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Heartstopper’s Joe Locke shuts down online trolls and speculation about Kit Connor’s sexuality

Exclusive: Speaking to Attitude on the red carpet at the 2022 Virgin Media BAFTA Awards Joe Locke reminded people that actors have a right to a private life.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Netflix

Heartstopper‘s Joe Locke has responded to his online trolls and people speculating about Kit Connor’s sexuality following his role as Nick Nelson in the LGBTQ drama.

It follows Kit calling people out himself on social media by tweeting: “twitter is so funny man. apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do…”

Speaking to Attitude on the red carpet at the Virgin Media BAFTAs in London on Sunday (8 May) Locke, who plays Charlie Spring in the Netflix hit, reminded people that people had a right to a private life.

“It doesn’t give them a right to know everything”

“I think people ask questions but it doesn’t give them a right to know everything about everyone’s private life. When someone’s in the public eye some people assume that they’re ok with their private lives being public,” he said.

“Just because you’re in something doesn’t mean you want your life spread around the Internet.”

Joe has also faced online trolling since the debut of Heartstopper on Netflix.

Last week he tweeted a screenshot of a search on social media, which showed one of the suggested search terms was ‘Joe Locke ugly’. He said at the time: “Everyone should be entitled to an opinion, but just know we see most of the stuff people post online”. 

Catching up with Joe for the first time since his cover interview for the May/June issue – out now – Attitude asked about the reaction there has been to the LGBTQ drama.

“It’s been insane,” Joe said. “I don’t think we ever really expected it to get this attention, which is great. It was definitely a shock, in a really good way.”

He continued: “It’s so great to be a part of a show that really matters to people. And I’ve seen so many comments o people being like ‘I wish I’d had this show was I was younger,’ or ‘this show is really helping me right now’.

“It’s more than we could ever have wished for when we were creating it. It’s so great to see people see themselves on screen. I think a lot of queer people never see themselves on screen and if they do it’s as a supporting side character. So to have a show that has queer stories front and centre is just so wonderful to be a part of it.”

In a recent interview with The Independent, Joe said it would be a “dream” to play “the first gay Disney prince.” Asked if he had a particular prince in mind Joe said: “My own prince, a new prince. A modern prince.”

On the possibility of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe Joe agreed with Attitude that he could make a great Iceman.

“I can see that!”

Heartstopper is streaming on Netflix now.

The Attitude May/June issue is out now.