Out Actor Nathaniel Curtis Has Separation Anxiety from Not Seeing His 'It's a Sin' Mates

Sunday March 7, 2021
Originally published on February 27, 2021

Actor Nathaniel Curtis is experiencing separation anxiety from his cast members of HBO Max's lauded mini-series "It's a Sin."

Curtis plays Ash Mukherjee in Russell T. Davies' drama that follows the lives of young Londoners living through the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s. On Friday, February 26, he shared a sweet post on Instagram about missing his fellow residents of the Pink Palace — the spacious Soho flat he shared with co-stars Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells and Lydia West, who are seen in the pic.

In the post, he wrote "Feel like pure sh*t just want her back."

"Nathaniel shared a snap of the cast that appeared to have been taken during filming for the last scene of the series, which showed Olly's character Ritchie Tozer performing a monologue for his pals," reported the Daily Mail.

Curtis's character came into his own during that final episode when he finally expressed his feelings towards Richie (Olly Alexander), sick in hospital with AIDS-related complications.

Earlier in the series Curtis's character Ash is asked by a supervisor to degay the content of the library where he works under Margaret Thatcher's controversial Section 28 law, which forbade "promotion of homosexuality" by local authorities. It was on the books in Great Britain from 1988 through 2003. In his extended monologue, he explains to his Pink Palace roommates how he told the supervisor off, saying that he finds no trace of homosexuality in the library's content. As it turns out, his speech is what he wishes he would have said.

"There was no mention of gay people in my school. There was no inclusivity," he says. "Learning about HIV and Aids has been a part of my self-discovery as a gay man over the past five years. That whole area is very confusing and very fraught for gay people — we've inherited this massive trauma that's still impacting people's lives today and will do in the future. I was very scared of even delving into the history."

"I wasn't really taught about the AIDS pandemic at school. I definitely didn't really learn much about Section 28," Curtis explained in an interview with Digital Spy. "I was a child who spent all of my time in the library. So actually being in that school library, just filming that fantastic but really quite tough scene... I was at home in there, but then obviously there was this new material, which I'd only really come to grips with once I started doing research for the role."

He also addressed his character's acknowledgement that his speech was what he wished he would have said. "That anti-climax, it turns it from being really funny and really powerful to incredibly sad, not being able to have a voice when that's all you want."

In an earlier interview with Digital Spy, he discussed his approach to the story. "What's interesting about the show for me is: it's not an AIDS drama. It's a story about a group of friends who love each other so ferociously.

"They're just trying to get by in life. They're trying to find themselves. They're trying to discover who they are. But then they have this awful battle. This horrible disease sweeps in, and they're just trying to figure out how to just be young, in your 20s, in London, and living the best years of your life."

The out actor addressed the mystery of his character, who feels largely behind-the-scenes as the narrative focuses on his roommates. "You don't learn an awful lot about Ash. He doesn't talk about his family, and any time he's actually asked about his family, he just shuts down. So I think that for myself...I mean, I'm half-Indian. My mother is English, my father is Indian. So I know the culture. And I also know that there are times when the culture is very unforgiving towards LGBTQ+ people."

Asked what he hoped 2021 audiences would take away from "It's a Sin," Curtis said, "Resilience. The resilience of young people who know what they're fighting for. And I hope that... I heard Russell mention this beautifully — he just hopes that you miss them. And I think that's a really lovely way to put it. I would love for people to walk away and think, 'I recognise that friendship. I recognise this trait in that character.'

"I mean, we're going through a very interesting time at the moment, but the differences are so stark. It's not just about the AIDS crisis in the '80s. It's about a group of people who fight. You talk about the AIDS crisis sometimes with almost a hushed voice. But I think being able to turn around and say, "They were brave. They fought. They loved. They tried." — I would really like that."

Check out these pics from Curtis' Instagram: