Russell Tovey praised the Channel 4 drama, It’s A Sin, as ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘amazing’ as he confirmed he is working with the show’s actor, Omari Douglas on an out-of-this-world play.
The actor, 39, appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday to promote his podcast, Talk Art, and during the discussion, he applauded the series which follows a group of gay men and their friends during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
He also called It’s A Sin creator, Russell T Davies, a ‘genius’ after he revealed he is with Omari, 27, (Roscoe Babatunde) in a new drama about a couple in an alternate universe.
‘It is groundbreaking’: Russell Tovey praised It’s A Sin as ‘amazing’ during his appearance on GMB on Thursday as he confirmed he is working with the show’s actor, Omari Douglas on a new play
Russell said: ‘Constellations is a play about a couple in alternate universe, my couple is with Omari Douglas who was in It’s A Sin as Roscoe, he is a firecracker.’
Host Susanna Reid, 50, asked the star: ‘How important was It’s A Sin?’
The Being Human actor, who is engaged to his long-term boyfriend Steve Brockman, responded: ‘Ground-breaking, amazing TV, tragic.’
GMB presenter Ben Shephard, 46, noted that Russell had previously worked with It’s A Sin creator Russell T, 58, for the Manchester-based drama Years and Years.
Inspiring: The actor, 39, applauded the series which follows a group of gay men and their friends during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s
Co-star: While promoting his podcast, Talk Art, he revealed he is working with Omari, 27, (Roscoe Babatunde) on a new drama about a couple in an alternate universe
Russell added: ‘Yes he’s a genius, what Russell does. I think it’s great to have that British story because we’ve had the American AIDS story a lot with the Angels of America, The Normal Heart.
‘But we’ve never really had a proper one that encapsulated the story for the UK and now we’ve got that.’
Olly Alexander, who took on the lead role Ritchie Tozer in It’s A Sin, spoke candidly about his experience filming the hit show with GQ Hype Magazine earlier this year.
He gushed that it was a ‘revelation’ to star in the drama alongside so many other queer actors.
Impressed: Russell said: ‘Constellations is a play about a couple in alternate universe, my couple is with Omari Douglas who was in It’s A Sin as Roscoe, he is a firecracker’
Credit where credit is due: He also called It’s A Sin creator Russell T Davies (pictured in 2019) a ‘genius’ for ‘encapsulating’ a story about the AIDS crisis in the UK
But looking back at the pressure of doing the intimate scenes, he said: ‘I had a bit of a hysterical breakdown. I was really worried I couldn’t do it. I just didn’t feel safe.’
He explained that Ita O’Brien, the show’s intimacy co-ordinator, helped him with his fears by telling him to bring whatever made him feel comfortable on stage with his band onto the set.
‘So I would sing before the takes, be a little bit of Olly on stage’, he said. ‘That was my way of tricking my brain and thinking it was a character. Which, of course, it was.’
Russell T, the writer and producer behind Queer As Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and Cucumber, loosely based It’s A Sin on his own experiences in the eighties.
Experience: Olly Alexander, who took on the lead role Ritchie Tozer in It’s A Sin, spoke candidly about his experience filming the hit show with GQ Hype Magazine earlier this year
Gushing about his fellow cast mates, Olly went on: ‘It was a revelation. 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. We understood these characters [with a] kind of shorthand that gay people understand.’
Of depicting the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the show so candidly, he added: ‘It’s an issue that is deeply surrounded by stigma and there’s a lot of trauma there and a lot of fear. I know, personally, it was an area that I was scared to really engage with.’
Olly also spoke about his own life, detailing how he suffers from insecurities and an ‘irrational anxiety’ over being rejected by gay men.
He emotionally explained to the publication: ‘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.’
Challenges: He gushed that it was a ‘revelation’ to star in the drama alongside so many other queer actors but said the pressure of doing intimate scenes caused a ‘hysterical breakdown’