Author and screenwriter Alice Oseman spoke about her experience writing authentic queer experiences for the new Netflix series Heartstopper.
Seman, 27, wrote the popular graphic novel series Heartstopper, which follows the lives of Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson after they met and fell in love at school.
The series has sold a million print copies since its release and has been adapted for a Netflix show to air later this month.
Ahead of the release, Oseman revealed her love of writing queer characters and her commitment to making sure their experiences are realistically portrayed on screen.
“I love writing about queer experiences, even as a queer person. It’s just something I’ve always felt compelled to write about,” she said.
“When I was writing the comics, I was very aware that there really wasn’t any bisexual portrayal anywhere.
“Heartstopper celebrates all kinds of different queer experiences and I like to showcase a variety of experiences and people who are different.”
Oseman said a large part of her characters’ portrayal of realistic experiences came from authentic casting, and she was very careful about who would fill the roles of Charlie, Nick, and the other characters on the show.
“We wanted a trans actor to play Elle, we wanted the actors to be about the right age, and of course it takes talented actors, too,” she said.
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“So there were a lot of different factors that made it a really stressful process, especially when it came to finding authentic actors.
“If we didn’t find the people we knew, the show just wouldn’t work. But we were determined to do it anyway.
“And we were lucky. We have found the perfect people.”
Joe Locke will make his screen debut with Charlie, while Nick will be played by Kit Connor, who previously played young Elton John in singer-songwriter biopic Rocketman.
William Gao plays Tao Xu while starring Yasmin Finney as Elle Argent, Corinna Brown as Tara Jones, Kizzy Edgell as Darcy Olsson, Sebastian Croft as Ben Hope, Jenny Walser as Tori Spring and Fisayo Akinade as Mr Ajayi.
Oseman, who landed her first publishing deal at age 17, said the well-being of the cast, which includes several young actors, is incredibly important.
“The wellbeing of the actors has been something we’ve thought about since day one and just being there for them and making sure they have people in the world of Heartstopper to turn to if they have any issues with.” have anything,” she said called.
“It’s a really intense experience going from an actor with no professional credits to a show that has such a huge passionate fandom.
“It’s really, really wild. But from day one we were just trying to make sure they knew there was support there if they needed it.”
Through the authentic casting choices, Oseman explained, the cast has been able to deliver truly realistic experiences that allow viewers to relate to the on-screen storylines.
“That’s kind of the heart of Heartstopper, it shows these real problems, these bad things that can happen to people, but it shows that there’s still hope and joy and gives it that optimistic spin,” she said.
“That’s the realism of the show. I think without the bad stuff it would feel very idealistic and unreal.
“So I think people will feel a lot closer when they see that there are these negative things, but also see that there is hope for the future.”
She added, “One of the challenges of writing, especially for the show, is bringing the drama in and writing a compelling story that pulls viewers in without making them unrealistic, melodramatic, or too dark.”
Heartstopper launches on Netflix on April 22, 2022.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/heartstopper-creator-says-she-is-drawn-to-writing-about-queer-experience-41557709.html The Heartstopper creator says she’s “pulled” to write about queer experiences