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Transgender star Yasmin Finney claims she wouldn’t be showbusiness without role models like Laverne Cox. In the popular Netflix drama Heartstopper which returns for season two, Yasmin plays transgender schoolgirl Elle Argent who struggles with her feelings for close friend turned crush Tao Xu.
Just like her on-screen counterpart, Yasmin is also transgender and is very proud to be part of such an inclusive show.
“If I didn’t have representation growing up, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she says. “But I had Laverne Cox, I had Pose, I had representation from a young age.
“I know I’m 19, but representation is such a powerful thing and all it takes is for someone to look like you, act like you, have the same voice, the same style, the same belief on-screen and that’s it. It’s inspiring and it’s powerful and it’s the future.”
The Netflix series focuses on a boy meets boy love story between Nick and Charlie. But it also tells the stories of other LGBT characters and the show has touched the hearts of viewers everywhere.
“Heartstopper is so special because it’s brought a community of people together from different backgrounds,” explains Yasmin, “Different genders, different sexualities altogether on one show and it really shows every kind of person. It’s a place for equality, it’s escapism, it’s home and it’s powerful.
As the new series of Hearstopper begins, Nick and Charlie attempt to navigate their new relationship. But it’s a stressful time for everyone at Truham Grammar and Higgs Girls School with exams on the horizon, a school trip to Paris and a prom to plan.
“We went to Paris, it looks really warm but in one scene, it was the coldest day I’ve ever experienced in my life,” reveals Yasmin. “But we had to make it work and I think we did. As soon as they said ‘cut’ it was coats on, it was freezing."
“As for Elle and Tao, their relationship definitely blossoms into something beautiful which is amazing to say, finally. It’s very exciting, Elle and Tao have been on a roller coaster of emotions from series one.”
The coming of age comedy quickly took off after airing in April last year, it became so popular that the cast were thrust into fame almost overnight.
“We’re all coping with it, we’re all leaning on each other,” says Yasmin. “I mean we’ve barely hit puberty, the cast. So we take every day as it comes. But I’m really proud of all of us, we’re killing it, and it’s a great feeling.”
Hearstopper season 2 begins Thursday 3rd August, 8am, Netflix