Joe Locke teases ‘raunchier’ and ‘darker’ Heartstopper season three

Joe Locke as Charlie and Kit Connor as Nick in Heartstopper on Netflix. Charlie and Nick about to kiss.

Joe Locke has teased that Heartstopper season three will be “raunchier” and “darker” than the first two series of the hit Netflix LGBTQ+ drama.

The Netflix adaptation of Alice Oseman’s sweet queer teen series is set to return to our screens for its third season later this year, and according to 20-year-old Joe Locke, it’s set to be more mature than ever.

Speaking to The Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager last week about his Broadway debut as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Locke was asked if he had any spoilers about Heartstopper season three that he could share.

“It’s coming out this year,” he confirmed.

“Every season of our show, we grow up with the characters more and this season is definitely a bit raunchier,” he added.

Joe Locke in a brown top and beige blazer, looking directly at the camera.
Joe Locke. (Getty/WWD)

Fans of Oseman’s graphic novel series will know that in the recently released Volume Five, Locke’s character Charlie and his boyfriend Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) take their relationship to the next level.

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Volume Five tracks the couple’s journey towards sexual intimacy, including their experiences of sex education at school, purchasing contraception, talk of virginity as a construct, and a bit of “side” representation.

Eventually, the adorable queer couple go all the way. Yet Locke suggested that despite the more adult content, Heartstopper’s sugary sweet core will remain in season three.

“It’s still Heartstopper,” he stated. “But it’s also that we deal with some darker issues.

“Charlie, my character – he deals with some quite severe mental health issues, which we tackle in this season, which I’m very excited for people to see.”

Elsewhere in Oseman’s later novels, fans see Nick and Charlie navigating Charlie’s experience with an eating disorder, anorexia.

Season two of the TV adaptation saw the couple come out to the rest of their friend group, the wider school year, and even to Nick’s less accepting brother and father.

At the end of the second season, Charlie opened up to Nick about being homophobically bullied at school, and how the ordeal led to him self-harming.

The moving scene finished with a cliffhanger when Charlie left Nick’s house, and wrote out a message to him that read: “I love you”.

The Heartstopper season 2 soundtrack is here.
Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper. (Netflix)

However, the season ended before fans could learn whether the message was ever sent. In September last year, Netflix appeared to give the cliffhanger away, revealing that the first episode of season three is entitled “Love”.

While Heartstopper fans eagerly await more news about the upcoming third season, many of them are flocking to New York’s theatre district to catch the young star in Sweeney Todd.

In January, after Joe Locke made his debut, he was enveloped by a mob of adoring fans at the stage door. 

He was widely praised for his turn as Tobias Ragg, with many fans praising his “insanely good” singing voice.

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