We sat down with Omar Rudberg, who plays Prince Wilhelm’s love interest, Simon, on Netflix’s Young Royals to hear his predictions for a (hopefully) season 2 and to break down his favorite scenes.
Young Royals premiered earlier this month on Netflix, and even though the first season only consisted of six episodes, it has continued to generate a lot of hype all over the internet. The Swedish-produced show revolves around the challenges Prince Wilhelm faces after enrolling in an esteemed boarding school following a public scandal. There he meets Simon (Omar Rudberg), an empathetic yet strong-willed scholarship student who captures his attention, and eventually, his heart.
What few people don’t know is that aside from being a breakthrough TV star, Omar Rudberg is an incredibly talented musician. During our chat, it was amazing to feel his passion, even through a screen, when he discussed his new song releases. From the moment he first read the script for Young Royals, he was ecstatic to see a common ground between himself and Simon, which is singing. This similarity immediately sparked an idea for Omar: develop a unique and independent EP that touched on several of the themes from the show.
“Since I read the script for the first time, the second I saw that my character Simon was going to sing, I directly thought, 'Oh my god, I need to record the songs and release them when the series drops,'” Omar said.
Omar dropped an EP called Omar Covers soon after the premiere of Young Royals, with the song “It Takes a Fool to Remain Sane” leading the way. While these songs are not directly associated with Netflix or Young Royals, Omar wanted the feelings of excitement and young love from the show to continue to live somewhere else. And boy did he deliver!
As for the inspiration for the cover art, Omar credits the Young Royals series, stating, “I just wanted to make sure that people understood that this is not me, this is just something I do for fun with the series.”
Omar also clarifies that while this isn’t an official release with Netflix, it’s still an ode to the show and a way for him to have fun as an artist. Fans can get lost in the songs and dream about the enchanting relationship between the young prince and Simon.
“‘Symphony’ was actually the song that I was going to sing in the series instead of ‘It Takes a Fool to Remain Sane’. It was supposed to be ‘Symphony’ in the first episode but then they changed the song to the other one. That is why I actually chose ‘Symphony’ because I felt like it had something coming with the series.”
We asked Omar how life has been since Young Royals has blown up, and with a cheeky grin on his face, he swears he's just been chilling. That would be true if chilling meant doing dozens of interviews, developing a unique EP, and working on dropping his newest single.
Amidst the frenzy of the series quickly becoming everyone’s new obsession, Omar says he’s been on social media a lot to interact with the fans and has gotten to witness the impact that this show has had in so many, especially on young LGBTQ+ people.
“It’s just crazy how the series has blown up, I don’t even understand how much it has blown up- that’s a fact,” Omar says. His view of success of the show is not based on analytical charts or ratings, but by the emotional and genuine reactions people are sharing on social media.
You would be just as surprised as we were to learn that Young Royals is Omar’s first project in film and a notable one at that. Omar was lucky to work with such an amazing cast on and off-screen while filming his debut role as Simon.
“Thinking back, I feel like it just went so natural. We never had difficulties or insecurities, everything just went so smoothly. We became really good friends, we still hang out, and we go out a lot here in Stockholm. It just went really natural and we were lucky that we found each other and became the team that we are," Omar said.
“When you’ve got good people around you, it makes you even better."
Prior to his audition for Young Royals, Omar believed he and Simon had some similarities, but he felt admitted to experiencing insecurity and anxiety about getting the role. When it came time for the audition for Simon, Omar felt as though he needed to “live and do this thing, or I’m gonna die, that was my two options.” With this do-or-die mindset, Omar went into the audition full-on, which clearly paid off as he scored the lead role.
One strength Omar had going in was his love for singing both him and his character Simon had. “When I had to show my voice and they told me to sing a little bit, I didn’t just sing a little bit, I sang a lot. I felt like I had strength there.” This strength could have been the factor that propelled Omar into his role as Simon, and the strength Omar is showing in his EP.
As for the future of Young Royals, Omar doesn’t know much, but he’s hopeful Netflix brings the love story of Simon and Wilhem back for a new season.