*WARNING — spoilers for all Heartstopper episodes below*
Netflix's new teen romance Heartstopper had a big surprise for viewers when it launched this morning with the reveal of a big-name actor whose involvement had been kept a closely-guarded secret.
The cast list for the series was released in April 2021, but the inclusion of this A-lister was kept under wraps until fans got to the end of the first episode, where Nick (Kit Connor) is picked up from school by his mum Sarah, and we see that she's played by none other than Oscar-winner Olivia Colman!
Kit was absolutely thrilled when he found out that Olivia would be playing his on-screen mother, although he admits that when they first met, he didn't manage to play it quite as cool as he hoped to...
"It's an experience that I don't think will ever really sink in — I was just in awe of her for pretty much the whole time," Kit tells What to Watch. "I think I embarrassed myself a little bit, because I was desperate to play it cool the first time I met her."
"I think I had a coffee in my hand, and a cap in the other — the cap was mine," Kit continues. "I was just so excited and sort of animated that I spilt a bit of this coffee on the hat, and she sort of stopped the conversation and said, 'oh, you've spilt some coffee there — is that costume or anything like that?' and I said, 'oh no, don't worry, it's fine, this is mine'. It was just a bit of a blur, to be honest!"
Fortunately Kit was able to regain his composure in order to film the very moving scenes between Nick and his mother in the drama, and he has nothing but positive things to say about his experience of working with Olivia.
"She was so warm, and just a wonderful person," says Kit. "It was so easy to act alongside her because she was just so naturally gifted and amazing — I'm giving you very basic words to describe her, but they are all very much wonderful, amazing, talented - every word under the sun!"
- Heartstopper is available to stream now on Netflix
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Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com, who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.