“Heartstopper” has become a chart-topper on Netflix. Based on the graphic novel by Alice Oseman, the series launched on Netflix late April 2022, but has been catching more and more viewers each week. Before heading to print, the story existed as a webcomic on Tumblr and Tapas, and it took Oseman less than two hours to crowd-fund the limited print-run edition.
The story centers Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, two boys from slightly different social circles who find themselves falling for each other after getting paired up in a class together. The young adult series follows the two as they first become really good friends and then find themselves drawn to each other romantically. The coming-of-age and coming-out comic spotlights a glowing LGBTQ+ community.
Here are the cast and characters that bring “Heartstopper” to life:
Charlie Spring (Joe Locke)
Shy and sweet Charlie starts tenth year at Truham Academy, an all boys school, on a day like any other, until he gets seated next to Nick Nelson in their form class. Charlie came out as gay last year, and while he feels secure in his identity, others are not as open or as nice about it. Charlie has a close circle of friends who support him and look out for him. This is one of Locke’s first big roles.
Nick Nelson (Kit Connor)
Nick is in year eleven, and he hangs out with a sometimes rowdy group of mainly guys on the rugby team. He encourages Charlie to try out for rugby after he watches him running one day. Nick lives at home with his mom and dog Nellie. He is more softspoken than his raucous guy friends, who try to pair him up with several girls assuming he is heterosexual. Connor can be seen in “His Dark Materials,” “Rocketman” (2019) and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (2018).
Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney)
Elle used to attend Truham with Charlie and the other boys, but she transferred to Higgs, the all-girl school counterpart to Truham, before the start of the show, leaving a slight tear behind in their group. They still all hang out on the weekends and after school. Finney has just been cast as Rose Tyler in “Doctor Who” alongside “Sex Education’s” Ncuti Gatwa.
Tao Xu (William Gao)
Tao might be the most protective of Charlie. He does not want to see his friend get hurt, and he suspects Nick Nelson might just be playing with Charlie at first. Tao’s loyalty also extends to his friend circle, as he does his best to keep them all together and provide opportunities for everyone to hang out. Tao also finds himself falling for Elle, and she has feelings for him too.
Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan)
Isaac completes the friend group of Charlie, Tao and Elle. He is pretty quiet, but always very kind and usually smiling. Isaac also almost always has his nose in a book if he is not attentively listening to a friend, conversation or participating in movie or game nights.
Harry Greene (Cormac Hyde-Corrin)
Harry is one of Nick’s friends and rugby teammates, but he can be a bit of a bully. It is at Harry’s birthday party that Nick and Charlie first kiss, but Nick is hesitant to label right away, not just because he is worried what Harry will think but also because he doesn’t know where he fits into the spectrum. It is Harry that mostly pressures Nick to get with first Tara Jones and then Imogen Heaney, making fun of him when he hangs out with Charlie instead.
Imogen Heaney (Rhea Norwood)
Imogen is in Nick’s grade and friend group. She thinks she knows him pretty well, and soon starts telling people that they are basically together. She asks Nick on a date, which he first accepts, but then later tells her he doesn’t feel that way about her. She takes it in stride and continues to be his friend.
Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft)
At the beginning of the series, Charlie sneaks off with Ben to kiss, but Ben does not want them to be seen in public together because he isn’t out yet. He has a girlfriend publicly, and he refuses to acknowledge Charlie in the halls or out in the open at school. Charlie later breaks things off with Ben because he realizes it isn’t the best relationship. Croft is known for Netflix’s “Love, Death + Robots,” “Doom Patrol,” “Penny Dreadful,” and for portraying a young Ned Stark in “Game of Thrones.”
Tara Jones (Corrinna Brown)
Tara Jones goes to Higgs and quickly makes friends with Elle. She and her other really close friend Darcy take Elle under their wings. When rumors start swirling that Nick likes Tara (after they kissed when they were younger), Charlie asks Elle to do some sleuthing and figure out if the rumors are true. Elle soon discovers that Tara is actually lesbian, and she and Darcy are dating.
Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell)
Darcy is Tara’s best friend. They do almost everything together from school to band. Darcy is the more chaotic energy to Tara’s calmness, and she is more comfortable coming out as lesbian when Tara posts their picture on her Instagram.
Sarah Nelson (Olivia Coleman)
Mrs. Nelson often picks Nick up from practice or school, asking him how his day went. The frequent exchanges between mother and son range from choosing a movie to watch to giving romantic advice. Mrs. Nelson points out to Nick that he seems more himself when he is with Charlie.
Colman is an Oscar-winning actress whose films include "The Favourite" and "The Lobster" as well as the TV series "Broadchurch" and "The Crown."
Mr. Ajayi (Fisayo Akinade)
Mr. Ajayi is the art teacher who Charlie develops a close bond with after Mr. Ajayi let him eat lunch in his classroom when Charlie got bullied last year following his coming out. Mr. Ajayi listens to Charlie and gives him counsel in his dating life.