Challengers star Josh O’Connor has shared his thoughts on whether the lead characters in the film are queer. 

On 26 April, movie enthusiasts in the UK will be treated to Luca Guadagnino’s highly anticipated sports drama, starring Zendaya, Mike Faist and O’Connor. 

Set in the competitive world of tennis, Challengers follows the journey of two best friends and industry pros, Art (Faist) and Patrick (O’Connor). Their lives take an unexpected turn when they both fall for tennis superstar Tashi (Zendaya).

However, years later, the dynamic between the trio changes dramatically, with Tashi marrying Art and transforming him into a grand slam champion. 

The official synopsis adds: “To jolt [Art] out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play a “Challenger” event – close to the lowest level of pro tournament – where he finds himself standing across the net from his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend, [Patrick].”

Over the last few weeks, early screenings of Challengers have received universal acclaim from critics, with many lauding the film’s thrilling plot, stellar cast performances and stunning filmography. 

In addition to the aforementioned praises, the movie has garnered attention for its steamy queer undertones between the three lead characters, which has led moviegoers to speculate about their sexuality.

At the recent Los Angeles premiere for Challengers, O’Connor spoke to Variety about the film and whether Tashi, Art and Patrick are canonically part of the LGBTQIA+ community in the film. 

“Yeah, I think they’re all fluid. I think all kind of love each other and they’re figuring that out. And they’re trying to understand where that plays out and how it plays out, he explained. 

“So I don’t know if there’s a clear-cut answer to that, but I think that they’re all tied in. Thier all completely tied to each other.”

O’Connor’s recent interview comes a few weeks after he opened up to Vanity Fair about the steamy three-way kiss the characters share in the film’s trailer. 

“Luca had a very clear idea of what happens on the bed. The idea of me and Mike, with Zendaya in the middle – this idea that it’s kissing, kissing and then it turns into this three-way kiss – and then suddenly Mike and I are kissing. That was very clear,” the God’s Own Country star explained to the news outlet. 

While Guadagnino had an established structure and idea for the scene, O’Connor said there was an “element of improvisation” while filming the viral moment.

“We all kind of figured it, how are we going to do this? How does this work?… It was fairly organic,’ he continued. 

“We did little things, like, when they’re sitting on the floor and she goes onto the bed, I was up in a flash and not holding back. That came from us knowing our characters well and knowing the dynamics between the three of us.” 

Watch the latest trailer for Challengers here or below.