entertainment

Olly Alexander wants next acting role to be an 'erotic superhero'

"Basically, for me to be interested in a role, it would have to be [someone] sexy with magic powers."

2022-01-21

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Hugo Yanguela for NME

Forget the rumours of Olly Alexander becoming the next Doctor Who, he wants to play an "erotic superhero" and we're much more interested in what that means!

The Years and Years frontman's first album as a solo project, Night Call, is out today (Friday 21 January), and to mark the occasion he's sat down with NME to discuss everything from the band's split, complaints of being "too sexy" and subverting queer stereotypes. 

Olly has also made a name for himself as an actor, particularly with his role as Ritchie Tozer in the acclaimed series, It's a Sin.

"I basically want to play some kind of erotic superhero"

On what acting roles he'd like to inhabit in the future, Olly tells NME, "There's a lot of good stuff that gets made, but good stuff that gets made with gay characters that I could possibly play? Not so much."

"Basically, for me to be interested in a role, it would have to be [someone] sexy with magic powers. I basically want to play some kind of erotic superhero," he continues. 

It's an interesting character type to have in mind and not one that brings many existing characters to mind. Still, we'd be interested to see where Olly takes this...

Olly recently made headlines after it emerged that his performance on the BBC's New Year's Eve special, The Big New Year’s Eve Party, attracted 179 complaints because it was "too sexy"

At the time his response was typically tongue-in-cheek with Olly saying he is "gonna aim for 200 next time".

Asked about the reaction his performance got he replies, "If I've pissed off some homophobes, I feel like I've done a good job." But he does recognise his role as a public representative for the Queer community.

"I feel very lucky and amazing to be a pop star, and I want to do the [LGBTQ+] community proud – I do have that in my head at all times and I do want to like, not fuck things up. So if I can try and push things forward at all, I will do that," he says.

On being openly queer and subverting stereotypes people have of the LGBTQ community Olly explains that, "When I put a song out, I have no idea how it's going to be taken – and sometimes I can be surprised.

"People commenting on how you have sex is quite surreal, I suppose, but I've made my peace with it now."

He adds that initially in his musical career, he was "really quite scared" about putting the word 'boy' in a song saying he felt there was "quite a lot of jeopardy there."

However, things have changed since then as highlighted, he points out, by his single, 'Crave'. 

"I thought there was something really empowering about going to this potentially really humiliating place and asking for someone to hurt you," he tells NME. "I'm deliberately playing on the kink and [its] dom-submissive dynamics. It just amuses me." 

Addressing the split from his former bandmembers Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen, Olly echoes expands on previous comments that they "grew apart musically"

“We could never really agree on what we liked in the music and what direction we wanted to go in, so that made the songwriting process difficult," he reveals. "It was never lyrics; they would never touch lyrics.

"It was just, like, general direction: how ‘poppy’ something was gonna be. Pop was, like, a dirty world, which is a little crazy."

He goes on to say, "Arguments over music can really help you make something good, and I think it did with us. Like, I really love all the music we made, but it always came with its own complications."

The Attitude February issue is out now. Get your copy here