Contains some plot details for Heartstopper season two but no real spoilers.
Despite featuring no superheroes, superpowers or elaborate plans to destroy Gotham City, Heartstopper was one of 2022’s most anticipated comic book adaptations, and its second season – out now on Netflix – was no different. Alice Oseman’s webcomic (also published in four, eventually-to-be-five, book volumes) about two British high school boys who fall in love has an extremely devoted fanbase who only have to see a drawing of falling leaves – Charlie and Nick’s romantic motif – to spill over with excitement.
The Netflix show, written and produced by Oseman, was such a hit that it was immediately renewed for seasons two and three, meaning fans could follow the on-screen stories of beloved characters Elle, Tao, Tara, Darcy and Isaac, alongside those of Nick and Charlie, past their GCSE year and beyond.
In season two, the existing cast is joined by new characters Sahar, Felix and Naomi, plus teacher Mr Farouk, Nick’s father Stephane and brother David, plus Darcy’s mother Amanda. Find out more about them all below.
Mr Farouk (Nima Taleghani)
Loud, strict disciplinarian Mr Farouk is a Truham teacher in charge of Nick’s GCSE study hall. He’s not someone to cross, and isn’t thrilled to accompany the group on the joint Truham/Higgs Paris trip. He’s played by Nima Taleghani, a stage and screen actor who’s previously appeared in the RSC’s Romeo and Juliet, Merry Wives of Windsor and the National Theatre’s Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as TV and film roles.
Stephane Nelson (Thibault de Montalembert)
Nick’s father Stephane makes a couple of brief but pivotal appearances in season two, as Nick and his fabulous mum deal with his coming out journey. French actor Thibault de Montalembert is a very familiar face to French and worldwide audiences, having played Mathias in hit Paris-set comedy Call My Agent (French title: Dix Pour Cent), as well as starring in Oscar-winning film All Quiet on the Western Front, appearing in The Tunnel and many more.
David Nelson (Jack Barton)
Nick’s older brother David is usually away at Glasgow university, but returns home for the summer break in season two, when he re-establishes his old bullying behaviour and, like their father, leaves a lot to be desired as a potential role model. He’s played by Jack Barton, seen in the third and final season of War of the Worlds, as well as BBC WWII action-drama SAS: Rogue Heroes. He’ll soon be seen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ next picture Poor Things.
Sahar Zahid (Leila Khan)
Sahar is a new friend of Elle, Darcy and Tara in season two. A Higgs student, Sahar is head of the prom committee and relies on a hand from the whole gang to pull off the perfect night for the Truham/Higgs lot. Sahar is played by Leila Khan in her first screen role.
Naomi Russell (Bel Priestley) & Felix Britten (Ash Self)
Naomi and Felix are new friends Elle makes on an open day to an art-specialist sixth form college she’s hoping to attend after her GCSEs. Elle bonds instantly with Naomi, who’s played by social media influencer Bel Priestley, over their shared talent for art and experiences as trans girls. Comedian and actor Ash Self plays fellow art student Felix, a disabled artist who becomes part of Elle’s new crew.
James McEwan (Bradley Riches)
James did feature in Heartstopper season one, but in a minor role that’s been much expanded for the second run of episodes. Played by newcomer Bradley Riches, James is a Truham student who works part time in a bookshop, which obviously makes him the perfect friend for bookworm Isaac.
Amanda Olsson (Rachel Stirling)
Detectorists and Doctor Who‘s Rachel Stirling appears briefly in season two as part of Darcy’s storyline. She plays Amanda, Darcy’s mother, who let’s just say is the opposite of Nick’s when it comes to supportive, role-model parents.
Charlie Spring (Joe Locke)
Year 10 sprinter, drummer and music fan Charlie is played by Joe Locke, an 18-year-old newcomer from the Isle of Man. Charlie is Heartstopper’s co-lead along with Kit Connor who plays Nick. Charlie has an older sister named Tori (the lead character in Alice Oseman’s debut novel Solitaire), a younger brother and loving parents. He goes to boys’ school Truham Grammar, where his friendship group includes Tao, Isaac and Elle (a trans pupil who recently moved schools to Higgs girls’ school). Heartstopper is Joe Locke’s first screen credit. In season two, Charlie supports his boyfriend Nick through his coming-out journey, but neglects his own mental health.
