Academy Award winner Olivia Colman has a supporting role in Netflix's LGBTQ+ teen drama Heartstopper, it can finally be revealed.


In an age of leaks, the streaming service has impressively been able to keep her involvement top secret right up until launch, but fans tuning in today will see her debut at the end of the first episode.

Heartstopper follows the bond between schoolboys Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) and Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), which begins as a friendship and gradually blossoms into romance over the course of a school term.

Colman plays Nick's mother, Sarah, who is seen at several points in the story, providing emotional support to her son as he privately struggles to come to terms with his confusing feelings.

Naturally, all of her scenes are with Rocketman star Connor, who described working with the celebrated actor as "an honour" during an interview with and other press.

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“We got to film with her for two days and it was really just me and her, and it was an utterly incredible, enlightening experience for me," he said. "I think it's an honour for any actor to be able to work with an Oscar winner [or] anyone of Olivia’s calibre."

Connor went on to reveal that Colman's involvement was kept from them during production, with the truth ultimately being revealed after a sneaky intervention from one of his co-stars.

He continued: "We spent most of the shoot not knowing who was playing my mum. So it was like, there was a circle on the call sheet, who is it going to be? We thought, ‘It’s got to be someone pretty interesting’.

"Bash [aka co-star Sebastian Croft] pretended he knew, so then I went to Patrick – our executive producer – and was like, ‘So who is it then? If Bash knows…’ And then I found out and I was the first person to know, so Bash kind of tricked everyone."

Without divulging any spoilers, one scene in particular between Nick and his mother is sure to pull at the heartstrings of many watching at home – and it was a daunting one for Connor to perform with his Oscar-winning co-star.

Kit Connor plays Nick Nelson in Heartstopper
Kit Connor plays Nick Nelson in Heartstopper Netflix

He added: "I remember so distinctly sitting on the other side of the table, we were just stumbling through [the scene], and then suddenly a tear rolled down her cheek – and I just thought, ‘I need to step up my game right now’. It was a nerve-wracking experience."

The Heartstopper cast as well as creator Alice Oseman were all united in their shock when Colman accepted an offer to be in the show, which according to Connor, came in the form of a personal letter from director Euros Lyn.

Oseman recalled: "When we were discussing trying to get a big name to be Nick’s mum, I was literally like there's no way this is going to happen. This is the silliest idea ever. There's literally not any point doing this.

"But we tried anyway and Olivia wanted to do it. And I just couldn't believe it. There's really no other way to say it, I was just shocked, but so happy because she's such an incredible actress. She brings so much to that character and all the scenes with Nick’s mum just feel so special and subtle and just really beautiful."

Another big name hidden among the largely unknown Heartstopper cast is comedian and actor Stephen Fry, who provides the voice of the headmaster at Charlie and Nick's secondary school.

Heartstopper is available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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