YEM Exclusive Interview: Corinna Brown shares what it was like working on the most heartwarming show of the year, “Heartstopper”

Corinna Brown is an actress that can be seen in Heartstopper. Heartstopper is a coming-of-age series about teens Charlie and Nick who discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love. Corinna portrayed the character of Tara Jones. The show premiered on Netflix on April 22nd. YEM was able to speak with Corinna about her first scene that she had to shoot, her character Tara, and what she has coming up in her career.

Young Entertainment Mag: What was it like when you found out you got the role? What did you know about the production going into the audition?  

Corinna Brown: I was genuinely in total shock! And looking back that moment changed my life!  I was clueless to how big this role would/ could be as I hadn’t read or even heard about the Heartstopper novels before auditioning. As soon as I read the first comic though, I was obsessed!!

YEM: What was the first scene you had to shoot and how did it go?

Corinna: The very first scenes we shot were in the music room, which you see in episode 6. So basically, its Tara’s BIG moment and it was my FIRST day on set!!! I was a nervous WRECK! But yeah, it went well.

YEM: Most of your scenes are with Kizzy Edgell, who plays Darcy. What was it like working together? How did you support each other while filming scenes?

Corinna: Kizzy is amazing! They’re such a natural when acting – even though this was their first acting job – like a lot of the cast, which just blows my mind because everyone’s so amazing!  So yeah, working with Kizzy was such fun and it made my job easy because when you’ve got someone so good to bounce off, it just works. And because we were both in the same boat, this is the biggest TV job I’ve had, so we were experiencing this very surreal moment together and became each other’s comfort. Even now – if were doing press I’m always like “Where’s Kizzy?!” 

YEM: What was the most challenging scene you had to shoot and how did you overcome it?

Corinna: I think for me it was Tara’s scene in the music room with Darcy. A mix of first day nerves, wanting to give the best performance ever and just added pressure from myself didn’t help haha. But I took a moment to do some deep breathing exercises to help channel my energy. Also, Euros is so calming and reassuring so he helped. 

YEM: Did you learn anything about yourself, whether in life or in your acting that you plan to take with you?

Corinna: I learnt loads! Which is a blessing – I think its important to learn something new every day and I certainly did. I’ve taken away so many skills – but I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to trust myself and my instincts when acting because it leaves you open to explore the raw emotions of the character, without having a preconceived idea of how the performance should be. With other jobs – its certainly given me the confidence to be in the moment and get out of my head.

YEM: You had to do more than one crying/emotional scene throughout the first season, what was it like for you as an actor to get to that place? How does one get to that place in their head? And how was it for you watching back?

Corinna: Honestly, because Alice’s script was so well written, so full of life and emotion anyway – it made it easy for me to tap into that mind set. I believed every word that Tara said, so naturally the emotions followed. I remember when we were rehearsing and halfway through, I had a tear roll down and Kizzy just looked at me and was like … you’re crying. It was a real gift. 

I always cringe a little bit watching myself back, but yeah, I was happy.

YEM: What’s it like to be Tara? What are similarities and differences between you and Tara?

Corinna: Ah, playing Tara is just so joyous. I think like myself she has got a very positive outlook on life and is very sensitive to things going on around her. Tara’s gradual openness to being vulnerable was also a treat to play and differs quite a lot from how I am. I tend to keep things in. Tara’s taught me to open up. 

Also, you never heard me play the clarinet – I’m AWFUL! I have so much respect for clarinet players haha it’s not easy.

YEM: If there was one thing you can tell your younger self about this career path, what would it be and why?

Corinna: Make sure your always having fun and have hobbies. This industry is cutthroat, you get a lot of no’s and maybes and it can be disheartening. But just try to not take things personally, keep enjoying what your doing, keep learning and living.

YEM: Where would you like to see Tara’s story go in Season 2?

Corinna: Ah I think a lot of the fans are excited for the gang’s trip to Paris! I hope we get to see some of Tara’s home life! I wanna see her relationship with her parents and how she helps Darcy navigate her difficult relationship with her family.

YEM: What do you have coming up next in your career?

Corinna: I’ve had some very exciting projects! Not sure if I can say exactly what yet, but I was working with the BBC and I’m about to start a short feature film as well. It’s all extremely exciting, and the way I see it the possibilities are endless so who knows what else will come!

YEM: And lastly where can people find you?

Corinna: Follow me on Instagram:  @Itzz_cori

Twitter:  @Itzz_cori

and TikTok: @notcorinnabrown123

Watch Corinna Brown in Heartstopper!