‘Heartstopper’: William Gao is the breakout star of Netflix’s new hit teen series

  • Netflix’s latest coming-of-age, LGBTQ plus romance series “Heartstopper” has been receiving glowing reviews since its release last Friday.
  • Among the show’s main stars is newcomer William Gao, who plays Tao Xu.
  • Gao, whose acting career began in the theater, is also part of a musical act called Wasia Project.

Netflix’s latest coming-of-age, LGBTQ plus romance series “Heartstopper” has been receiving glowing reviews since its release last Friday, thanks to its heart-stopping story brought to life by a young and talented ensemble.

Among the show’s main stars is newcomer William Gao, who plays Tao Xu, the protective, no-nonsense friend to Joe Locke’s Charlie Spring.

William Gao (left) and Joe Locke (right) in “Heartstopper.” Image: Netflix

Born in England on Feb. 20, 2003, Gao’s acting career reportedly began in the theater, when the National Youth Theatre accepted him as a member in May 2019.

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In addition to being an actor, Gao is part of a musical act called Wasia Project, which includes his sister Olivia.

Gao, who grew up in Croydon in South London, reportedly attended Trinity School for his basic education. After completing his studies, he signed with the Curtis Brown Group to help launch his acting career.

Gao announced his role in the series in an Instagram post last November, which featured a photo of the cast that includes lead actors Locke and Kit Connor, who plays Nick Nelson. His character, Tao, has been known to do his best to protect his friend Charlie’s heart — sometimes to a fault. Tao also has his own love interest, Elle Argent (played by Yasmin Finney).

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Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series of the same name, “Heartstopper” became the talk of Twitter over the weekend with nearly a million engagements, propelling itself to the top of Variety’s Trending TV chart. Some even hailed the show as Netflix’s “best series ever.”

As of this writing, the eight-episode series has a 100% critics rating and 98% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, it has a 9.1 out 10 rating on IMDb based on the responses of nearly 12,000 users.

 

Featured Image via Netflix

 

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