Teen LGBTQ+ romance Heartstopper is charming the pants off us with its portrayal of the tentative love story between nerdy schoolboy Charlie and his rugby-playing classmate Nick as they negotiate the minefield of bullying, gossip and the social media rumour mill.
Stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor tell Metro about the show.
Were you fans of Alice Oseman’s original stories?
Joe: ‘I had a friend who’d read them all but I hadn’t. And then this came up and I read them and I thought “why haven’t I read these before?” I fell in love with them instantly.’
Are you at all like the characters you play?
Joe: ‘Well, I was nerdy at school like Charlie…’
Kit: ‘It was easy to relate to the things Nick goes through. Finding out who you are and trying to make a new friend… I can see myself in so many of Nick’s experiences.’
Heartstopper is a very romantic story. Holding hands and a quick kiss is as hot as it gets. It’s an interesting contrast to, say, It’s A Sin.
Kit: ‘Queer stories never had the chance to really tell these old-fashioned romantic stories. It’s A Sin is important but it’s also important that we have queer stories that show love –queer representation never really got that. There are a lot of stories with darker themes, but I think it’s beautiful that you can show a young demographic that there are other stories to be told.’
The chemistry between Charlie and Nick is key to the story. Did you bond instantly?
Joe: ‘I’d never done a chemistry read before, all this was completely new to me. I had a really long audition process. We did the chemistry read on Zoom and it must have worked!’
The secret is out now – but how much of a treat was it having Olivia Colman on set? Kit, she plays your mum!
Kit: ‘I know! I had two days on set with Olivia and it was so great acting with her, you learn such a lot. And she’s such a lovely, funny person too.’
The show is called Heartstopper. What makes your own heart stop?
Joe: ‘I’d say when it’s a cold and windy day outside and you’re nice and safe and warm inside, looking out. That does it for me.’
Kit: ‘Ooh that’s interesting, no one’s asked that. I’d have to say, well I guess it’s pretty lame, but it’s being with my dogs. Yes, being with the dogs.’
Heartstopper is on Netflix now.