Olivia Colman won’t be in Heartstopper season three: ‘I feel awful’

Olivia Colman will not reprise her role as Sarah Nelson, Nick Nelson’s mother, in Heartstopper season three.

50-year-old Wicked Little Letters actress Colman played Sarah in seasons one and two of Alice Oseman’s sweet queer teen drama on Netflix.

She played a pivotal part in season one, when her son Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) came out as bisexual to her.

Her heartfelt reaction became one of the season’s most moving moments.

Speaking to Forbes, Colman said that she felt “awful” about not being able to fit filming for the third season into her hectic schedule.

“I couldn’t do number three. I couldn’t fit it in. I feel awful about that,” she explained.

“I feel like I was part of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of.”

Colman said that she would, however, be interested in a spin-off show focussing on her and her relationship with Nick.

“As long as it’s booked in advance, maybe I’ll be able to do it, yeah,” she said.

Some fans are sharing their devastation at not seeing Olivia Colman reprise the treasured role, while others are questioning how season three will play out, considering Sarah Nelson is featured in Oseman’s upcoming storylines – particularly in a moving beach scene between Sarah and Nick.

what will happen with these scenes this season then? https://t.co/k5Eh148okj pic.twitter.com/LENFpCgeRc

— madde (@simoncentric) March 28, 2024

The show’s creator, Alice Oseman, has issued a statement regarding Colman’s departure from the show, assuring fans that the Heartstopper team tried “everything” they could to make the timings work.

“We are so deeply grateful to Olivia for the stunning performance she gave to the show and wish her the absolute best,” Oseman wrote.

She also sought to reassure fans about how Colman’s departure might affect season three.

“We did not re-cast Sarah and I know many of you – comic fans especially – will be upset and concerned about how we will move forward without Nick’s mum. I know there is one scene that many of you will be looking forward to in season three, and you may be feeling disappointed and disheartened with us.

“I totally understand, I was really worried too when I first found out,” she added.

She urged fans not to “give up” on the show as she has worked “preserve” the beach scene in the comic with “new elements in the story” that will give it the same “emotional punch”.

“Sarah’s role as emotional support to Nick will shift to other characters in the story for now. If we get season four, I would love Olivia to be part of it again.”

Season three will largely focus on Nick Nelson’s boyfriend, Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), as he endures a struggle with an eating disorder.

The third outing will also be “raunchier” and focus heavily on “sexual tension” between the characters, as Nick and Charlie take their relationship to the next level.

Joe Locke and Kit Connor behind the scenes of Heartstopper season three. (Netflix)

Heartstopper season three is also rumoured to feature an appearance from Mission Impossible actress Hayley Atwell as Nick’s aunt, Diane.

Fellow Travelers actor Jonathan Bailey, meanwhile, is rumoured to appear as Jack Maddox, a famous classicist who Charlie Spring has a crush on.

Also joining the cast of season three is Grace actor Darragh Hand, who plays Tori Spring’s boyfriend, Michael Holden.

In her statement about Colman leaving the show, Oseman added that more casting announcements would be coming in the next few weeks.

Heartstopper season three will air on Netflix in October.

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