It's a Sin: Channel 4 release trailer starring Olly Alexander
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Chart-topping Years & Years singer Olly Alexander surprised some fans with his acting ability in the popular show It’s A Sin. The 31-year-old played Ritchie Tozer, a wannabe actor in the 1980s, whose world was turned upside down when the aids crisis hit London. Although he had a few acting credits under his belt, the star has revealed that he wasn’t particularly looking to focus on acting, but the role in the Russel T Davies show was far too good an opportunity to turn down.
It’s A Sin has been nominated for many awards, with Olly himself being nominated for the Leading Actor BAFTA award.
As a fan of Russel’s, 59, other work such as Queer as Folk, Cucumber and the similarly named show Years and Years, he couldn’t resist showing interest in the hard-hitting show.
Olly said: “I didn’t have a plan to return to acting, but as soon as I heard Russell was making this TV show I had to.
“And I had also just watched Years and Years, his TV show, and I loved it and I’ve always loved Russell’s stuff.”
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Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press at a recent BAFTA Television Session, Olly recounted when he first heard about the production.
The singer said: “So I got sent this email: Russell’s making this new TV show, it was called Boys at the time, but this is what it’s about and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect project to be involved with.
“So of course, I met Russell, and it all just kind of went from there.”
As eager as he was, he definitely felt the pressure and weight of the show and the story they were going to tell.
Olly added: “But I definitely was quite scared because I felt at times, ‘How do you expect me to do this Russell?’
“But it was so amazing. I met Russell before he’d finished writing the whole thing so he had me in mind in those final episodes, and I was just like, ‘Wow!'”
Years & Years have released three studio albums and countless live performances, but stepping into this new territory meant that Olly had to seize this opportunity in case a groundbreaking show such as this never presented itself again.
“I might never get a role like this in my entire [life],” he described.
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“You could wait your whole career to have a role that good. So I really wanted to do a good job.
“And that was all before I even met the rest of the guys. And then you meet everyone and you just go, “Oh wow, this feels really special. But yeah, it was definitely daunting.”
The show has been critically acclaimed and is proving to be just as popular internationally as more and more viewers tune in to binge the show.
Olly also proclaimed that it has been heartwarming to receive such lovely comments and feedback from fans.
He said: “I get so many messages still from people who are seeing it for the first time or rewatching it or it brought up a memory for them.”
Hearing from people who had both lived through it and younger viewers who had very little, he continued: “And there was such a breadth of reactions from people who were teenagers who had no idea that this had happened in the past. And they’re seeing a world they recognise on screen.
“It’s not that long ago and they’re going, ‘Wait, did this really happen? People really treated queer people like this?'”
He was joined by the majority of the leading cast and several of the creatives at the BAFTA event, who all shared similar stories of how amazing the writing and cast were and that they had all received similar messages from viewers who could relate to the show.
It’s A Sin is available on All4.
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