Olly Alexander often burst into tears during the filming of the

It's A Sin series

about the AIDS epidemic in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

The actor and Years & Years singer tells in conversation with NU.nl that the recording of the scenes of the last episode in particular caused a downpour of tears.

According to Alexander, letting go of his emotions was the only way to get through the recordings.

"There were a lot of tears, especially when filming the last episode with Keeley (Hawes) and Shaun (Dooley), who play my parents on the series.

In the five-part series written by screenwriter Russell T. Davies, Alexander plays Richie Tozer, a young gay boy who moves to London in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic begins to spread in the LGBTI community.

"This story will always be heartbreaking, but it really feels like a privilege to tell it. Russell wrote the characters so well. He really wanted people to miss them once the show was done."


Olly from Years & Years on the challenges of TikTok


It's A Sin

has opened many eyes'

After I

t's A Sin

broke online viewing figures for the British channel Channel 4, it was shown in large parts of the world, including in the Netherlands on NPO Plus via the VPRO.

“It has opened many eyes to a situation in history that many knew nothing about.

So much of it happened in silence and was swept under the rug. ”

Alexander does have an explanation for the success of the series.

"I think people were really sucked in by the emotional journey the characters take. It opened a lot of eyes to a situation in history that many knew nothing about," Alexander said of the crisis in which many gay men lost their lives.

"So much of it happened in silence and was swept under the rug. The story is now being heard by many for the first time and experienced as shocking."

It's A Sin's


on Years & Years and vice versa

Although the viewer constantly experiences the threat of AIDS throughout the series, the music and nightlife of the time is also celebrated.

Alexander was

therefore inspired by music from the eighties

for the Years & Years album to be released later this year, of which the first single

Starstruck was

released on



See also: Years & Years singer wants to bring back the atmosphere of the eighties dance floor

Conversely, his career as a pop star also influenced his acting as Richie.

"When I started recording, I had just had years of touring with the band. The confidence I gained from that certainly helped me playing the part."

The question remains whether Alexander will soon be seen as an actor in a series again.

"Above all, I really want to do my own thing. If something comes my way, I would certainly take it, but above all I think that one day I just have to make my own series."


Watch the It's A Sin trailer