Out trans Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney is set to play the lead in a short film based on a song by pansexual English pop-punk singer-songwriter Yungblud.
Like the song of the same name, Mars is inspired by a fan the singer (whose real name is Dominic Harrison) met while on tour. The fan was having a hard time convincing her parents of her trans identity.
According to Deadline, Finney will play Charlie Acaster, a teen struggling with the constraints of her normal life in the North of England until an extraordinary night makes her think about life in a brand new way. The song’s lyrics refer to Charlie’s parents not understanding why she couldn’t “become a better man.”
In a statement released when Mars was announced late last year, the filmmakers said they were “committed to securing on and off-screen talent from the trans, non-binary, and wider LGBTQ+ community.”
The film, which is reportedly set to premiere at a major film festival later this year, is directed by Abel Rubinstein, with playwright Chris Bush writing and Harrison producing.
“Yasmin is a striking performer,” Rubinstein said. “She has the ability to tell a whole story with a single look. She utterly embodied the character of Charlie whilst also bringing so much more.”
“This story is an uncensored, unfiltered portrayal of youth,” Harrison told NME last year. “It revels in the fragile beauty of it, flirts with the pain of it and most importantly the undeniable, glimmering hope of it. It presents a generational shift towards acceptance of one’s self and others, and ever growing confidence in our own insecurities.”
“I cannot wait to make my first film. This whole journey started with an encounter. Then it became a song, now it’s becoming a movie,” Yungblud said. “All my art is about and forever will be about, is making people feel like they can be undeniably themselves, whoever they are — and with this project we’re turning that message up to 11.”
Finney will likely also return for the recently announced second and third seasons of Heartstopper. She’ll also star opposite Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa in the upcoming season of long-running British sci-fi series Doctor Who and has expressed her ambition to play the first out trans Bond girl in a future 007 installment.