Kit Connor shirtless gym photos renew calls to cast Heartstopper star as Marvel’s Hulkling
Kit Connor has sent the internet into a frenzy after gym photos of the Heartstopper star were shared online, with fans calling for the 19-year-old actor to be cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Hulkling.
Fans were left agog after shirtless pictures of the rising star, who plays bisexual student Nick Nelson on the hit Netflix series Heartstopper, were shared to Instagram by fitness trainer Nathaniel Massiah on Sunday (26 March).
Connor’s bulked-up frame was revealed alongside the release of a 25-minute video on Massiah’s YouTube channel entitled ‘Training Movie Star KIT CONNOR For His Next Film’.
The workout footage sees Connor reveal that he decided to hit the gym soon after landing the role of Heartstopper‘s teen rugby player Nick, who first appeared in Alice Oseman’s original graphic novel series.
“The reason I got into the gym was kind of deep to be honest”, Connor tells Massiah, who has more than 168,000 subscribers on YouTube. “When I got cast in Heartstopper, it’s based on a comic book and the character that I’m based on is like, 6’2″, very big, and I was like, shorter than I am now and skinnier.
“When it got announced, there were some people on the internet going like “He’s a bit too skinny to play him.”
Connors adds: “I saw that and was like “Sh*t”.”
With most fans accustomed to seeing Connor in a rather more wholesome light on Heartstopper, social media users wasted no time unleashing a tidal wave of thirsty comments and reactions on Twitter.
“kit is so hot its taking me a lot to have some decorum”, comment one user, while another added: “In hunky bi men we trust!!”
One internet wordsmith write: “Omfg I’m actually going feral and slobbering he looks SO HOT”.
Connor’s unexpected gym photos also saw Heartstopper fans renew calls for Marvel bosses to cast the actor in the MCU – specifically as Hulkling, who appears in the comics as a member of the Young Avengers.
Calls for Connor to play the role have been developing online ever since it was reported that his Heartstopper co-star Joe Locke, who plays his onscreen boyfriend Charlie Spring, would be joining the MCU in Wandavision spin-off Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
Rumours have abounded that Locke is set to take on the role of Billy Kaplan aka Wiccan, one of the sons of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).
Given that Wiccan has famously been in one of Marvel Comics’ most high-profile same-sex relationships with – you guessed it, Hulkling – it’s easy to see why fans are praying for a Heartstopper/MCU cross-over of epic proportions.
“Not beating the Hulkling allegations”, wrote one user on Twitter in response to Connor’s gym photos.
“Now paint him green and give him wings”, said another, referencing Hulkling’s signature look.
One thing’s for sure, Connor’s presence in the MCU would, along with Locke, add some much-needed LGBTQ+ representation in the blockbuster superhero franchise.
Connor himself came out publicly as bisexual in October 2022 following speculation he was dating A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow star Maia Reficco and accusations of ‘queer-baiting’, with the star stating on Twitter that he had been ‘forced’ to share his sexuality with the world.
Connor had previously refused to label his sexuality, and tried to put a halt to anyone publicly debating his orientation with a tweet in May 2022, saying that people on social media “know my sexuality better than I do”.
Heartstopper author Alice Oseman recently expressed her dismay and fury at the circumstances surrounding Connor’s coming out.
“It made me so angry,” the writer told Attitude. “I care about this cast so deeply. I feel like a parent figure. What people were saying to him was so anti-Heartstopper.”
Connor himself has criticised the “shockingly low amount of representation” for male bisexual characters on screen.
“It is shocking because a huge amount of the LGBTQIA+ community is made up of bisexual people, he said while speaking as part of a Critic’s Choice Award panel alongside fellow Heartstopper star Joe Locke.
“It’s a huge community but we really don’t get much representation.”
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