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Heartstopper’s Rhea Norwood discusses the legacy of her “I’m an ally” moment

Heartstopper’s Rhea Norwood breaks down her iconic line

Rhea Norwood in Heartstopper
Image credit: Netflix

“I’m not like homophobic. I’m an ally.”

Most of us have seen the meme. The awkward line has become a popular TikTok duet, it’s been featured in various YouTube reaction videos, and plenty of homages. In case you weren’t aware, the awkward school lunchroom moment comes from the Netflix romance series Heartstopper. Based on the popular Webtoon, Heartstopper recently released its second season on Netflix.

The “I’m an ally” moment comes from the fourth episode of the first season. For context, the line is said by the character Imogen Heaney after she learns that one of her classmates is a lesbian. During an appearance at MCM Comic Con 2023, Imogen’s actress Rhea Norwood recalled filming the line that launched a thousand memes.

“It was a very magical day on set for me. It was my second day on set ever, and we had the whole canteen full of supporting artists and everything. We did the scene, and everyone started laughing. That was a really special moment for me,” Norwood shared with fans.

According to Norwood, the line is quoted to her everywhere she goes. “It does follow me around everywhere. It haunts me in my sleep, that line. Everything I do, 'She’s an ally.'”

However, Norwood isn’t annoyed by the attention. She’s grateful that the moment resonated with viewers, and sees it as part of Imogen’s journey. “I think it’s such a brilliant piece of writing. I actually think it’s a really important scene to show. It’s wonderful, you want your work to be recognized and for people to enjoy it, so that was really lovely,” Norwood concluded.

Heartstopper season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

Heartstopper's use of animation makes the show a success

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