Kit Connor changed his workout routine before returning to play Nick in season 2 of Netflix’s Heartstopper — a decision influenced by the show’s fans.
Connor, 19, recalled having his body get compared to the graphic novel version of Nick Nelson, a teen rugby player. “I wouldn’t say I was forced into it by fans, but it was me as a young adult coming to terms with the body that I had and feeling I wasn’t completely equipped to play the role,” he told Vulture in an interview published on Tuesday, July 17. “That wasn’t a good way of thinking, but I was a teenager. I still am.”
The actor rose to stardom after joining the TV adaptation of Alice Oseman‘s Heartstopper book series. Connor plays a high school athlete who starts to question his sexuality after developing a friendship with fellow student Charlie (Joe Locke).
After Heartstopper blew up on social media, Connor found himself — and his dating life — at the center of fan attention. He addressed accusations of queer baiting in October 2022 after being spotted spending time with Maia Reficco, his costar from A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.
“Back for a minute. i’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. i think some of you missed the point of the show. bye,” Connor tweeted at the time.
Earlier this month, Connor reflected on feeling pressure to publicly come out.
“I just felt like it wasn’t something I was ready to talk about. I wasn’t angry. I was just slightly disappointed by this reaction,” he told British Vogue on July 4. “I think there’s almost a feeling that because I’d been in the industry for a little while, there was almost this understanding that it’s like, ‘Oh, well, he can take it.’ I think ‘forced’ isn’t the right word I would use, but I would say that I would have preferred to do it another way. I also don’t know if I would have ever done it. But at the end of the day, I don’t regret it. In many ways, it was really empowering.”
Connor also discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation before his involvement with Heartstopper, adding, “It was just a very natural process for me. I didn’t really have an ‘Oh, s—t’ moment. It just became more and more evident.”
The Rocketman star admitted that he struggled to fit in due to the stereotypes around bisexuality. “It’s the experience of maybe you’re too straight to be gay and you’re too gay to be straight. So, it’s like, ‘Where do I sit?’ But I feel much more secure in myself now,” he explained.