Nicholas Hamilton and his boyfriend at the Queerty Pride50 event
Image Credit: Getty Images

If you saw the more recent film adaptations of Stephen King’s IT, chances are Pennywise The Clown has been haunting your nightmares for a while now. But just as frightening was the bully Henry Bowers, played by rising star Nicholas Hamilton.

Where Pennywise was demonic and otherworldly, Hamilton brought a raw-nerve humanity to Henry, which made the character feel that much more real, pained, and fearsome.

But the actor-singer couldn’t be further from his infamous on-screen bully role. In real life, Hamilton’s a charmer with a quick wit, a gorgeous set of pipes, and a romantic heart.

Born in new South Wales, Australia, he began acting as a teen, eventually scoring roles in the Aussie drama Strangerland opposite Nicole Kidman and the family dramedy Captain Fantastic which earned star Viggo Mortensen a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars.

Of course, his big break was the blockbuster horror IT and its sequel Chapter Two, which then led to lead roles in the romance Endless, the Snapchat original Action Royale, and a guest spot in season two of Hulu’s Love, Victor.

Meanwhile, Hamilton began writing and recording original music, and headlined his first show at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City last month. His latest single, “Spins” (off his next EP, FATE, due out this fall) is a sweet song all about his fateful second date with his boyfriend, who he says he loves in a “gay, sloppy way.”

Oh, and did we mentioned he’s amassed a following of over 1.8 million on TikTok for his viral mixology videos? This guy’s a jack-of-all trades!

With his gorgeous gay love song out—in time for Pride Month—we thought it was the perfect opportunity to have Hamilton as the latest guest in our rapid-fire Q&A series, Dishin’ It. In our fun conversation, the star opens up about his first date with his boyfriend (where he admits he didn’t make the best first impression), recommends the perfect cocktail for this Pride season, and shares his funny interactions with IT fans.

Is there a piece of media—whether a movie, TV series, book, album, games, etc…—that you consider a big part of your own coming-out journey, or that has played an important part in exploring your own queerness? Why does it stand out to you?

I did the dramatic thing and brought both my parents to see Love, Simon in theaters separately. I sobbed in the seat next to them as they looked equal parts proud and embarrassed. It felt like I was watching me on screen. A masculine, “straight-seeming” gay guy just going through high school. That was extremely impactful to me as a kid. I also liked Call Me By Your Name because of the sexy sex they had.

Your fantastic new song, “Spins,” is about your boyfriend and specifically your second date together. So, if you wrote a song about your first date, what would that entail? What went down? Is there a specific moment you can remember where you really first connected?

There’s a reason why I wrote and released a song about our second date and not our first lmao. We went out to a pub then to a live music venue in the city that has become one of our favorite spots. It wasn’t a bad date, just, retrospectively, I was extremely distracted and not good company at all while Jackson was the sweetest sweetheart I’d ever met. I would’ve left me very quickly.

It wasn’t until we got to the music venue, and I asked to sit next to him in the booth instead of across the other side of the table that he realized I actually did like him. And I did. A lot. It’s why I agreed to go out with him on the second date even though I’d already been drinking heavily that night, hence me having the Spins” when I tried to kiss him later on. Two great first impressions on my end.

You made quite an impression in the IT movies, and we’re sure you’re getting recognized by fans of those movies all the time. What’s the most common thing people say to you? Do you think it makes strangers wary of you since Henry was such a scary bully?

Back when IT and Chapter Two were more in the zeitgeist I used to notice a fair number of people backing off when they recognized me, instead of coming up and asking for a picture. It happens here and there nowadays, with people asking me to say “Kill Them All” or to call them a slur. I oblige, of course.

Where’s one of the first places/spaces you can remember that made you feel a part of a queer community?

Honestly, it wasn’t until last year. I grew up in a small town with a very sparse LGBTQ+ community, then moved to LA right in time for COVID, so I’ve never been able to surround myself with people like me. Last year, Jackson, Michael Cimino and I had the ridiculous pleasure of riding in The Trevor Project’s float in NYC Pride. That was the first day that I truly felt like I was a part of a community that was SO huge, yet still felt intimate and familiar. One of the best days of my life, if not the top.

You’ve become something of a mixologist with great cocktail recipes on TikTok. With that in mind, would you be so kind as to grace us with a refreshing, trendy, GAY cocktail recommendation that should become our drink of the summer?

You know, I’m falling back on the Piña Colada more often nowadays than anything else. There are a thousand riffs upon it, but I love the Hey Mambo, an Aperol-infused Mezcal-Tequila twist on the Piña. It’s fresh and cold and tropical and perfect for a hot day. You can also never go wrong with a Frosé… or a Tommy’s Margarita… or a shot of ice-cold Vodka.

@nic.hamilton Replying to @Blu ♬ Alone

In honor of Pride Month, what’s something that makes you most proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community?

I feel my most proud of being a part of the community when I feel like I’m unabashedly doing something that, even a few years ago, I would have felt afraid to do in the streets. Kiss a boy, hold hands, dance, walk in an even slightly more slay way. When I get to feel free while expressing myself without the worry of being harassed or looked down upon. I’m also aware of my privilege that I have just by living in NYC. I can do that, a lot of people in other places can’t.

As a musician yourself, what stands out to you as the ultimate Pride Anthem and why? 

“Spins,” by Nicholas Hamilton. JK… but not really. I f*cking love “Lost On You” by LP. They’re a gender-neutral boss with the pipes of a God. Rihanna will forever make me dance like an idiot.

Who is a queer or trans artist/performer/creator that you think is doing really cool work right now? Why are they someone we should all be paying attention to?

I think Bella Ramsey from The Last Of Us is a legend. To be so unapologetically you at such a young age while being thrust into the spotlight is the coolest thing ever.

To shout-out a friend, I think Joshua Colley needs the most recognition one can possibly receive. His voice is fucking angelic and he’s hilarious onscreen, someone needs to take him and make him a household name.

Scroll down below for more shots from Hamilton’s Instagram:

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated