A UK survey has recently revealed movie buffs think Regina George is the cruellest villain of all teen movies. Ten years from now, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Noah Galvin‘s Booksmart character George stealing the crown from the Queen Bee.
Terrifying yet amusingly sassy, control-freak, theater-lover George is constantly torn between being mean and being absolutely mean.
Religiously followed around by fellow theater kid Alan (Austin Crute), George will give the protagonists Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) a hard time, one catty comeback at a time.
Galvin on playing ‘diabolical’ George in Booksmart
Openly gay actor Noah Galvin is among those who have contributed to Booksmart’s unapologetic LGBTI representation playing George.
The movie directed by Olivia Wilde is Galvin’s second big role on the silver screen, following Assassination Nation.
‘[Working with Olivia] was incredible,’ he said.
‘She was so willing to work with and be inspired by the actors in the room and on set. Not only an actors’ director but an amazing technician all around.’
Galvin also revealed he originally read for another character before he and Wilde realized George was the right fit.
‘Also, I originally auditioned for Alan. Olivia saw my crazy in the room and was thankfully inspired and not terrified. Or maybe she was both. Whatever it was, I got the job,’ he said.
‘If I were to feed into every diabolical tendency within myself, I could potentially be George,’ he continued.
‘There’s something really fun about diving deeper into those pieces of yourself for a role.’
Booksmart and its celebratory queer representation
Critically acclaimed Booksmart was praised for its low-key yet powerful queer representation.
Amy, who’s openly gay, has her homosexuality presented on screen in the most natural way. Her parents know and are super supportive, and so are her closest friends.
What’s more, she isn’t tokenized as the only queer character in the movie. Booksmart features at least three other queer characters, Galvin’s included.
‘I think there is nothing more important than representation. Representation of all kinds. Good, bad, and ugly,’ Galvin said.
‘We’re at a time right now where the rights of the LGBTI community and many others are on the line. We should all be leading with love. And Booksmart does that very thing. And does it beautifully.’
Booksmart also has the merit of not forcing struggling, painful LGBTI storylines down the audience’s throats.
‘I think often times we think “authentic” representation has to be filled with struggle and pain in order for it to feel “real,”’ Galvin said.
‘But Booksmart is a perfect example of authentic representation that is nothing but celebratory. It is a celebration of female friendship and queerness and what it’s like to be a gross teenager.’
On straight actors playing gay
This isn’t the first time Galvin has played a gay character. He played gay teenager Kenny on ABC short-lived sitcom The Real O’Neals, aired from 2016 to 2017.
A seasoned Broadway actor, Galvin had his big break on stage in 2005 when he played Gavroche in Les Misérables.
After booking the titular role in Dear Evan Hansen in 2018, he’s starring in the current production of Waitress, where he plays a straight role.
‘I think the best, most talented actor should get the job,’ Galvin told GSN about the neverending controversy of playing gay or vice versa.
‘But no one should be denied an opportunity to be in the room.’
Who said there can only be one Prince Charming?
Galvin has also lent his voice to Prince Rupert, one half of queer fairytale podcast The Two Princes.
The story is a modern retelling of a classic fairytale celebrating joys and pitfalls of teenage romance, growing up, and facing your fears.
As he sets out to break the curse that’s been looming over his kingdom for 18 years, Rupert will meet Amir (voiced by Ari’el Stachel).
Amir isn’t only strikingly handsome, but he’s also a rival prince on a quest to save his own realm from a similar threat.
‘It was really exciting to lend my voice to this modern love story that takes the fairytale format and flips it on its head,’ Galvin said.
The actor was keen on representing ‘a character in a story that hasn’t been told in this way before’.
He added: ‘This formula is one we’re all familiar with but giving it an LGBTI spin excited me.’
Alongside Stachel, Galvin had the chance to work with big Hollywood names such as The Good Fight’s Christine Baranski and The Handmaid’s Tale and OITNB’s Samira Wiley. Emmy-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo and The Americans’ Matthew Rhys also star.
‘Working with them was a joy,’ said Galvin.
‘I got to meet them, which is not the norm in voiceover work. I’ve done so many projects where I’ve sat in a studio alone recording. But the show’s director, Mimi O’Donnell was really keen on this being a collaborative effort and stressed the importance of us all being in the same room together which really helped to bring the story to life.’