It’s A Sin is one of the most important shows on TV right now. The show explores gay culture and friendships, highlighting the often-ignored impact of the AIDS outbreak on the UK’s LGBTQ+ community. As you’re falling in love with the characters on-screen, you’re probably wondering who plays Ritchie on It’s A Sin. Ollie Alexander is an LGBT+ icon IRL, too, making major waves in both TV and the music industry.
The new HBO Max drama, which premiered on Feb. 18, takes place in the UK in the 1980s as a close-knit group of LGBTQ+ Londoners navigate the city’s gay scene and deal with the early days of the HIV and AIDS crisis. At the heart of It’s A Sin is Ritchie, a young gay man who has just moved to London from a small town to pursue his acting dreams and openly explore his sexuality. But as the AIDS epidemic hits the city, his new life and friendships are threatened in heartbreaking ways.
Although It’s A Sin is Alexander’s first major acting role, he’s no stranger to the spotlight. The 30-year-old has been the lead singer of the British pop band Years and Years since 2012, with their 2015 debut album Communion topping the UK Albums Chart upon its release.
Throughout his career, Alexander has also been open about advocating for the LGBTQ+ community as a gay musician. "It was important for me to get some male pronouns in some of the songs [on Communion]," he told Digital Spy in a 2015 interview. "It is kind of sad to me that we don’t have gay pop stars singing about men using a male pronoun, but that could change hopefully."
Alexander has also been building his acting resumé for over a decade. He first appeared in the 2008 movie Summerhill and had a guest role on the final season of Skins as a stalker named Jakob. He later portrayed a vampire in the hit horror show Penny Dreadful and appeared alongside Sam Claflin and Max Irons in the 2014 thriller The Riot Club.
IRL, Alexander also advocates for LGBTQ+ communities by publicly promoting campaigns around HIV screening awareness, anti-LGBT bullying initiatives, and more. And he regularly updates his Insta with glam selfies, photoshoot pics, and BTS content that would definitely make Ritchie proud.
It’s a Sin is streaming now on HBO Max.
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