Yasmin Finney reveals how Ryan Murphy’s Pose inspired Heartstopper season 2 romance

Stills from the Heartstopper season two trailer featuring Yasmin Finney. On the right, an image of indya Moore as Angel Evangelista in Pose.

Heartstopper character Elle Argent is one of the most visible examples of trans representation in recent memory, but the actor who plays her, Yasmin Finney, is keen to credit the icons who came before her.

Season two is set to give Elle her first romance. In a teaser trailer, fans saw Elle and Tao (Will Gao) begin to think about whether their friendship could blossom into something more.

At one point, Elle tries flirting with Tao by touching his hair, and then attempts to go in for a kiss.

Reflecting on this blossoming connection, Finney promised that the relationship would be “a moment” for representation.

“Now with Elle and Tao, it’s going to be a moment. It really is. It’s going to be a massive moment. I can just see it,” she told Radio Times.

Speaking ahead of Heartstopper season two launching on Netflix, Finney, 19, explained that she had Ryan Murphy’s Pose in mind, and specifically Indya Moore’s character, Angel Evangelista, when filming the scenes.

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Heartstopper Season 2
Heartstopper season two: Will Gao as Tao Xu and Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent (Netflix)

“I remember when I watched that Pose scene [with Indya Moore and Evan Peters, where she’s like, “Do you love me as a trans woman?”] and now I’m so proud that I’ve been able to create something that lives up to that and something that romanticises a trans person in a positive light, that’s not negative, and something that is just powerful to the viewer. I’m super grateful for that.”

In Pose, which ran on FX from 2018 to 2021, Angel had a relationship with straight, cisgender businessman Stan Bowes (Evan Peters).

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Though the relationship eventually soured and Stan was cut following season one, the storyline was praised as revolutionary at the time. Until then, trans women on TV had rarely been featured in non-violent relationships with cis men.

In a memorable scene, Stan explained why he was in awe of Angel’s fearlessness as she navigated the world as a Black, trans woman.

“I want what I’m supposed to want, I wear what I’m supposed to wear and I work where I’m supposed to work. I stand for nothing,” he told her. “You’re who you are even though the price you pay for it is being disinvited from the rest of the world. I’m the one playing dress-up.”

Indya Moore as Angel Evangelista in Pose.
Indya Moore as Angel Evangelista in Pose. (YouTube/FX Networks)

It’s evident that Angel and Pose overall has had a huge impact on Finney’s career, as she has previously gushed about how the show gave her one of the first blissful moments of seeing herself on screen.

“If I didn’t have representation growing up, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she told OK! Magazine.

“But I had Laverne Cox, I had Pose, I had representation from a young age. I know I’m 19, but representation is such a powerful thing and all it takes is for someone to look like you, act like you, have the same voice, the same style, the same belief on-screen and that’s it. It’s inspiring and it’s powerful and it’s the future.”

Heartstopper season two drops on Netflix on Thursday (3 August).

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