“I had always wanted to shave my head.” Asher Yasbincek Facetimes us to talk shaving her head on screen and all things Harper in Heartbreak High

The second season of Heartbreak High, released on Netflix on April 11, follows the students and teachers of Hartley High as they face new drama, relationships, and major plot twists. Right after season one was released, we got to chat with Asher Yasbincek who stars as Hartley High’s resident rebel Harper McLean, to learn more about her character in the first season, major storylines, and her favorite scenes to shoot. 

Heartbreak High is an Australian drama series that includes major themes of romance, teen angst, racial and gender tension, and social and familial problems. The show is based on the original ‘90s series but is now reimagined for a new generation. Ayesha Maddon plays Amerie, the title character, and also Harper’s estranged best friend. Season two explores new factions of students, new relationships and friendships, and even new characters.

Asher made her television debut as Rose in the serial drama The Heights. She also has had roles in the films Rams and How to Please a Woman and played Hannah Lane in the four-part miniseries Riptide. For her role as Harper, Asher received a nomination for the AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best Actress. 

In season one, Harper has a falling out with Amerie, and is the person in school everyone is a bit afraid of. But the end of the season reveals more about her and her difficult relationship with her father. For Asher, she said the storyline with Harper and her dad and the struggles of addiction was difficult but powerful, and she learned a lot as an actor from it. She learned how to ground herself from her mentor Scott Major, who played Peter Rivers in the original 1984 Heartbreak High

“I definitely made sure I was really informed and really aware of what [Harper] was going through at that time when we started filming.”

Asher: “The stuff with my dad was probably the most rewarding to shoot because it was my biggest challenge on the project.”

At the end of season one, Harper shaves her head but Asher revealed to us that shaving her head was the first scene she filmed for the show, which was a super cool opportunity as an actor. 

“I have always wanted to shave my head. I think it’s kind of a rite of passage, you just have to do it once in your life. I had always loved those scenes of people shaving their heads on camera.”

Even while their characters are frenemies in season one, Asher said she and Ayesha developed a close relationship off screen and they did some fake fighting to perfect that on screen dynamic. One of her favorite scenes to film was the cake scene, where Harper throws a cake at Amerie and Dusty, played by Joshua Heuston. 

“I just love Ayesha, and I think it shows through the characters as well. We had a couple of fake fights.”

“It is hard because you want to laugh, I was like how am I going to get through this scene without laughing.”

Thank you, Asher, for chatting with Young Entertainment. Follow her on her Instagram at @asheryasbincek. Watch the video below where we ask her more about some of the best scenes to film from season one, the importance of knowing your character’s backstory, and fun moments off set with her cast members. 

Consider this: 

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks in your roles. If there is something you are interested in doing, voice your ideas and opinions and take a chance on yourself. 
  • Study your character and their backstory heavily before getting into your role.
  • Ask questions and rely on your mentors, they can help you a lot when it comes to filming more difficult scenes.