heart stopper Following his breakthrough role as bisexual high school rugby star Nick Nelson in the Netflix megahit, star Kit Connor says he doesn’t want to be defined by the term ‘queer actor’.
Connor has become a star alongside co-star Joe Locke with the arrival of heart stopperwhich premiered on the platform in April 2022 and soon became the 5th most-watched English language show, was reportedly watched for 53 million hours worldwide.
However, after being photographed holding hands with actress Maia Reficco in November last year, he faced allegations of “queerbaiting” (appropriation of gay culture by straight people for recognition).
At the time, Connor broke off his own withdrawal from social media to speak out to his many followers – a decision he told the Guardian newspaper that he now believes was “frankly a bit hasty” – when he posted:
“I’m bisexual. Congratulations on forcing an 18 year old to come out. I think some of you didn’t get the point of the show. Bye”.
This weekend, the actor told the newspaper that this experience contradicted what he believed to be the main message heart stopper:
“The whole point of the show is that [queerness] is not always so stereotyped. There are so many lines on the show where someone says, “Nick Nelson, he’s the straightest guy in school.” He’s the captain of the rugby team, so there’s no way [he’s queer].’ Sometimes you just have to give people space.”
And he announced that the second season, due out August 3 to great worldwide anticipation, will deal with his character Nick’s struggles with coming out, “which is important,” he said.
Then he added:
“Even though I now know that I’m queer, I personally don’t think it’s a determining factor. I don’t want to be defined as a “queer actor”. I want to play all roles. Hopefully I can do that if my career continues and I’m successful. touch wood.”
Connor, who has been an actor since he was eight and previously played young Elton John in a biopic rocket Man, originally auditioned for the role of Charlie in the series based on the Alice Osman graphic novel. He ended up being cast as the lead Nick, with Joe Locke playing the role of Charlie.
Connor has also been cast in the upcoming crime horror movie One of us. Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells), Charlotte Hope (The Spanish Princess), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (In a hurry) and Ian Beattie (game of Thrones) will also star in the feature film to be announced by the Jung School and Northern Ireland Screen, which marks the debut of writer-director Stefan van de Graaff.