heart stopper‘sJoe Locke has been candid about the fallout from his recent fame, admitting he feels a “strange guilt” at how it’s impacted his family’s life as well.
The 19-year-old Manx actor is best known for playing the openly gay schoolboy Charlie, who falls in love with popular rugby boy Nick (Kit Connor) on the fan-favorite Netflix series. The show, which was acclaimed by the LGBT+ community for its portrayal, is based on Alice Oseman’s webcomic and graphic novel of the same name.
Following the release of the second season, which quickly rose to second place on the streamer’s list of most-watched English-language series, Locke shared: teen vogue about how fame has affected his family.
“Sometimes I feel like her life is affected by the association of choices in my life,” he said.
Locke told the outlet that his mother was forced to create new social media accounts because strangers messaged her to find out their location. Some, he said, even called his grandmother.
“It’s a mutual thing. I need to learn my limits and people need to learn their limits,” Locke continued. “Most of the attention comes from a really good place and I hope to always appreciate that.”
He added that he hopes future generations can change the notion that celebrities automatically give up their “right to privacy.”
“I think people need to understand that privacy is non-negotiable,” Locke said.
In November 2022, Locke’s co-star Connor, 19, had to deal with invasion of his privacy. At the time, he was “forced to come out as bisexual” after being accused of “queerbaiting” — when a straight actor portrays his LGBT+ identity to garner positive attention.
Connor later opened up about the situation, saying that at the time he “felt it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about.”
“I wasn’t angry,” he clarified. “I was just a little disappointed with that reaction.”
heart stopper Season two, now streaming on Netflix, follows Charlie and Nick as they cope with their new relationship.
While the final season has a strong critical score of 96 percent on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, The IndependentNick Hilton felt that “this teen show, in its quest for validation, forgets to be good.”
“Netflix’s sweet celebration drama about queer teens was a smash hit when it first released, so it’s a shame that the sequel – while still watchable – feels overly sanitized and poorly executed,” he wrote in his two-star review .