation to theater, film, and Prime Video. The out playwright turned screenwriter and film director, has had an amazing year with the release of his film Red, White, & Royal Blue.

López’s film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston and written by López and Ted Malawer, reportedly took the top rank on Prime Video for several days and spent a significant time in the top 10 films on the streaming platform. The film currently has a 75 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and has been lauded on its representation of a Latinx bi protagonist as well as its sex scene — even educating the straight masses that gay men can have sex in a missionary position.

Red, White & Royal Blue centers on the first son of the United States of America, Alex Claremont-Diaz (played by Minx’s Taylor Zakhar Perez), and the second in line to the British throne, Henry Fox-Mounchristen-Windsor (played by Cinderella’s Nicholas Galitzine), as their hatred for one another slowly evolves into a friendship, and eventually a steamy romance.

When The Advocate spoke to López in August, fresh off the heels of the film’s success, he explained that he took inspiration from rom-coms like Moonstruck and When Harry Met Sally, but also from queer films like My Own Private Idaho and Y Tu Mamá También.

López says he hopes that Red, White & Royal Blue makes queer cinema more accepted without diminishing the unique qualities found in this segment of the film industry. “I hope that there is something mainstreaming about queer cinema that doesn't turn queer cinema mainstream. Does that make sense?” he asks. “I hope that what changes is the culture in which queer cinema is released. And that the culture doesn't change what queer cinema is.”

The 46-year-old Florida native is also well-known for writing The Inheritance, which premiered in London in 2018. Sweeping the theater award circuit, the seven-hour long play was inspired by the novel Howards End by E. M. Forster and traces a community of gay men through several generations. López’s The Inheritance made him the first Latinx writer to win a Tony Award for Best Play.

On his recent success with Red, White & Royal Blue — the first film he’s directed — López is staying humble. He told The Advocate that he learned much from the experience and that he’s grateful the film has been met with so much enjoyment and appreciation. “The fact that it's just been so widely viewed and so warmly received in the world [is so rewarding],” he said.

For now, he doesn’t know what the future holds. “I'm just very grateful that in the present moment — people have discovered this film; people have embraced this film. People are loving the film for very different reasons,” he said. López added: “It seems to check different boxes for different people."

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