The New Summer Crush: Wolfgang Novogratz Is a Rising Star We'll All Know Soon

The son of former HGTV designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz has fans swooning with his new Netflix movie Feel the Beat

Wolfgang Novogratz
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Wolfgang Novogratz always seemed destined for stardom.

When he was young, Novogratz appeared on a couple of his parents’ reality television shows, Bravo's 9 by Design and then Home by Novogratz on HGTV. Meanwhile, by the time he was a junior in high school, he was a top Division I college basketball recruit, notching offers from Villanova and Ohio State.

“Basketball was my entire life,” says Novogratz, 23. “I was going to play Division I, and then hopefully the NBA. I turned down all the scholarships to go to theater school in London.”

Taking that chance has worked out well. He’s currently starring opposite Sofia Carson in the Netflix comedy Feel the Beat, about a down-on-her-luck dancer who ends up teaching a ragtag dance troupe of young kids.

Novogratz relished working with his young costars.

“For a lot of them, it was their first movie, so Sofia and I took it upon ourselves to make it a great experience for them,” he says. “We had this big day where we took all the kids and their parents to the park. We had a cookout, a dance party, tag and soccer.”

He adds, “It was nice being the older brother on set.”

Wolfgang Novogratz
Netflix's Feel the Beat. netflix

It was something that came naturally to the star. He is the oldest of seven children to Robert and Cortney Novogratz, the husband-and-wife design powerhouse known as The Novogratz.

His youngest brother Major thought he might be too good at it.

“He’s 11, the same age as the girls on set,” Novogratz says. “When he visited, they were like, ‘Your brother’s here and you’re like our brother.’ He grabbed my shirt, and he said, ‘No man. You’re MY brother!’ He was so jealous.”

To build chemistry with Carson, the two would enjoy movie nights, including watching two of Novogratz’s favorites: Before Sunrise and Catch Me If You Can.

Later this summer, Novogratz will hit screens in the South by Southwest hit Yes, God, Yes, starring Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer and Veep’s Timothy Simons. Last year the film won Best Ensemble at the festival, and the release had been delayed due to the pandemic.

“It’s a really tender and humorous coming-of-age story about a teenage girl’s sexual exploration,” Novogratz explains.

He plays Chris, a devout Christian teen, whose life gets complicated when he falls for Dyer’s character.

“It deals with [sexuality] in a really sophisticated and mature but also fun way that we’ve seen in a lot of male films," he says. There haven’t been a ton showing the female perspective like this.”

With production shut down due to COVID-19, the young star is spending time with family, writing a script and looking forward to a bright future.

“I’ve been so lucky to this point,” he says. “But I’ve got a long way to go. I’ve got to keep working hard and growing.”

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