Alice told The Guardian in March 2022 she feels “there aren’t enough shows where teens are played by real teens." This led to casting 18-year-old actors, Kit Connor and Joe Locke, as Nick and Charlie to more authentically depict the teenage experience.When asked how she ensures stories involving queer characters are written with respect, Alice explained to writer Sean Z.
that she tends to draw from her real-life circumstances. This was the case for Heartstopper, including how Charlie and Nick attend an all-boys school in England."Often for me, it’s taking elements of my personal experience as a queer person," Alice said in the May 2021 interview. "Much of Heartstopper comes from my own life – I too went to a single-sex grammar school in a conservative town in the south-east of England, and the world of Heartstopper and the people in it are all inspired by what life was like there.""It’s also important that when I’m writing about topics that are wildly outside of my own experience — in any of my works — I do seek out advice from others who know better!" Alice added in her interview with Sean Z.As she wrote the Hearstopper novels that provide the foundation for the new series, Alice did her research and listened to the feedback of sensitivity readers.
Furthermore, if she analyzed a subject and found that she was too unfamiliar with it, she didn't include it in the story."Sensitivity readers are a great example of [where to get advice from], and I’ve had really positive experiences with people I’ve hired to read over my work," she said. "Research is important too — following people online, watching YouTube videos of people talking about their experiences, reading firsthand accounts and articles.
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