Nicholas Galitzine is having a big moment.
Speaking with PEOPLE, Galitzine admits that the rush of support for the film has been "overwhelming."
"I could never have imagined [the success of the film]," he says. "What was on screen was a testament to all the hard work we put in and our want to collaborate. And the fact that that could have such a crazy resonance is very much hard to process."
Based on Tess Wakefield's book of the same name, Purple Hearts tells the story of two people with very different ideologies, Cassie (Carson) and Luke (Galitzine), who enter a "marriage of convenience" — with unexpected results.
For Galitzine, he was drawn to the script because the character "felt very different" from any role he'd done before. "There was the obvious love story from the outset, but it was portrayed in a dimension that was very unusual and something I hadn't seen before."
Despite doing a handful of rehearsals together via Zoom, Galitzine and Carson didn't actually meet in person until the night before filming, after which they quickly jumped into their roles with their characters getting married and having their "pinnacle" finale scene within the first week of shooting.
Working alongside Carson, who executive produced the film and wrote songs for the soundtrack, Galitzine notes that the actress' "work ethic [was] second to none" as they went to so many different places emotionally during filming.
"We had fun, we laughed, we cried," he continues. "That's really what you look for in a scene partner and an acting partner, someone who's willing to go the whole way with you."
Galitzine reveals that during filming for the movie, his grandmother died, which he says was an "incredibly cathartic experience" as he acted out some of the film's more challenging scenes: "I was very close with her, but it was an incredible experience to pour all of that pain in. It gave me access to be able to have these very poignant moments. That was a bit of a gift. A painful gift, in some ways."
Given the widespread support for the film, fans are already hoping for another film. While Galitzine is keeping coy about a green light from Netflix, he says the support means the world to him and the cast.
"We'll see what happens, for sure," Galitzine teases about the possibility of a sequel. "Even privately we joke about what would happen and how to possibly continue the story, because the script would have to be good. It would have to make sense. It would have to work. There are many different ways it could go, and we'll wait and see if it's the right story. But it's very cool to see people asking for a second one."
Following the release of Purple Hearts, Galitzine is already busy at work on his next project — Red, White & Royal Blue — but he feels like he's just getting started as an actor. His career "bucket list" is "pretty extensive."
"I really would love to get into the action space, because that is my bread and butter, being an athlete growing up and being a martial artist," he says. "It seems like it's a lot of fun and something I touched on in Purple Hearts but didn't really get to do properly."
"Honestly, it's really about telling stories that have incredible resonance but working with people who are better than me, who I can learn from and grow from as an actor and as a creative," he continues, adding that he would love to work with directors Denis Villeneuve and Edgar Wright, or actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet someday.
He says, "I was never trained as an actor, and a lot of this has really been learning on the job and being around really, really talented people who elevate you in some ways, which I can firmly say for Sofia and for [director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum] and everyone involved in Purple Hearts."
"I'm not one of these five-year-plan people because this job is so ephemeral and it changes at every moment, but I try and set myself short-term goals, and I think that is always my North Star, [to] just continue learning," Galitzine adds.
Purple Hearts is now streaming on Netflix.