Culture / TV

Bryn Chapman Parish gives us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the set of ‘Heartbreak High’ S2

Bryn Chapman Parish gives us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the set of 'Heartbreak High' S2

Netflix's Heartbreak High has become something of a cultural phenomenon – the International EMMY-award winning Australian answer to cult teen 'dramady' shows that manages to perfectly encapsulate a day-in-age look at high school antics, romance and friendship. Since releasing the show's first season in 2022, the motley crew of Hartley High have taken the screen and our hearts by storm, spouting rogue one-liners and niche Aussie slang with pitch-perfect comedic timing that we haven't seen on screens since the likes of Puberty Blues.

As of last week, the wait is over for their new-found global fanbase, who hotly anticipated the series' second season. We see all the fan favourites – Amerie, Harper, Sasha, Spider, Darren, Quinnie and more – returning to school grounds to start Year 11, and while they might like to think they're ready to turn a new leaf, the season's antics certainly won't disappoint.

Series star Bryn Chapman Parish, who plays Hartley High's resident troll and jock, Spencer "Spider" White, gave RUSSH an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at life on set for season 2, capturing candid portraits of his fellow cast mates, and answering some of our burning questions about this next chapter of Heartbreak High...



How would you describe this season of ‘Heartbreak High’ in three words?

Saucy. Mysterious. Gangbusters.


What’s it like coming back to a character after a big break? Did you find yourself rewatching old episodes from S1? How did you prepare to approach the role a second time around?

It's funny, I actually haven't rewatched season one since it came out. I probably should have. This the first time I've had the chance to come back to a character, and I was feeling a little nervous about it. But I think thanks to all the work that went into building the characters and world in season one, it all fell back into place from the first day. It was like "Oh hey, that's right, this is how Spider feels. Let's get cracking".



What was the biggest challenge for you while filming S2?

I was fortunate to get a bit more to do this season with Spidey, so juggling the workload would have to be it. We shoot everything out of order, so keeping track of where your character is at in the story arc is super important. I really dove into that head-on from day dot. It's just made me appreciate even more how much of a phenomenal job Ayesha does leading the show. It's a massive undertaking, being number one on the call sheet. You're there everyday, before everyone else, with a colossal amount of work to do, and she does it all with a huge smile on her face. She killed it this season, can't wait for everyone to see.


Aside from Spider, do you have a favourite character from this season?

It's a tough one, everyone really brought it this season. I'm going to lock in Sasha, played by the incredible Gemma Chua-Tran. Her choices were so out there and hilarious, she nails it every single time she comes on screen. It was a pleasure running a campaign against her. An honourable mention goes to Angus Sampson though. My face hurts just thinking about all the times I had to hold back laughter in our scenes together.



What were you like in high school – were you anything like the Hartley High crew?

I went to a performing arts school, so instead of your typical high school groups there were the musos, the drama kids, the dancers, the locals – all with their own subsects. I didn't really stick to one to be honest, l more floated between a few, which is kind of reflected in the way the students at Hartley interact. They have their core groups, but during this season we get to see some really lovely intersections between them, some new friendships, some new romances... There's definitely some similarities in terms of the party culture too, but I don't think I should go too deeply into that in print...


Season 2 of Heartbreak High is now available to stream globally on Netflix.

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