Lydia West has recalled the hardest scene she had to film for It’s A Sin and admits she was so overcome with emotion, she broke down in tears and had to phone her mum.
The actress is best known for starring in BBC series Years and Years and playing the role of Jill Baxter in Russell T Davies’ latest series on Channel 4 that follows a group of friends whose lives are turned upside down by the HIV/Aids crisis in the 1980s.
Lydia’s character Jill is based on Russell’s real-life friend Jill Nalder, who actually makes a cameo in the series as her mum Christine Baxter.
Fans watch as Jill is left heartbroken in the five-part series after losing many of her friends to Aids, with Lydia recalling one bedside scene that prompted her to break down in tears during filming.
Speaking on the Make It Reign podcast, Lydia said: ‘The hardest film was the scene at Colin’s bedside, where Colin (played by Callum Scott Howells) is in his last days.’
She explained: ‘Just a wave of emotion came over me. I said to Nathaniel (who plays Ash Mukherjee), who’s sitting next to me, “I really need to call my mum, I’m not okay.” I just broke down and everything just came out.
‘I went into a little room and I sat there for 15 minutes. I called my mum, but she didn’t pick up, so I had a cup of tea, some chocolate and then I just cried.’
Lydia continued: ‘It was because we were on the Aids ward for three weeks and it was the final week. It was modelled off one of the London hospital’s Aids wards – there were locks in the doors – you feel like you’re there and you just can’t help but sympathise and empathise with all of these poor people that dealt with this.’
During filming, Lydia was often joined by Russell’s friend Jill, as she was part of the cast and she says meeting the inspiration behind her character was ‘everything that she hoped it would be’.
Speaking to Graham Norton, Lydia previously revealed: ‘[Davies] sent me a message saying the show was very loosely based about his life and his friends’ lives, and that the real Jill was playing my mother.
‘He said, “I don’t want you to do anything differently, or analyse her or try and mimic it in any way. Then I met her at the read-through and she was just everything that I hoped she would be. She’s absolutely gorgeous and stunning.’
It’s A Sin premiered last month on Channel 4 and broke records on its release.
Channel 4 has said It’s A Sin is its ‘most-binged new series ever’, with the first episode of the series becoming All 4’s most popular drama launch on record.
It gave the network its best ever monthly viewing figures, with 91% more views in January 2021 compared to the previous year.
It’s A Sin and its creator Russell have been praised for depicting the effects of HIV/Aids on young men at the time and highlighting the stigma and misconceptions around the virus.
It left viewers in tears, with many commending the show for showing what life was really like for gay men in the 1980s.
Credit: Original article published here.