Joe Locke and Kit Connor are finding their place in the world where every decision feels monumental for those young and in the spotlight. As number one and two on the call sheet for Netflix’s coming-of-age series, HEARTSTOPPER, the pair understand they won’t always get to control the narrative, even when it’s their own. Connor and Locke spoke to TEEN VOGUE about fame, sexuality, and having confidence in season two.
On the public assuming his sexuality: “People have assumed and written it, and I haven’t ever corrected anyone because I haven’t felt the need to. But I’ve never specifically stated my sexuality. I have been openly gay since I was like, 12.”
On feeling guilty of his fame, how it affects his family, and the importance of setting boundaries: “It’s a weird guilt I sometimes feel that, by association, their lives are being affected by choices in my life. It’s a mutual thing. I need to learn my boundaries and people need to learn their boundaries. Most attention comes from a really good place, and I hope I always appreciate that.”
On feeling proud of themselves and wanting to make others happy: “I hope that I make the people around me happy, and that I’m not a drain on them. I’m very proud of the things that I’ve done and I hope that I can continue doing them for years. But I think I could be equally as happy as long as I’m happy in myself and with my family and my friends and the people I love.”
On feeling nervous in the spotlight: “I’m still awful at it. It still gives me anxiety. It still scares me. I think it always will. Sometimes you meet these people that you respect and admire massively, and it’s impossible not to have imposter syndrome. I hope this thing that I said, that probably no one even cares about, didn’t upset this person or didn’t make this person think that I was stupid.”
On the show’s importance and how it’s setting a positive example for navigating identity: “There were definitely points where I was doing season 2 and saying certain lines, and thought, ‘This is good, this is how it should be.’ This is the message that we want to be sending. The show that we’re doing is really setting blueprints for people to know how to treat these delicate situations, and how to make people feel safe and comfortable.”
[Photo Credit: Angalis Field/Teen Vogue Magazine]
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