“The double standard sends me to the brink”: Nicôle Lecky on sex work and shame on her show, Mood
The line between ‘exploitation versus liberation’ is, says Nicole Lecky, at the heart of her outstanding new BBC Three musical drama, Mood. Addressing issues related to “mental health, the sex industry and unemployment for young women”, it features Sasha (played by Lecky) – an ambitious twenty-something who dreams of becoming a singer. But kicked out of her family home in east London, dumped by her boyfriend and completely unconnected to the music business, not only does Sasha have no “entry into this life”, she faces an increasingly precarious existence – financially, emotionally and sometimes physically.
Soon, Sasha meets Carly (in a breakout performance by Lara Peake), an influencer who lives a glamorous, fuck-free lifestyle who shows Sasha that there is another path to financial stability and social media fame. : DailyFans (a fictionalized version of OnlyFans Online). Hesitant at first to follow in Carly’s footsteps, by the end of episode two, Sasha is on all fours in front of a webcam, streaming light-hearted S&M to a live audience.
“Sasha knows she doesn’t want to work at Wetherspoons,” Lecky said vogue, “but at the same time, she doesn’t really know how to become those people she wants to be on social media.” Lecky, 31, from east London, wanted to capture the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger generation, particularly in this time of low employment opportunities. “The work landscape has changed,” she adds, recalling the teenager she recently met whose dream was to become a football influencer, “but I don’t know if hotspots have I feel really bad for young people who think you can have it all but, in fact, it’s not really available to you.
The series began as a one-woman show, Superhoeat the Royal Court in 2019, which Lecky also wrote and starred in. And I know what you’re thinking, but that’s where the similarities to Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Flea bag to finish. For a, Mood is not a comedy. Yes, there are moments of humor (Sasha is spectacularly rude and Carly also really has a sense of words), but don’t expect any direct on-camera one-liners.
Breaking up the tense moments are Lecky’s original songs, which spice up the series and which she also performs (yes, it seems her talents know no bounds). “I grew up singing Mariah, but I was also totally obsessed with The Corrs,” she laughs at her eclectic taste in music, which is reflected in the show and spans rap, neo-soul, rock. and house. Take in a remarkable song-and-dance number that takes place at a job center in episode two. “I myself have been to the job center and I have been unemployed and I remember sitting there thinking it was this absolute misery. You kinda feel like shit and you assume that’s what people think of you, so I wanted to create this ska, reggae song that’s really a commentary on how you might feel as someone who is working class or what you think people may think. I guess that’s me saying there’s all kinds of reasons why people are there and there’s also joy to be found.