10th February 2023
Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Photo Credit: Philip Sharp
With the return of Netflix's YOU back on our screens we got to chat to the lovely Niccy Lin who plays Sophie in the thriller gripping show.
We chat to Lin about her role, working with Pen Badgley and she tells us an embarrassing moment she had on set.
Hi Niccy. Thanks for talking to ReVamp. We are so excited to have you here! How’s 2023 been so far?
Firstly, I'm truly honored to be interviewed by such a badass magazine. I literally rolled from 2022 into 2023 as I roll out of bed, with little to no elegance whatsoever. I'm naturally in a consistent state of perpetual panic for no apparent reason. I always say I would have been better off as some form of the gerbil, (sleeping 11 out of 12 hours, then spending 1 hour on a wheel) than being human. But, if I wasn't running around hustling I'd probably expire on the spot. The one thing I have thoroughly enjoyed so far is watching the UK abbreviate sentences to a comical degree. My favorite thing to say at the moment is I'm on the verge of a Menty B (mental breakdown). But, on a more serious note, I do also realize how privileged I am to have 4 jobs at all, I enjoy hard work.
You’re starring in the new season of YOU playing the role of Sophie. What can you tell us about her?
Sophie's character is conflicting. She's essentially every elitist, drama queen's joy, and every genuine, working-class hero's tragedy. The surface-level part of her is for lack of better words a complete knob. But, I'll give her this, she's a knob with a calculating mind. An analogy I've attempted (apologies if it's rubbish) is that she would embody the serpent tempting Adam and Eve to ruin their lives with a juicy apple. Then proceed to tell them how ineffably out of fashion their fig leaf loincloths are (despite her prior knowledge that there had been an interest and surge in demand for fig leaf loin clothes but no supplier). In exchange for the "life-changing" apple, she would create a business of luxurious fig leaf loincloths under the condition their involvement in the business ends with their payment of the apple. She'd then use her platform to market those exact fig leaves for an extortionate price, make a killing, and leave Adam and Eve to wither away like wilted spinach. However, she is also someone who has a depth of feeling and unconditional loyalty to her brother Simon. She is not kind by any means but where it matters to her, she does care.
Did you know about YOU before you got the role? Also, how did you prepare yourself for this role?
I had heard of the series but, I had not watched the series before! [laughs]. When I initially began the audition process I was not told what the project was and truth be told I think that works better for me. It was only till I got to my third round of self-tape auditions I was like oh ok we now know it's the series YOU and I should probably watch it as background research to gain some clarity on what the vibe is. Cut to season 1 episode 1 there's a character masturbating in front of a very unconcealed window and I was screaming like, "say no more if this is the continuous level of drama we are gonna be seeing let's goooooo" [laughs].
Preparing for the role was difficult but also natural. I'm mixed, and, one side of my family is actually what I would class as being very "well to do." I grew up with one half of me being incredibly privileged and the other half not so. I'm aware of the opportunities I was given. From childhood, I was exposed to a lifestyle very in keeping with the group Joe falls in with, the only difference being, my family is truly wonderful people. I drew on personal experiences and then played into the confidence that comes with wealth and privilege. I believe money changes people. And, more often than not, it's not for the better. There's a habitual ignorance in only knowing a life of riches. But, to understand the character's motivation it was necessary to believe in the stereotypes that the upper classes are and dissociate from people considered to be beneath that level of wealth. Then I'd learn my lines, get into costume, and hope for the best.
Have you got any funny behind-the-scenes stories that happened on set?
Sadly for your readers I do and like all my best stories the subject matter usually revolves around a toilet incident. We were on set and I needed to go but the honey wagon was far and it was freezing so Lukas Gage one of my beloved fellow actors playing Adam told me that I could use his trailer whenever I needed as it was right next to the green room. Most of the cast was busy on set so I crept into his trailer ready to drop absolute bombs. I did. And then the toilet wouldn't flush. I began panicking that Lukas was going to come back to a big old number 2 in his toilet bowl. I came out and caught the eye of Poppy my now dear friend and a runner on set. She signaled it was fine as I wasn't in the shot but I drew a line across my throat and waved at her to come to me and tried my best to sign that there was a poo incident. She collapsed in a heap of laughter I believe at the back of a wide shot and then crawled over to me and explained simply that the trailer was not plugged in. No electricity therefore no flush. We were crying together and she reassuringly told me someone would handle it. I was mortified as I don't believe anyone should handle my poo. I walked back into the green room tense as hell and waited a while. Then an SA came into the room and paranoia set in me immediately asked her where she'd just come from and she said "oh just went to the trailer to use the bathroom, someone took a massive poo in there" I was unable to contain the rising stress just belted out "OMG IT WAS ME OK!" Disgustingly hilarious.
Going off topic… you are a tattoo artist. What got you into becoming a tattoo artist? Also, are any designs that you loved doing?
My first degree was in illustration, despite my always wanting to act. But, at the time my family thought art was better and I didn't argue with them. I started at Central Saint Martins and then transferred to Camberwell for my course and, I think my drawing style suited tattoos. People would often ask me if I'd considered that career path. After finishing my degree I was set that if I didn't try my hand at acting I'd regret it. So I did. But I wasn't ignorant to the fact that making it in this industry is near to impossible so I decided that I wanted to try to make it at two careers in things I loved. I applied to a tattoo studio called Velvet Underground which is London's first-ever female-run and staffed studio. I sent an e-mail, and my now boss Roxy saw in my bio it said "you'll find me marinating in black coffee," as a fellow black coffee lover she interviewed me and went through my portfolio. Gave me my apprenticeship where I have been trained as no one could believe and it has consequently changed my life. I've now moved up to being a junior artist and being a part of what this talented group of women does on a daily basis is nothing short of spectacular. Every tattoo I've done has been an experience. I love people and I love making people happy. I've done many people's first tattoos and it's a privilege to know they have trusted me with something as important as their skin. A big favorite of mine is a hand holding a three-headed snake on my customer Busra's neck/ shoulder extending all the way down her arm.
Lastly, have you got any more exciting projects for the rest of the year?
Currently I don't have anything lined up. In between filming I went straight back into my 3 other jobs and that's essentially what I'm still doing. Actings tough but if it weren't a challenge I don't think it would feel nearly as victorious as when I do manage to land a job. I have an agent believes the shit out of me, and I firmly believe that if it's supposed to happen it will. And, if it doesn't well I'm having a cracking ass time chasing what I love anyway.
YOU is split in to two parts this season. Part 1 is out now and Part 2 is out on 9th March only streaming on Netflix.