When Lucinda Strafford strolled into Love Island Australia's 'Movie Night', she thought she was in the clear. Looking at the screen, she didn't see her or Zac Nunns' name on any of the movie titles. "I literally looked at the list and thought, oh, this is going to be such a fun night, there's literally going to be nothing to do with me and Zac," Strafford tells Refinery29 Australia. As viewers have since seen, this was not the case.
Movie night has been easily one of the biggest bombshells to rock the villa this season (apart from Tyra and Kale's hard launch). The night saw a bunch of short films shown that depicted footage of the Islanders in the house, especially events that they'd rather their partners not see. "Most of them had to do with the fact that Zac [had] done something behind my back," Stafford shares. "Honestly, I ended that night not in the way that I thought I started it."
Nunns and Trent Woolman have been two of the most controversial figures in this season of Love Island Australia, and that was a theme that certainly continued through tonight's episode. During movie night, Lucinda finally sees a moment unfold that we as viewers have been talking about since week one and it's safe to say, she wasn't happy. Specifically, Lucinda sees footage that shows Zac lying about Nate not being interested in her in order to win her affection, to which she replied, "You got our first kiss by fucking lying".
Strafford explains that if she knew the truth about Nate's interest, things might have played out slightly differently. "If I knew that he was lying, I definitely wouldn't have kissed [Zac], for starters, but also I would have gone and spoken to Nate and actually, like, heard him out, you know?" she says. "I didn't think Zac would lie about that sort of thing, so I was like, Zac's true. Zac's not lying. But actually, looking at movie night, I felt sorry for Nate."
But one of the biggest shocks of the night came when footage was aired that showed Nunns saying that Stafford "needed training" and that she needed to be taken to "puppy school", implying she was a dog. In retaliation, she said that Nunns was "punching" with her. "Any girl should always feel that a boy should be lucky to have them," she justifies. "He was not acting like he's lucky to have me." Strafford accuses Nunns of "gaslighting" her, with some of the other Islanders agreeing. For Strafford, standing up for herself doesn't come naturally for her. "It was such a hard thing to do. But you know what? I was that angry and felt so betrayed that I didn't even care."
"I think a lot of the viewers aren't liking Zac and Trent at the moment...
It's schoolboy behaviour."
It's one of many moments aired during the season that has had viewers concerned about toxic masculinity — something that Strafford is acutely aware of. "I think a lot of the viewers aren't liking Zac and Trent at the moment," she admits. "It's schoolboy behaviour... I just feel like they weren't really taking things seriously and [were] lying to get their own way."
"I guess it was kind of bad on movie night and everyone did agree with me because Zac couldn't get out of that. I actually think he tried to defend himself slightly at the start."
But despite viewers' concerns, Strafford maintains that Nunns' portrayal on the show doesn't match up to him in real life. "He is the most kind, caring person. It's just so funny how someone can maybe be painted like that," she says.
Strafford admits that it was "very, very frustrating" to hear some of the things he had said, but she maintains that it was because he simply likes being funny. "Zac says to me all the time that his favourite thing to do is to make people laugh and sometimes I feel like he just wants to be the loudest person in the room," Strafford says. "But it actually offends other people. We had many arguments in the villa about those sorts of comments... I was like, I don't like them. He did say he changed, but I think after movie night... I was just so upset and hurt by the whole situation."
When asked about his behaviour that we have seen on screen, Strafford says that he's just misunderstood. "It's funny seeing the way Zac is when I'm not there, like when he's with the boys," she says. "But I know Zac well enough as well — he doesn't have bad intentions or anything. I feel like he's a very Marmite character — you either love him or you hate him. And I feel like a lot of people aren't his biggest fan at the moment, but he's actually not a bad person."
It's been widely speculated that Strafford and Nunns are still together now (especially given they've been one of the strongest couples in the villa up until now), and her positive outlook on him potentially shows that they've moved past the movie night incident.
"It has been very, very eye-opening."
In some ways, Lucinda is going through her own very prolonged version of movie night as she watches Nunns' behaviour unfold on the screen with the rest of Australia. She says it's been very eye-opening — but not for the reasons you might think.
"It has been very, very eye-opening. Not so much for Zac, because to be honest, I think I saw everything on movie night with Zac that I would actually care about," Strafford says. "But with other Islanders, that maybe I thought I got along really well with, it's just interesting." Stafford mentions the 'Honest Islander Reviews' from the official Love Island Australia Instagram account does on their Instagram — a series where dumped Islanders tell everyone what they really think of the rest of the cast — and says there was one review that made her particularly upset.
"I thought I got along really well with Aiden... I talked to him all the time in there. And then I saw his Honest Islander Review about me and he was literally, like, slandering me. I was like, oh, I didn't actually think you thought that about me." In the review, the dumped Islander accused Lucinda of lying and having a hidden agenda to stay in the villa for longer.
Just as we thought things were all smooth sailing, movie night has gone ahead and rocked the villa. We'll see all the fallout on Monday night — and whether the couple will last as time goes on.
You can catch new episodes of Love Island Australia at 6pm Monday to Thursday on 9Now.