Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, Doctor Who) is back with a brilliant new drama that sees him work with Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander for the first time.
It’s A Sin follows a group of friends living in London who group up in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it unfolds throughout the 1980s.
The first character in the show that we get to meet is Ritchie Tozer, who leaves the family home on the Isle of Wight to move to the Big Smoke in search of fame and success.
Played by Olly Alexander, Ritchie’s story is one that many LGBTQ+ people watching the show can relate to. Leaving the family home for a new life of independence allows us to explore and embrace our true selves.
But despite moving to a big city and surrounding himself with LGBTQ+ friends and allies, Ritchie’s social and political views don’t always align with what we might expect from his character.
“When I read the script, that’s what really blew me away about Ritchie’s character,” Olly told us during the cover story for the latest issue of GAY TIMES Magazine. “I was so excited to try and get into his headspace.
“Ritchie makes a lot of questionable choices, you might say, watching the show. But playing him was so much fun because I really felt like I could understand where he was coming from.
“It’s really important to have a character that makes questionable choices. I really empathise with Ritchie going from a small town to London. That’s what I did.
“My biggest thing with Ritchie was he always just wanted to be the best, and he just wanted to never be afraid. He wanted to just be someone. He’s so ambitious, and I related to that straight away. And I thought, well, maybe if I’d grown up a little differently, and I didn’t have a liberal mum, maybe I would have been a bit more politically like Ritchie.
“So it was just fun to explore all of that. It’s quite funny because it’s so different to me.”
Olly added: “Russell actually apologised to me! He was like, ‘I’m sorry I’m going to have to make you say that line.’ I was like, ‘No, I love that. It’s going to make people question it.’ That’s the joy of the show and Russell’s writing.”
Olly Alexander is in conversation with his fellow It’s A Sin cast members Omari Douglas, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis and Callum Scott Howells, as well as show-runner Russell T Davies for the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine.
It’s A Sin will air on Channel 4 in January 2021.
Neil Patrick Harris, Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry, Tracy Ann Oberman, and Shaun Dooley Also star in the five-part series, which will air on HBO Max in the US.
The Winter 2020/21 Issue of GAY TIMES Magazine is available now in stores and on Apple News+.