Words: Will Stroude; Photography: Kit Oates
The young stars set to appear in the eagerly-anticipated LGBTQ drama series - adapted of Alice Oseman's popular young adult graphic novels - arrived to London's Roundhouse together for the biggest LGBTQ awards show of the year and were pictured partying into the early hours at the official Virgin Voyages After Party.
Joe Locke and Kit Connor, who are set to star as a pair of school students whose whose friendship begins to blossom into something more, were joined by co-stars Yasmin Finney, William Gao and Sebastian Croft as Attitude announced the recipients of this year's Attitude Awards honouring LGBTQ stars and allies.
Left to right: Yasmin Finney, Joe Locke, Kit Connor and William Gao (Photography: Kit Oates)
Connor, who appeared as a young Elton John in the Oscar-winning Rocketman and voices Pantalaimon in the BBC's His Dark Materials, will play Heartstopper's Nick Nelson, a popular year 11 student with a gentle demeanour.
TV newcomer Locke will play Charlie Spring, a highly strung, out gay over-thinker in the year below, while Gao plays Tao and former Game of Thrones actor Croft plays Ben.
Finney, who will bring some long-overdue Black trans teen representation to screens in Heartstopper as Elle, was recently cast in Billy Porter’s directorial debut What If?
Porter himself was also in attendace at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar, where the Pose star was named Man of the Year.
Left to right: Yasmin Finney, Joe Locke, William Gao, Kit Connor and Sebastian Croft (Photography: Kit Oates)
Based on Alice Oseman's young adult graphic novel series, which began in 2016 as a web-comic, the Netflix adaptation of Heartstopper will consist of eight 30-minute episodes and was filmed iin the UK this summer. A premiere date remains unconfirmed but the series is expected to air in late 2021 or early 2022.
An official synopsis of the show reads: "Heartstopper is the story of Charlie and Nick who meet at an all-boys school, become friends, and quickly discover a romance is blossoming between them. Over the series Charlie and Nick fall head over heels for each other.
"Along the way they realise there is a strong community of allies and friends around them, helping them to access their authentic selves, but also teaching them there is no ‘right way’ to come out."
Creator and Writer Alice Oseman said: "Nick and Charlie have existed as characters for almost a decade, and are two of my most beloved characters, so I was slightly apprehensive about the casting search, but I am so happy and excited that we've cast Kit and Joe.
"They're both so talented, sweet, funny, and smart, and so perfect. It has been such fun getting to know them and welcoming them into the Heartstopper universe, and I can’t wait to see them bring the characters to life on screen."
The Attitude Awards issue is out now.