It was crucial for Red, White & Royal Blue‘s depiction of America’s first-ever female president to “retain her femininity”, according to director Matthew Lopez.

The upcoming Prime Video rom-com is based on Casey McQuiston’s novel of the same name, chronicling the blossoming relationship between the president’s son and a British prince.

President Ellen Claremont is played by legendary Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman, best known for her roles in iconic films such as Pulp Fiction (1994), Batman & Robin (1997) and Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2004) and Vol. 2 (2005).

Lopez, the Tony Award-winning playwright behind the West End and Broadway’s The Inheritance, tells GAY TIMES that it was important to cast an actor who “you would actually vote for president”.

“We did a list of all the people that we thought would work in this role and Uma was always at the top of it,” he reveals.

“We sent her the script and she wanted to meet with me, which was great for me! I figured, even if she doesn’t do the movie I get to have a Zoom with Uma Thurman.” 

The pop icon, who is currently shooting the sequel to Netflix’s The Old Guard 2, was heavily involved in the creative process from the beginning, arriving at her and Lopez’s first meeting with “so many thoughts about the character”.

She had actually studied the script. We both realised that we were interested in the same thing,” continues Lopez, which was telling the story of a woman who is the president and a mother, “who is powerful but retains her sense of femininity”.

The director highlights the harmful trope “in American culture” of women in power being “asked to deny their femininity”.

“Both Uma and I were interested in creating a woman on-screen who did not feel like she had to make that sacrifice,” he says. “Once we realised that we wanted the same thing, it became very easy for her to say yes, which I’m grateful for.” 

Lopez jokes that his main worry with the release of Red, White & Royal Blue is that it will “convince people that they want” Thurman to be president, “and then we don’t get any more Uma Thurman movies as a result.” (Kill Bill Vol. 3 would be dead, officially.)

Due for release on 11 August, Red, White & Royal Blue stars Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine as Alex and Prince Henry, respectively.

The official synopsis reads: “Separated by an ocean, [Alex and Henry’s] long-running feud hasn’t really been an issue, until a disastrous—and very public—altercation at a royal event becomes tabloid fodder, driving a potential wedge in U.S./British relations at the worst possible time.

“Going into damage-control mode, their families and handlers force the two rivals into a staged “truce.” But as Alex and Henry’s icy relationship unexpectedly begins to thaw into a tentative friendship, the friction that existed between them sparks something deeper than they ever expected.”

Clifton Collins Jr., Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson, Stephen Fry, Ellie Bamber, Thomas Flynn, Malcolm Atobrah, Akshay Khanna, Sharon D Clarke, Aneesh Sheth and Juan Castano round out the cast.

Watch the official trailer here or below.