But James Majoos, who plays queer and non-binary student Darren Rivers in the show, said the key differences of the characters are their least interesting elements.
“It’s diverse but our racial backgrounds or our sexuality or our identities are the least interesting things about all of these characters and us as people.”
James Majoos plays Darren Rivers in the Netflix series Heartbreak High. Credit: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Netflix
Majoos said representation is particularly important, given Australia’s poor track record with on-screen diversity.
The show centres around students of the fictional Hartley High as they navigate sex, drugs and relationships after an “incest map” detailing their sexual relationships with one another is found by teachers.
Watson said representation in the media is important because “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it”.
(left to right) Heartbreak High actors Sherry-Lee Watson, Ayesha Maddon and Gemma Chua-Tran. Credit: LISA TOMASETTI/NETFLIX
“It’s always going to be important because this is the truth. And it’s our job as actors to tell the truth at the end of the day – truth to the script and truth to the writer,” she said.
Australian slang such as “root” and “eshay”, liberal use of the C-bomb, as well as Gen-Z terminology like “pick me” are a mainstay in Heartbreak High’s dialogue.
“Our writers are so trusting to us as actors to put on our own flavour on some of the script and actually more than flavour, we had a lot of creative say how these characters are represented in the dialogue.”