【Cover Story】Kit Connor, A poetic ray of sunshine/ Kit Connor 灑在陽光下的燦爛墨客
Regardless of age, I believe that everyone has the most unforgettable story in their life journey. Through these stories, we may find our position in the future, and maybe we will write a sonnet-like poem about it, with joy, sorrow, and regret, but always unforgettable memories.
Thanks to Netflix's Heartstopper, we had the opportunity to cross the ocean to talk with actor Kit Connor. We asked him, "Do you think your future has a chance to be as poetic as a sonnet?" He said, "I would love to think that my life would become a sonnet but yeah I mean you'd only hope really. But I think sonnets are interesting because they're not always about beauty they can also just be about sort of darker things, and they can be about like sorrow. I mean I hope that I have a happy sonnet basically. I hope that my future is a happy sonnet."
For the perfect moment
The 18-year-old Kit Connor was born in London. Although interviewing him through the internet, I can still feel the style of the British gentleman through the screen. He has performed many times, but Heartstopper is his most impressive work since 2020. It is a story about teenagers discovering their sexuality as they grow up, and Kit Connor plays Nick Nelson, a high school football player in the series.
Looking back on the filming process at that time, Kit Connor thinks that the rugby scenes were the most impressive to him. "I think the rugby scenes were very difficult to film. I'm definitely not like as much of a rugby player as Nick Nelson is so those scenes were definitely quite daunting to film and quite, you know, a little bit scary. But as soon as we got into them it was really fun and still a little bit scary because you've got a lot of big guys running right towards you! But yeah I think that was probably the most impressive thing when we were filming."
To finish the project, Kit also went back to Paul, his childhood rugby coach. He trains three or four days a week for the role, whether it's kicking, tackling, sculpting, or running, and he does every basic rugby workout all over again just to get the role right.
Bye is my magic word
In Heatstopper, the two male protagonists, Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring have the word "Hi" as a magical bridge. Some people may think that this is too dreamy and too fanciful. But in fact, we already have the magic word when we get along with the people around us.
A closer look at whether Kit Connor also has magical words in private? He said: "I actually I have quite a lot of memories about the word 'bye' not in a sort of negative way. So, for example there is someone very important to me and whenever I say goodbye to this person we always sort of have quite a lot of fun saying goodbye and we all try and.. It's hard to explain we sort of say 'bye' and the last person last person to say 'bye' wins basically! So, you know I'll be walking away and then we'll just be shouting 'bye' at each other one after another. It's very silly but that's my magic word I think."
Ray of sunshine
Kit's character on the show, Nick Nelson, had a heart-pounding start when exploring his sexuality. Regardless of age, I believe everyone has gone through this process. It's just a matter of time. But how to act out the character's doubts? What was Kit thinking when he was acting? He said: "Well I think that's a very relatable thing for a lot of people I think even for viewers who haven't experienced that sort of confusion in terms of like, sexuality. I think that general kind of internal conflict and confusion in that sense is very relatable, and I think I can relate to that kind of confusion in many many ways so that wasn't actually too hard to play because, at the end of the day, it's a very relatable thing and so many people have experienced this kind of confusion"
It may not be difficult for Kit to act out the doubts; maybe he has empathized with them or knows exactly how to deal with such emotions. But after all, this is a teenage story about love, and the elements of love are still pivotal to the story. How would a young Kit describe the feeling of falling in love? Will it be like in the show where there are many cartoon birds and cartoon hearts around him? "For me it's very much like, it's almost like a sort of like a sort of a radiant kind of ray of sunshine almost. Sometimes it is just it just feels like a like a nice, I don't know, like a nice summer's day or something like that. It's very nice and sort of warm and bright and radiant and yeah I think it's like a sort of ray of sunshine."
Since love is described as so warm by Kit has, he also, himself, acted out that hot-blooded thing in the show when he rushes to another character in the rain? "I have actually done that before, running to someone's house in the rain. It did feel very romantic at the time and yeah, I mean it was not that pleasant because obviously it's really raining but I think sometimes when you care that much then you just wanna get and see someone and get to somewhere. If it's really that important then you sort of ignore the rain almost."
Seize the moment
Heartstopper has achieved good results on Netflix in the UK, and it has even begun to spread around the world with many people in Taiwan captivated by the show. For those who usually pay attention to European and American film and television trends, the biggest surprise in this play is Olivia Colman. The Academy Award winner plays Kit Connor's mom in this romantic series. I believe that if the Academy Awards winner stands in front of us, we may be somewhat nervous, not to mention that Kit must play alongside her. "Absolutely I think I think it would be weird if I didn't get nervous. I think I was. I think the first time I met her I was really trying to play it cool and I thought I was playing it cool for a little while but I had a cup of coffee in my hand and I had a sort of cap in my in my other hand. I was talking to her and then got sort of quite animated and then I spilt a little bit of my coffee on my on my hat and it was very embarrassing! So, I was definitely a little bit nervous and acting alongside her as well was you know, that was a very big thing but yeah. It was it was extremely rewarding, it was really really fun experience and you know very interesting to see someone as talented as Olivia Colman act."
Kit Connor gained global fame for her role in Heartstopper. When he was only eighteen years old, he had scenes opposite an Oscar winner and he was not overwhelmed by the powerful aura of the actress during the performance. His superb acting skills and moving looks are bound to become A moving poem, and a moving line written by Kit Connor himself.
PHOTOGRAPHY/ Jemima Marriott
STYLIST/ Ruta Jane
STYLISTS ASSISTANTS/ Carmel Anderson & Stoyan Chuchuranov
MUAH/ Nadia Altinbas
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/ Dylan TANG
GRAPHIC/ Shuian HSU