Watch: 'Heartstopper' Star Kit Connor on Fan Speculation, Pressure

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday June 5, 2022
Originally published on May 26, 2022

Kit Connor in a scene from "Heartstopper."
Kit Connor in a scene from "Heartstopper."  (Source:Courtesy of Netflix)

"Heartstopper" star Kit Connor opened up in an interview about the Twitter post in which he pushed back against online speculation about his sexuality, saying he's not interested in labeling himself.

Connor appeared on the May 23 episode of the podcast "Reign with Josh Smith," and spoke about the moment he got the thrilling news he'd won the part of Nick — the straight-appearing high school athlete he plays on the hit Netflix series — and what it was like to act alongside Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman, who plays Nick's mother.

When Smith brought up Connor's tweet, the 18-year-old actor warmed to the subject, telling Smith that, "we're all so young, and to start sort of speculating about our sexualities and maybe pressuring us to come out when maybe we're not ready — I mean, for me, I just feel like I'm perfectly confident and comfortable in my sexuality, but... I'm not too big on labels and things like that."

In the series, Connor's character Nick befriends Charlie (played by Joe Locke), who has been bullied for being open about his sexuality. As their friendship deepens, both teens start to feel something deeper for one another, leading Charlie to chastise himself for falling for a "straight" boy. Nick, however, isn't so sure that he is straight, and starts to wonder if he might be bisexual.

Other characters in the show include a lesbian couple with differing views on how open they should be about being in a relationship, and a transgender girl who has had to switch schools due to bullying.

The series — which was recently renewed for two more seasons — gives the characters time to work things out for themselves, but not all fans on social media were as willing to let the real-life actors portraying the lovable characters take things at their own pace.

The online speculation prompted Connor to send out a tweet in which he lamented, "apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do..."

Connor admitted to Smith that the tweet "was sort of slightly calling them out," though he hastened to note, "I honestly had found it a little bit funny" that fans of the show had leapt to conclusions about himself and Locke.

But Connor also took note of a silver lining to fans' passionate response and the sometimes too-unfiltered comments that make their way to social media. When asked what he was proudest of about the show, Connor told the heartwarming story of a fan who tweeted about using a scene between Connor and Colman — in which Nick comes out to his mother — as a way to come out to their own parents.

"I honestly felt quite emotional about it," Connor told Smith, "because it was just, like, as an 18-year-old actor I've been given the opportunity to, like, have that kind of effect on someone's life." Connor called that "a massive, massive honor that I will never ever take for granted."

Watch Connor's exchange with Smith below.

(Note: They begin discussing Connor's tweet at the 6:42 mark.)

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.