“I am so proud of this show and what it’s done for young people.” Heartbreak High’s Gemma Chua-Tran reflects on her character Sasha and favorite moments from season one ahead of season two release

Heartbreak High became an instant hit on Netflix in 2022 because of its relatable and diverse characters and important storylines. In anticipation of the show’s season two release on April 11, we got to chat with Gemma Chua-Tran who plays Sasha after season one to learn more about her character, storylines, and relationships in the show, and some of her favorite scenes to shoot. 

Heartbreak High is an Australian drama series following the students and teachers of Hartley High as they navigate 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, praised for representing characters from different races, genders, sexual orientations, and disabilities. Ayesha Maddon plays Amerie, the title character, as she deals with old rifts and new friendships and relationships. Season two will feature all returning cast members from season one in addition to some new faces for Term Two at Hartley High. 

“This one I am so passionate about and I’m so glad that we get to see where all of these characters go and what their stories are. I am just so super keen to work with everyone again.”

Gemma described Sasha as chronically online and all about social justice, but also a bit surface level. She is also out as a Lesbian and was formerly friends with Harper and Amerie. Before Heartbreak High, Gemma had roles in Mustangs FC, Back of the Net, and Clap

“Sitting into Sasha’s character and with the confidence that she has, has definitely made me more confident. I feel like I can say what I feel without having to worry about repercussions.”

Gemma plays a complex character, and she told us there were challenges playing Sasha but it was also incredibly rewarding. She said playing a character who could come off as insensitive at times was difficult so she had a lot of open conversations with her costars to make sure they were comfortable, also learning how to separate herself from her character. 

“It only took me until like halfway through where I realized like this is my job, that’s what I am supposed to portray and this is what I have to do and actually just do the work and delve into the more sinister side of [Sasha’s] character.”

Sasha had a bold look throughout the season, sporting colorful eyeliner and a pink mullet. She said while the pink dye was high maintenance, it was so fun to have, and she also loved Sasha’s outfit looks.

“They definitely thought of the pink mullet but honestly it’s a hairstyle I would’ve absolutely gone for as well, which I am so happy about because it was so much fun.”

Gemma said she was so proud of the first season the cast and crew created, and developed great relationships with all the actors. We cannot wait to see where her character goes in season two! 

“It’s just so beautiful being able to connect with so many people who I would’ve never ever met in my life if I hadn’t done this one particular television series.”

Thank you Gemma for chatting with Young Entertainment. Follow her on her Instagram at @gemmachuatran. Watch the video where we ask her more about her relationships with the cast off screen, her favorite fun scenes to film, and more. 

Consider this: 

  • Make sure your costars you are filming with feel comfortable. Check in with them throughout the process and don’t be afraid to have vulnerable conversations. 
  • It is okay to separate yourself from your character. The character you play doesn’t define you. But take away all that you can from playing them.