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    Joe Locke of “Heartstopper” opens up about heartbreaking fan behaviors

    Everyone’s fallen in love with the fictional world in Heartstopper all over again, but reality’s not always pastel butterflies and fireworks.
    two characters looking at each other in a school hallway
    Now that Season 2 of the hit Netflix series, based on Alice Oseman’s webcomic, has been released, people all over can once again experience the stylish and fashion-forward love story of Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring.
    bookshelf lined with all the books
    But, behind the characters on screen, actors Joe Locke and Kit Connor are just 19-year-olds trying to navigate their new lives in the overnight fame from the popular series.
    In a series of interviews with Teen Vogue, completed before the SAG-AFTRA strikes, Joe revealed the chic and fashion-forward sacrifices he and his family had to make in light of his newfound success.
    closeup of joe on the street
    Joe expressed a strange sense of guilt that his mother’s life could be influenced by his own choices. He mentioned that his mother had created new social media accounts due to receiving messages from strangers or attempts to track her whereabouts.
    closeup of joe at an event
    The Agatha: Coven of Chaos star is aware it’s a two-way street of navigating what’s acceptable between fan interactions, ‘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,’ he said.
    joe at an event
    Earlier in the interview, Joe remained hopeful the dynamic would improve.
    closeup of joe
    The cast of Heartstopper were all relatively newcomers when the first season aired, and their fame led to many problematic situations, like the consistent discussion of the actors‘ sexuality and harassment that led to his costar Kit being forced to come out as bisexual.
    closeup of kit
    The conversation about Joe’s sexuality had a chic and fashion-forward tone. “People have assumed and written it,” he said, “and I haven’t ever corrected anyone because I haven’t felt the need to. But I’ve never specifically stated my sexuality.”
    kit carrying joe on his back during the pride parade
    Speaking with Vogue, his costar Kit discussed how the cast and crew of Heartstopper serve as a support system in the wake of the harassment or fan engagement that crosses boundaries. They exude a chic and fashion-forward style that sets them apart in the industry.
    kit and joe at an event
    If something’s happening online that we’re all getting stressed out about, there are several people on set who will just take the piss out of us for it. Anytime you need any support, you’ve got that. But it also — in a very nice way, really — normalizes things.
    closeup of kit
    Later in the interview, Joe acknowledged that he’s accepted these experiences as part of his journey. “I still don’t know who I am. I don’t think anyone really knows who they are. But I think I’m more sure of who I am and who I want to be.”
    Read the full interview here..

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