Two British teenagers are set for stardom after starring in the latest Netflix hit, but instead of basking in their newfound fame Kit Connor and Joe Locke, are spending their time studying for their upcoming A-level exams.
The pair star in Heartstopper, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about two teenage boys falling in love, which has received international acclaim after hitting the small screen last month.
Croydon-born Kit Connor is already known to viewers after appearing as a young Elton John in 2019 musical biopic Rocketman, as well as a part in HBO drama series His Dark Materials.
But Heartstopper is 18-year-old Joe’s first professional acting gig after spending his youth performing in amateur drama groups on his home of the Isle of Man.
From relatively unknown beginnings, the two young actors have been thrust into spotlight after their performances as Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson – with the drama racking up rave reviews.
And while they’re both sure to be enjoying their success – the two will likely be spending the coming weeks revising, playing guitar or making hilarious TikTok videos.
Here, FEMAIL reveals everything you need to know about Netflix’s latest breakout stars.
Netflix sensation Heartstopper is 18-year-old Joe Locke’s first professional acting gig after spending his youth performing in amateur drama groups on his home of the Isle of Man
From relatively unknown beginnings, the 18-year-old actor (pictured celebrating his 18th birthday) have been thrust into spotlight after their performances as Charlie Spring
South London-born Connor attended the Hayes Primary School in Kenley before the £22,00-per year independent Whitgift School in South Croydon.
After spending his early childhood starring in adverts, Kit made his television debut when he was just eight, with a minor appearances in Sky One sitcom Chickens.
Soon after his onscreen debut, Kit had taken part in various projects including television film An Adventure in Space and Time, and the soap opera Casualty.
His first film came in 2014 when he stepped into the role of Tom Anderson in the holiday comedy Get Santa, before bagging a part as Archie Beckles in the CBBC series Rocket’s Island.
ebastian Croft, Joe Locke and Kit Connor attend dunhill’s pre-BAFTA filmmakers dinner and party at dunhill House
Gemma Jones plays Ivy and Kit Connor plays Older Reggie in Rocketman
The young actor underwent various other stage and television projects including BBC’s War & Peace before bagging the role of young Reginald Dwight in smash biographical film Rocketman.
While filming the musical film Kit underwent vocal coaching from composer and musical director Michael Roberts, and even learned to play the piano so his performance looked more realistic.
The young actor was lucky enough to chat with Elton himself after the film’s debut at the Cannes film festival in 2019, telling the Times the meeting was ‘one of the best days of my life’.
Kit bagged the role through his agent, originally auditioning via self-tape for the role of Charlie before producers informed him he would be more suited to play rugby player Nick.
‘I had actually heard of Heartstopper before but I’d never gotten around to reading it so then when I was finally able to read it and slowly get through all four volumes I was just like, ‘Yeah, this is something I’ve got to be a part of’, he told Entertainment Weekly.
Acclaimed British coming-of-age romance Heartstopper follows teenagers Charlie and Nick as they fall in love
The romance series is based on the webcomic and graphic novel of the same name by Alice Oseman.Pictured, Kit Connor and Joe Locke in the coming-of-age romance
Boasting 2.5million followers on Instagram, the actor shares pictures playing the guitar, spending time with his friends and co-stars and fawning over his beloved pet dog Sybil.
Since the release of the show the young actor has spoken out about his sexuality, taking to social media to write: ‘Twitter is so funny man. Apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do.’
Expanding on his thoughts in an interview with the Times, he said: ‘I feel very strongly that I have no obligation to speak about my sexuality to the public. ‘I am comfortable and confident in it, but it is a very private matter.’
Meanwhile, Connor’s co-star Joe grew up on the Isle of Man to a teacher mother and a father who owns a newsagent. He attended Ballakermeen High School, a comprehensive near the River Douglas.
Despite this being his first professional role, Locke spent his youth in amateur groups at the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas.
Boasting 2.5million followers on Instagram, Kit shares pictures playing the guitar, spending time with his friends and co-stars and fawning over his beloved pet dog Sybil
Croydon-born Kit, pictured playing his guitar at home, has already starred in various television and film projects
And while Joe may be lesser known than his on-screen counterpart, he has certainly made an impression with fans boasting a following of 1.6M on TikTok. Some of the actors TikTok videos have racked up over six million views, with Locke sharing hilarious on-set clips with various co-stars
After a childhood of amatuer dramatics, it was by chance that a family friend suggested that Joe audition for Heartstopper – which was holding an open casting call.
‘Then as the process got further and further and I got a recall and another recall. I was like, “What if this actually happens?”, he told Entertainment Weekly.
‘And then it did and this whole experience has just changed my life completely and I feel like I’m living my dream, which is cliché but true.
And while Joe may be lesser known than his on-screen counterpart, he has certainly made an impression with fans – boasting a huge 1.9m followers on Instagram and 1.6M on TikTok.
The young actor, pictured with the cast of Heartstopper, previously opened up about the pride he feels that the Netflix drama has been credited with helping young LGBTQ+ people
Dubbing himself Olivia Coleman’s son-in-law on his Instagram bio his impressive following includes celebrities including popular singers Maisie Peters and Orla Gartland.
Some of the actors TikTok videos have racked up over six million views, with Locke sharing hilarious on-set clips with various co-stars.
The young actor previously opened up about the pride he feels that the Netflix drama has been credited with helping young LGBTQ+ people with feeling comfortable in their sexuality.
‘We’ve seen so many tweets from, like, older people saying they wish they’d had this show when they were younger’, he told NME.
‘So for [Heartstopper]to be there for people who are growing up now, it’s just such a great feeling.’