5 Reasons Why Heartstopper’s Sebastian Croft Should Be On Your Radar

English actor Sebastian Croft had been performing for years before he gained mainstream recognition in the mid-2010s. He was first seen on screen in the 2014 music video of Idina Menzel’s Baby It’s Cold Outside. Then he appeared as Newsie in the “Spring-Heel’s Jack” episode of Houdini and Doyle in 2016 before playing Young Ned Stark in two episodes of Game of Thrones. Breaking into prominence with the Ned Stark role, Croft has improved his resume with a diverse range of impressive performances on stage and on screen.

Around the same time he played Ned Stark, the English actor also portrayed Boy Familiar in four episodes of John Logan’s Penny Dreadful. His television career reached a new height in 2022 when he began playing Ben Hope in Netflix’s coming-of-age series Heartstopper. Sebastian Croft’s big screen debut was in The Hippopotamus, a 2017 adaptation of Stephen Fry’s 1994 novel of the same title. He ventured into comedy with his next film, starring as Atti in Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans. The 2019 historical comedy proves he has the making of a star. His performance earned him a Young Performer nomination at the year’s BAFTA Children’s Award.

1. Sebastian Croft Hails From A Family With Deep Value For Performing Arts

Sebastian Croft

The Oxford native was born to John and Doulla Croft on December 16, 2001. While his father is a business executive, the president and co-founder of Elevate, a law company based in London, his mother’s Instagram profile says she’s a theatre and film investor. Although the only actor in his immediate family, Sebastian Croft belongs to a lineage of renowned performers known as The Kemble Family.

They dominated the English theater from the late 18th to the mid-19th century with John Philip Kemble and his sister Sarah Siddons as some of its most accomplished members. The appreciation for performing arts extends to the actor’s parents who named him after Lord Sebastian Flyte. He’s one of the characters in Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder.

2. He Made His Professional Acting Debut At Age Seven

Young Sebastian Croft and Emily Carey

The English actor began his career journey at Stagecoach Abingdon. He took acting classes at the children’s school for performing arts and soon landed his first professional role. This was at age 7 and on stage: he played the toymaker’s son in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In a 2019 article published on Stagecoach, Sebastian Croft attributed starting his career at a young age to Julia Howson, his teacher at Stagecoach Abingdon.

“She’s the reason I got started in this industry,” he said. “I got my first professional job through the Stagecoach Agency, which was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” continued the actor. “I was seven and it was touring production… when it came to Oxford I was in it. That was the start of it all,” added Croft. While promoting How to Date Billy Walsh, alongside his costar Charithra Chandran, the duo divulged they both performed in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang together as kids. 

3. Sebastian Croft Subdued His Learning Disorder With Music And Drama

Tanner Buchanan Sebastian Croft and Charithra Chandran in How to Date Billy Walsh 

From Tom Cruise to Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek, and Keanu Reeves, Sebastian Croft is only one of many dyslexic actors. The Ben Hope actor said he struggled at school due to the learning difficulty. He was relieved when he discovered his knack for music and drama. Croft prioritized the subjects, leading to his burgeoning show business career. While he still struggles with the condition, he’s determined not to let it stop him from living his dream. He told Vingt Sept Magazine that despite being “super dyslexic,” he read the Heartstopper novels to prepare for the role.

4. He’s Already Overcome A Major Controversy In His Career

Ben Hope actor Sebastian Croft

Although he’s just getting started in the business, Sebastian Croft has encountered a major controversy that stirred calls for him to be canceled. It happened in January 2023 when the actor was unveiled as Voice 1 of the playable character in Hogwarts Legacy. His involvement in the action role-playing game drew severe criticism due to J. K. Rowling’s views regarded as transphobic.

To pacify the outrage, the actor explained he was cast for the “project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views. I believe wholeheartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men,” stated Croft. “I know far more now than I did 3 years ago and hope to learn far more in the next 3. I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T,” he proclaimed.

5. Sebastian Croft Is Passionate About the LGBTQ+ Community
Sebastian Croft celebrating Pride with friends

The Heartstopper actor identifies with the queer community and has been passionate about their welfare. Sebastian Croft is one of the brains behind Queer Was Always Here, an organization that works with Choose Love “to secure futures for LGBTQIA+ refugees and displaced people around the world.” Widely considered a queer actor, he hopes to play Timothée Chalamet’s love interest or Brideshead Revisited’s Sebastian Flyte someday. “…That’s like an iconic gay story, and it’s set in Oxford, so that would probably be my dream part to play,” Croft told AnOther Magazine, confirming he was named after Sebastian Flyte. Check out everything to know about Heartstopper Season 3.

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