Nick Nelson (Kit Connor)
Year 11 rugby player Nick is played by Kit Connor, who, aged 18, already boasts an impressive acting film and TV career. As a child and teen actor, Kit appeared in BBC One’s War & Peace and SS-GB, as well as children’s series Rocket’s Island, films including Elton John biopic Rocketman and Ready Player One, and voices Lyra’s daemon Pan in His Dark Materials. His Heartstopper character is popular, sporty and lives with his mum and beloved dog Nellie. His Year 11 friendship group at Truham Grammar initially includes rich bully Harry, and Ben, but in season two, Nick chooses his friends much more carefully. His season two story is focused on coming out, and introduces his dad and older brother with whom he has difficult relationships.
Tao Xu (William Gao)
Year 10 pupil Tao Xu has been best friends with Charlie, Isaac and Elle since they started at Truham Grammar. He’s played by William Gao, a newcomer to the acting world discovered through an open casting audition. At the beginning of Heartstopper, Tao is missing best friend Elle after she left Truham to transfer to Higgs girls’ school. He’s fiercely protective of Charlie after his friend was outed as gay and bullied in Year 9, and suspicious of Charlie’s new friendship with Nick, whom he sees as no different from the boys that bullied Charlie last year. In season two, Tao explores his feelings for a close friend.
Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney)
Year 11 pupil Elle is a trans girl who previously attended Truham Grammar, where she was bullied. Elle left her friends Charlie, Tao and Isaac behind to start afresh at Higgs, where she’s isolated until she develops a friendship with Tara and Darcy. Elle is played by TikTok star Yasmin Finney, and Heartstopper is her first television credit. She’ll soon be seen as “Rose” in the 60th anniversary Doctor Who specials, due to air on BBC One and Disney+ in November 2023. In season two, Elle has a decision to make about her next step in life – where does she belong, at Higgs or at art school?
Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell)
Heartstopper is 19-year-old newcomer Kizzy Edgell’s first screen credit. They play Darcy, a Year 11 pupil at Higgs girls’ school, in the same friendship group as Tara and Elle. Darcy and Tara are characters explored by Alice Oseman in additional Heartstopper mini comics, and in season two, their relationship is explored in much more depth with their own plotline.
Tara Jones (Corinna Brown)
This is Corinna Brown’s first major television role, following supporting parts in film, online and voice work. Tara is a Year 11 pupil at Heartstopper’s girls’ school, alongside Darcy and Elle. In season two, Tara’s feelings for Darcy, and Darcy’s home life, are explored to great effect.
Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan)
Isaac was a regular character in season one (replacing Aled from the books, whose story may be channelled into a different format according to creator Alice Oseman), but in season two, he gets his own storyline. A bookworm never seen without a paperback in his hand, Isaac’s a quiet but intelligent presence who stands up for his friends when it matters – and has excellent reading taste. He’s played by newcomer Tobie Donovan.
Tori Spring (Jenny Walser)
Tori (Victoria, but don’t call her that) Spring is where it all started. She was the lead character in Alice Oseman’s debut novel Solitaire, from which the characters of her younger brother Charlie span off. She’s played by Jenny Walser, who recently appeared in long-running BBC hit Call the Midwife playing Louise Wrigley, a young woman experiencing severe mental health problems. Like Alice Oseman, Walser graduated from Durham University in 2016. In season two, Tori’s still around, usually seen glowering and sucking on a straw while being fiercely protective of the little brother she loves.
Mr Ajayi (Fisayo Akinade)
Art teacher Mr Ajayi, who provides support and a safe space for Charlie during schooltime, is played by Fisayo Akinade, an actor who first came to prominence in Russell T. Davies’ Banana and Cucumber for Channel 4. Alongside major roles in British theatre, Akinade has appeared in multiple TV and film roles including The Girl With All the Gifts and will soon be seen in the new TV adaptation of French classic Dangerous Liaisons. In season two, he’s one of the chaperones on the Truham/Higgs Paris trip, and has a supporting storyline of his own.
Cormac Hyde-Corrin plays Harry Greene, a wealthy bully at Truham Grammar. Sebastian Croft plays Ben, a young person struggling with his sexual identity who treats Charlie badly. Rhea Norwood plays Imogen, a Higgs pupil and long-time friend of Nick who has her own relationship worries in season two. Olivia Colman is back as Nick’s wonderful mum, and you’ll hear the voice of Stephen Fry once again as the Truham Grammar headmaster.
Heartstopper season two is available to stream on Netflix now.