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Olivia Colman Reveals Sarah Nelson Won’t Appear on ‘Heartstopper’ Season 3: ‘Feel Awful About That’

Olivia Colman Feels Awful She Didn't Return for Heartstopper Season 3
Olivia Colman Netflix

Heartstopper fans shouldn’t expect to see Olivia Colman reprise her role as Kit Connor‘s onscreen mother on season 3.

“I couldn’t do number three. I couldn’t fit it in,” Colman, 50, revealed during an interview with Forbes, which was published on Thursday, March 28. “I feel awful about that.”

Colman reflected on her time playing Nick Nelson’s mother, Sarah Nelson, adding, “I feel like I was part of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of.”

In response to a question about Sarah receiving her own spinoff series, Colman showed her support. “OK! I’ll have a word. As long as it’s booked in advance — maybe I’ll be able to do it. Yeah!”

Heartstopper cast

Related: 'Heartstopper' Season 3: Everything to Know

Colman’s absence comes as a surprise since Nick’s mother plays a crucial role in the next chapter of his journey. Heartstopper, which is based on Alice Oseman‘s graphic novels, focuses on high school athlete Nick (Connor) as he starts to question his sexuality after developing a friendship with fellow student Charlie (Joe Locke).

Olivia Colman Feels Awful She Didn't Return for Heartstopper Season 3
Joe Locke and Kit Connor Netflix

During the second season’s finale, which premiered in August 2023, Charlie opened up to Nick about his eating disorder and past self-harm. The upcoming season will focus on Charlie taking the steps to get help, which affects Nick as well.

“People who have read the comics will know what’s going to happen, but I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t been reading the comics,” Oseman told Tudum in August 2023. “I think [Season 2’s ending] just sets up that conversation for next season. We know that Charlie loves Nick, and I think we know that Nick loves Charlie as well. It’s just about when and how they’re going to say that to each other.”

Related: Which TV Shows Are Renewed, Which Are Canceled in 2024-2025?

That same month, Oseman discussed the show’s continued plans to address mental health struggles.

“In season 2, we started to explore mental health in a big way, and I think it’s pretty obvious from the way we leave the season that is going to be a big element of season 3,” Oseman explained to Metro. “We’re going to continue to look at that in a big way and explore how that affects Nick and Charlie’s relationship, and all of the other friendships in the show.”

Oseman expressed their excitement about expanding the Heartstopper story.

“I’m always very committed to preserving what is in the comics and making sure all the big, exciting moments are in the show, but honestly, there is just so much extra space around that to do whatever we want,” the creator told Entertainment Weekly in 2023. “Now that we’ve got seasons 1 and 2, we’ve had so much development for the supporting cast: Tao, Elle, Tara, Isaac, even new characters like Imogen.”

Oseman concluded: “There’s so much new stuff that gives us so much to play with in season 3. I feel very comfortable letting the show be its own thing. In my mind, the show and the comic feel very separate, although it’s quite a faithful adaptation. I feel excited to get to expand Heartstopper for the show.”

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