Director Matthew López revealed Thursday during an interview with EW's Patrick Gomez on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show that the actor was initially skeptical about showing off his natural body hair before shooting the film's more intimate scenes — enough so that the 31-year-old specifically requested López's approval in a very particular way.
López recalled that, on the way to set one day, he received a phone call from his hair and makeup coordinator, Karen Hartley, who requested that he stop by Perez's trailer.
"I go into Taylor's trailer — we've been making this movie for like, five, six weeks at this point — and Karen looks at Taylor and says, 'Alright, tell him what you told me,' and he goes, 'I don't know if I should shave or not,'" López explained. "I'm like, 'Your face?' and he goes, 'No, babe.' I'm like, 'Alright, well, what do you want to do about it?' He goes, 'Just look, okay?' So, I had my hair and makeup person there as the chaperone, because I didn't want my career to end before it began, and Taylor, like, lowers his pants and he's like, 'Look at my ass,' and I'm like, 'You're fine, you look great!'"
López chuckled about the exchange at first, and acknowledged that Perez is a traditionally good-looking actor, but still praised the performer's willingness to present his natural hairiness on camera.
"A body itself, as it is naturally, is a gorgeous thing," López continued. "I told Taylor, yeah, just bring your hairy butt to set."
Jonathan Prime/Prime Video Taylor Zakhar Perez in 'Red, White & Royal Blue'
Representatives for Perez did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
In the film, based on Casey McQuiston's novel of the same name, Perez plays the bisexual son of an American president (Uma Thurman) who falls in love with a closeted British royal (Nicholas Galitzine).
Amazon Prime Video released the film on Aug. 11 to positive reviews and huge audience reception, with the film reportedly becoming one of the platform's most-watched romantic films of all time.
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