It's a Sin's Russell T Davies on creating a "safe space" for gay actors

Rianne Houghton
·2-min read
Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

From Digital Spy

Russell T Davies has opened up about creating a "safe space" for gay actors on his brand new Channel 4 drama, It's a Sin.

It's a Sin, which will premiere later this week, is Davies' take on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and will tell the story of three friends who move to London as the HIV/AIDS epidemic unfolds.

Davies has previously spoken out about the importance of "authenticity" on shows about the LGBTQ+ community, and now the long-time writer has expanded on his comments, saying that his decision to cast gay actors in gay roles on It's a Sin created "a genuine vibe".

Appearing on yesterday's (January 18) The One Show, Russell compared his latest project with the '90s series Queer as Folk, which starred three straight actors – Aidan Gillen, Craig Kelly and Charlie Hunnam – as gay characters.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

Related: It's a Sin's Russell T Davies opens-up on importance of casting gay actors in gay roles

"Well it's a thing that changes," he told Alex Jones. "I think those three boys in Queer as Folk were the bravest actors in the land. Very few people would've stood forward and played a part then.

"It's simply that 23 years have passed since we cast them. I'm not changing my mind. You develop over 23 years, and now I'm just one programme maker amongst hundreds – hundreds of others can do whatever they want. I'm not in charge."

Explaining his decision to cast the likes of Olly Alexander, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry, Russell continued: "But for my one programme, for these five hours, I wanted to create a safe space where gay actors could voluntarily come in and be themselves.

Photo credit: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo credit: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

Related: It's a Sin creator Russell T Davies "could have written 100 episodes" about the show's powerful story

"I think it's created a genuine vibe, for want of a better word. I think there's an energy that rises off the screen and a truth, and I'm very, very happy with the end result."

It's A Sin will premiere on Friday, January 22 on Channel 4. The One Show airs weekdays on BBC One.

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