In the most recent rom-com release by Prime Video, Upgraded, actor Archie Renaux embodies the character of William. It’s a classic coincidental encounter that typically only happens in movies; Anna (Camila Mendes) accidentally spills her Bloody Mary all over his suit in the airport lounge, only to find him seated next to her in first class just an hour later. Archie portrays William as a calm and composed lad who doesn’t mind someone making errors as long as they are willing to acknowledge them. During this exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Archie sat down for a brief conversation about playing the lead role alongside Camila Mendes and seeking inspiration from Google to name his favorite romantic comedy. (Also read: Upgraded movie review: Camilla Mendes leads this spirited yet formulaic romantic comedy)

Archie Renaux in a still from Upgraded.

On portraying William

When asked if there were any specific rom-com leads that influenced his approach to portraying William, Archie pauses for a moment. “No, no one in particular,” he responds. “But I drew inspiration from rom-coms like Notting Hill, Love Actually, The Holiday… all those types of British ones, I suppose. But no one specifically.” The titles he mentions are all beloved rom-com classics, endlessly rewatched during the holiday season or even on a regular day when one seeks the comfort of familiar characters. Upgraded also appears poised to join that esteemed list, with its light-hearted take on modern romance and the pursuit of professional stability – a theme that feels incredibly relevant to explore in the genre.

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Archie Renaux and Camilla Mendes in a still from Upgraded.
Archie Renaux and Camilla Mendes in a still from Upgraded.

On his on-screen rapport with Camila Mendes

For a romantic comedy to be successful, it is essential that the leads exhibit an instantly believable and endearing chemistry. Upgraded achieves this seamlessly. William and Anna hit it off from the moment they meet, and despite a little white lie that muddles their romance, the audience is always rooting for them to reconcile. When asked about developing that chemistry with Riverdale alum Camila Mendes, Archie responds, “I think it always boils down to sharing many laughs and jokes with each other. I find that to be the easiest way for me to break the ice and get to know someone. It was effortless to do that with Camy! She exudes an easy-going vibe right from the start, and we felt like we were on the same wavelength. It just naturally fell into place, which was fortunate! It made things a lot smoother.”

His preferred rom-com

When prompted to mention his favorite romantic comedies over the years, the task becomes noticeably more challenging for him. The actor hesitates for a few moments, as though attempting to recall the name of that cherished childhood favorite. However, like most of us, he cannot summon the name at that very moment. When I suggest that he may have a memory that he either chooses to hold close or has forgotten, he becomes flustered, assuring me that he does have one but for some reason cannot recall the name when he needs it the most. “I’ve forgotten the name now!” he chuckles, and then adds, “I’ve gone completely blank! Let me take a quick look now!” He grabs his phone and searches intently, mentioning that he remembers the actor but not the film.

A full minute passes in silence. I allow him to search as I wait for the answer. “Come on, where is it?” he mutters to himself while searching. “About Time!” he exclaims after a moment and sets the phone aside with an air of excitement. He’s found it. “That’s the one!” he smiles. When probed further about this specific choice, Archie emphasizes how it’s simply a heartwarming tale, focusing on the relationship with his dad, and how it resonated with him. “It moved me,” is all he discloses. Some memories are best left unspoken.

Upgraded is available for streaming on Prime Video.

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