Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney opened up about why the character of Elle Argent felt like it “was created” just for her and the importance of LGBTQ+ representation.
The 19-year-old discussed her trailblazing role on the Netflix series during an appearance on Queerpiphany with Tayce and Munroe Bergdorf.
The award-nominated digital series sees the two hosts sit down with a number of LGBTQ+ stars to discuss the iconic pop culture moments that shaped their queer experiences.
“The first time I did see a televised black trans-girl was you [Munroe] and that was on Good Morning Britain,” Yasmin explained during the first episode of season two.
“I was so infatuated that when I saw you on-screen, I was like ‘oh my god, that’s- that’s fab!’ We’ve got somebody who’s fighting the corner that I didn’t know I had – I didn’t know what I was back then. I just wish it was the other way round. It was like you were being appraised for being who you were. It was like a debate; it wasn’t anything positive at all.
“So when I saw that I was like ‘oh god’, we’re kind of being ostracised and we’re being attacked. Again our identity is being questioned by a white man.”
She also discussed the pressures of being famous at such a young age and wanting to use her platform to be a positive role model.
“It feels so crazy to me because I’ve literally manifested this whole career for myself so quickly,” Yasmin continued.
“And for me to be playing a black trans girl who’s 16/15 on people’s screens in 195 countries globally?
“It’s just like an instant fame and an instant sort of weight on my shoulders to be this perfect person.”
#Queerpiphany IS BACK! This week the amazing @Yazdemand joins @its_tayce and Munroe Bergdorf to talk all about the beauty of @NetflixUK's Heartstopper + how Elle Argent became the representation she never had growing up 🏳️⚧️🌈
— MTV UK (@MTVUK) September 8, 2022
Discussing her time on Heartstopper, Yasmin said Elle felt “like a role that was created for me.”
“Listen, I never had an Elle growing up so I think for me, I’m just really happy that I get to be that representation that I never had,” she explained. “I know I’m only 18, but it’s kind of like I still wish I had this when I was 12, 13, researching and digging for information on who I was and what was going on with me.”
Yasmin continued: “I think what I love so much about Heartstopper and Elle is that it’s such a natural trans story that’s painted positively. It doesn’t focus on the bad things that come with being a queer person, like the bullying or the like the pressures. It just focuses purely on the natural beauty of chosen family, joy and friendship.”
She proceeded to tease her upcoming role in Doctor Who, she she said has “happened so quickly.”
“The character is called Rose, she’s another trans icon, a 15-year-old trans girl with a great supportive family,” Yasmin further teased.
You can watch the full episode of Queerpiphany below or by clicking here.