One of the biggest surprises of 2022 is Netflix’s Heartstopper.
It focuses on Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, two students who develop feelings for one another as they form a bond in school. The series was adapted from the webcomics created by Alice Oseman, which is also written by the same author. The Netflix exclusive has been a joy for viewers who wanted an authentic gay love story, and most of that reasoning comes down to Joe Locke, Kit Connor, and Sebastian Croft. The talents of the young actors feel raw and honest, and many wonder whether the two stars are dating in real life. Now, films like Brokeback Mountain, Moonlight, or even Love, Simon feature strong actors in key queer roles; however, the difference is that Nick Robinson, Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Heath Ledger, and Jake Gyllenhaal are all straight males, so there was never any mystery about whether they were dating their movie lover behind the scenes.
Connor hasn’t confirmed his sexuality yet, with the actor stating in an interview with the podcast Reign with Josh Smith that he was “perfectly confident and comfortable” with his sexual orientation; however, he doesn’t particularly want to label himself to the public. That’s likely a reason fans aren’t suspecting that he and Locke are dating. Though it helps that Connor and Locke aren’t consistently taking Instagram pictures together, possibly signifying that they’re a couple. Croft and Locke have uploaded so many pictures to the point where fans speculate on whether the pair are dating.
Locke has confirmed that he was gay, stating in his interview with The Independent back in May 2022 that he always felt different growing up because of his sexuality, “I was never bullied in school but I was a little different and I went through phases of being a bit quieter than I’d have liked…” he said. “Teenage years are really hard, I think, and when you grow up, you forget that being a teenager is actually really a bit shit sometimes. When you’re that age, all that matters is school. It’s your whole life. And your whole life is what people think about you and if you’re ever going to find someone who likes you. Part of me is still there, I’m still at school. School can be a wonderful place, but it can also be a not-so-wonderful place if you don’t happen to fit in properly.”
Croft isn’t as open as Locke, as he’s never confirmed whether he’s gay or straight despite being in the spotlight for a good five years plus. The actor – who plays Ben Hope on the series – is a defined ally of the LGBTQ+ community as he has the rainbow flag on his social media and was proudly dancing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” at a pride festival. So while it seems that the two co-stars are proudly dating, there’s been no confirmation from either man as it could be a mix of trolling the fans and being extremely close as friends. Of course, Croft and Locke could be secretly dating, but as of now, the speculation appears to be just that, speculation.
While we can’t figure out the mystery surrounding the relationship between Croft and Locke, the mystery of whether Heartstopper will return was confirmed by the writer and creator herself through a sweet picture that confirmed the series had been renewed for two more seasons. The news isn’t a surprise given the fact that the show was on Netflix’s Top Ten list in 54 countries. According to Variety, the hashtag #heartstopper amassed over 4.3 billion views on TikTok.
The success of Heartstopper has been a hugely positive step for entertainment as it gives audiences more of an opportunity to explore a different world that can be equally beautiful, happy, angry, and dark, ” To have a show where you see queer people being happy and being together and united as a group, I think there’s something really beautiful about that,” Kit Connor told Variety. “I think that shows like Euphoria that is very queer are still very much sort of adult in many ways because they are very dark and gritty. I think it’s really important to have a show that is just portraying queer love and queer beauty.”
At the moment, there’s no word on when the show will return. The first season featured eight episodes that were all released on April 22. We’ll surely keep you updated on the situation if any more news develops on the second season of the Netflix exclusive.
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