Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Olly Alexander says he had ‘hysterical breakdown’ over It’s A Sin sex scenes

Olly Alexander (Ian West/PA)
Olly Alexander (Ian West/PA)

Olly Alexander has said he had “a bit of a hysterical breakdown” while filming sex scenes for It’s A Sin.

The Years & Years frontman plays the ebullient Ritchie Tozer in the hit Channel 4 drama about the Aids crisis.

He told GQ Hype it was a “revelation” to be part of a cast of predominantly gay actors in the series, created by Russell T Davies, adding: “I’ve never been on a set with so many queer people. I’ve never even worked with a gay director, so it was a completely new experience.

Olly Alexander (Hugo Yanguela/GQ/PA)

“We understood these characters (with a) kind of shorthand that gay people understand.”

However, Alexander said he found the sex scenes a stressful experience.

“I had a bit of a hysterical breakdown. I was really worried I couldn’t do it. I just didn’t feel safe,” he said.

“So I would sing before the takes, be a little bit of Olly on stage.

“That was my way of tricking my brain and thinking it was a character. Which, of course, it was.”

TRNSMT festival
Olly Alexander on stage with Years & Years (Lesley Martin/PA)

Alexander, 30, said he is learning how to navigate his insecurities, adding: “I have this – I think irrational – anxiety about gay men tearing me down.

“And I tried to interrogate that within myself and I think it’s complicated, because a lot of it has to do with internalised phobias and shame, about how I see myself versus how other people see me.

“What I do know is that I want them to not hate me. And I want to make the community proud. It’s been at the heart of pretty much every decision I’ve ever made. And I don’t know if I’ve always got it right.”

He also discussed his experiences of playing with his band Years & Years, saying: “When we’re playing a pop music festival, I’m looking at the other acts in the line-up and there aren’t that many gay people on them.

“You see how quickly your show isn’t family-friendly anymore because I want to take my top off and I’m like ‘Well, I just watched Jason Derulo and Liam Payne take their tops off and have all these women in underwear, but now I’m not allowed?’ What do you do with that?”

Olly Alexander (Hugo Yanguela/GQ/PA)

– The full interview is online at GQ Hype.

Already a subscriber? Sign in