Heartstopper’s Joe Locke sends beautiful message to young queer fans

Actor Joe Locke wearing a pink suit jacket over a black shirt poses for a photo at the 2022 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards

Heartstopper star Joe Locke has opened up about telling queer stories and shared his advice for people in Charlie’s position.

Based on a graphic novel by Alice Oseman, Heartstopper follows the teenage romance between Charlie Spring (played by Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (played by Kit Connor).

Locke emphasised how thrilled he is to be representing queer love in an interview with GQ.

“I love how unapologetic the queer love is in Heartstopper,” he said. “The characters are never sorry about who they are, and they’re never ashamed to be themselves. It’s so empowering to see.”

“It’s just so great to be part of a show that will hopefully open doors for other people to feel more comfortable writing queer stories,” he continued. “I want younger queer audiences to know that it’s OK to celebrate who they are. Queerness is beautiful.”

To young fans who, like Charlie, are in love with somebody in the closet, Locke gave this advice: “Be supportive and patient. Everyone is on their own journey. It’s important for both people to really prioritise themselves while still creating a life together and finding comfort within each other.”

Joe Locke, 18, made his professional acting debut in Heartstopper – he is currently in his final year of studies at his high school on the Isle of Man.

He said that he immediately related to Charlie when he read the script.

“Charlie’s story is relatable for so many queer people,” Locke said. “The second I read the script, I saw Charlie as a more introverted version of me.”

Netflix is yet to announce a second season of Heartstopper, but Locke has his “fingers crossed”.

“There are three more graphic novels [in Oseman’s Heartstopper series],” he explained. “In the next graphic novel, Charlie struggles with his mental health and I’d love to explore that more. 

“I think a lot of mental health and eating disorder shows tackle mental health in a way that is hard-hitting and really dark, but I’d love to come at these issues from a lighter place.”

Already, Heartstopper has been declared “one of the most important queer TV shows in a generation”, captivating hearts. It even moved Gogglebox stars to tears.


“MY FACE ON GOGGLEBOX WTF,” Locke tweeted after the episode was aired.

“And about time, too,” responded the Netflix UK and Ireland Twitter account.


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