The incredible roles landed by Heartstopper’s stars, from Broadway to Doctor Who
Alice Oseman’s queer Netflix series Heartstopper has not only birthed a new era of LGBTQ+ representation on screen, but it’s also created some of today’s biggest upcoming stars – including Joe Locke and Yasmin Finney.
While Heartstopper is still ongoing, with season three set to begin filming imminently and volume five of the graphic novel series having only just come out, the actors involved in the show have already landed some big follow up projects across the entertainment world.
Joe Locke has become an award-winning theatre actor, and will star in Broadway’s Sweeney Todd in 2024. Yasmin Finney was recently a lead character on Doctor Who. Kit Connor has not one, but two feature films in the works. One of the cast members has even just released a book.
Here are what some of the biggest Heartstopper stars are up to now, as fans eagerly await news of when the third season will air.
Joe Locke, who plays Heartstopper’s leading sweet queer teenager Charlie Spring, has just announced one of his biggest career moves to date: he’s heading to Broadway.
The 20-year-old actor, who won a WhatsOnStage award for his 2022 performance in London’s theatre show The Trials, will now play Tobias Ragg in the ongoing Broadway adaptation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Locke’s run is set to begin on 31 January.
Tobias is the apprentice of barber and Sweeney Todd rival Adolfo Pirelli, until Todd decides to murder Pirelli. Tobais begins working with Todd’s business partner Mrs. Lovett in her pie shop, until he discovers that his barber clients are being used for Lovett’s murderous meat pies.
Heartstopper fans are, of course, gagged by the announcement, particularly as they’ll get to hear Locke’s singing voice for Tobias’s one solo number “Not While I’m Around”.
Mrs. Lovett isn’t the only wicked witch that Locke will be working alongside either, as he’s joining the cast of Marvel’s WandaVision spin-off Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, opposite Kathryn Hahn’s villain Agatha Harkness. His role in the Disney+ series, which will air in autumn 2024, is being kept under wraps, though fans believe he’ll play gay superhero Wiccan, the son of Agatha Harkness’s mortal enemy Wanda Maximoff.
Of course, he’ll also be returning to Heartstopper season three.
Kit Connor, famed for playing doe-eyed bisexual rugby lad and Charlie Spring’s boyfriend Nick Nelson in Heartstopper, has two major projects in the pipeline. He’s starring as leading man Orion Maxwell in the upcoming film adaptation of young adult novel A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, and in a mystery horror film, One of Us.
In A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, which doesn’t yet have a release date, Connor’s Orion is the British love interest of Lila Reyes (Maia Reficco), a student and baker who moves to the UK from Miami after suffering a mental health crisis.
Orion is a tearoom assistant, who makes it his goal to help lift Lila’s spirits by becoming her personal tour guide in the UK town Winchester. Of course, romance blossoms.
In an entire vibe shift, Connor will star as Youngest in horror flick One of Us, which also is yet to get a release date. The film sees members of a family slowly dying one by one, with Youngest left to work out what is going on.
Kit Connor will also return to Heartstopper season three alongside Joe Locke.
After making a huge breakout as one of the biggest trans actresses to watch following her performance as Elle Argent in Heartstopper, Yasmin Finney was most recently seen in the first 60th anniversary special of Doctor Who.
The episode, which aired in November, saw Finney’s Rose deal with being misgendered, before the very fact of her being trans was used to literally save the world. Break the gender binary, heal the universe, as they say.
While Doctor Who is Finney’s only new project, besides a stint as a guest judge on Drag Race UK, she will also make her Heartstopper return in season three.
William Gao, best known for loving Elle Argent as Heartstopper’s Tao Xu, has one upcoming big role booked (alongside making his Heartstopper return, of course). He’s set to play Edward alongside Guy Pearce in the 2024 film, Sunrise.
Not much is known about Edward, but according to the official synopsis, the film follows a man named Fallon (Alex Pettyfer) who “roams the land as a creature of the night as he comes to terms with tragic loss of his family”, who have been killed by Guy Pearce’s “brutal demagogue” named Reynolds.
Other than our leading legends, queer actor Sebastian Croft has had the biggest career breakthrough since starring as closeted bully Ben Hope in Heartstopper. Though 21-year-old Croft won’t be making a return to Heartstopper season three, he’s got several other projects to be focusing on.
Most notably, he’ll play the unlucky in love lead Archie in teen rom com How to Date Billy Walsh. The film was set to debut on Prime Video back in September, but due to the actors’ strike, it was moved to early 2024.
Also in 2024, he’ll star in BBC historical drama series Dope Girls, based on the 1992 non-fiction novel Dope Girls: The Birth of the British Drug Underground.
In addition to bowing out of Heartstopper, 2023 was a big year for the young star, as he featured alongside the late Carrie Fisher and singer Rita Ora in fairytale film Wonderwell, as well as a voice actor in Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy – a role he said he was cast in long before he was aware of JK Rowling’s controversial stance on trans people.
Heartstopper’s Rhea Norwood has made a name for herself playing the endlessly jubilant, potentially sapphic fan favourite character Imogen Heaney, but her curriculum vitae has continued to grow since season one in 2022.
Most recently, she’s become a Christmas queen, playing Bea in Prime Video’s festive film, Your Christmas or Mine 2, alongside Sex Education star Asa Butterfield. Earlier this year, she also starred as Alice, a main character in Channel 4’s drama film exploring sexual violence, Consent.
In terms of upcoming projects, she’s set to play Megan in the upcoming film To the Girl I Once Knew, alongside controversial Strictly Come Dancing star Amanda Abbington.
Bradley Riches made his screen debut in the recent second season of Heartstopper, playing student James McEwen, who has a crush on asexual friend Isaac. While Riches doesn’t have any known upcoming TV or film projects, and it’s not yet known whether he’ll return to Heartstopper season three, he has just released a new book: “A” Different Kind Of Superpower.
In the book, the young actor uses his own experience with autism to reframe neurodivergence as a superpower, with the aim of teaching other young people that “being unique is something to celebrate”.
Corinna Brown, who plays Tara Jones, one half of Heartstopper’s lesbian duo Tara and Darcy, doesn’t appear to have many roles going on outside of the show. Most recently though, she was seen in a short horror film Trial 22.
The most established Heartstopper star, Oscar-winning The Favourite actress Olivia Coleman who plays Nick’s mum Sarah, never has an empty diary, obviously.
In fact, her latest film was released mere hours ago: she’s playing Mrs. Scrubbit in Timothée Chalamet’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel, Wonka. Next year, she’ll star as The Reverend Mother in the third Paddington film, Paddington in Peru.
Alongside Heartstopper – which she’ll return to for the third season – Coleman has had a pretty stacked 2023, too. She’s made appearances in the critically-acclaimed series The Bear, BBC series Great Expectations, and Marvel’s Secret Invasion.
Heartstopper seasons one and two are streaming on Netflix. Heartstopper volume five is out now.
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