Sebastian Croft, who plays Ben Hope in Heartstopper, won’t be back for a third season of the hit Netflix series.
Croft has featured in season two that was released on the streaming platform last week. His character Ben has been viewed as toxic due to his treatment of past love interest Charlie Spring (Joe Locke).
The pair hooked up in secret before Charlie’s relationship with Nick (Kit Connor) developed. Ben routinely manipulated and belittled Charlie due to his internalised homophobia.
In season two, Ben was seen apologising to Charlie for his past behaviour and confirmed his feelings were real.
“Alice and I both felt strongly about him not having a redemption arc” – Sebastian Croft
“I know I was a piece of s**t,” he told Charlie, “but I really liked you.”
However, this now marks the end of Ben’s storyline as the character will be leaving Truham.
Croft has confirmed this means he will no longer appear in Heartstopper as the rest of the cast gear up for a season three.
“Alice and I both felt strongly about him not having a redemption arc,” the star told Netflix companion site Tudum while filming last year.
“You don’t get to ambush me into forgiving you,” Charlie says in Ben’s final scenes. “I really hope you become a better person so you don’t hurt anyone else. But I don’t want to be there to see that happen.”
Croft continued: “It’s a really beautiful way of having these two people who have been through a lot — and Ben’s been horrible to Charlie — to have that conversation and explore it on a deeper level than I felt like we got to do in Season 1.
“I felt Ben’s presence was necessary to properly address those topics” – Alice Oseman
He went on to add that he did want Ben to have his own “Heartstopper moment” in some way.
“I see this beautiful world of Heartstopper and then Ben who can’t be welcomed in…
“I feel like lots of people would connect with that feeling of being scared to become part of the community and where you fit in,” he commented.
Creator Alice Oseman weighed in on why having Ben included in season two was so important.
“As Season 2 begins to unpack the trauma that Charlie carries with him due to his toxic relationship with Ben and the bullying he has faced in the past, I felt Ben’s presence was necessary to properly address those topics,” they explained.
Oseman praised Croft, who they believed took on the “toughest role” in the show and “executed it with such intelligence and determination.”