Asher Yasbincek. Photo by: Marija Ivkovic
Netflix’s Australian teen drama series Heartbreak High returned with its second season on April 11th after having its series debut in September 2022. The Netflix series is a reboot of the popular 90s show which ran from 1994-1999. Audiences are now introduced to a new generation of students at Hartley High in Sydney, which Netflix describes as “Down Under Degrassi meets Euphoria, with the colorful style and graphic eyeliner perfected by the Spanish teens of Elite.”

Season one followed the students at Hartley and the discovery of a secret map that revealed all the hook-ups at the school. Amerie, played by Ayesha Madon, who created the map along with ex-best friend Harper, played by Asher Yasbincek, tries to repair her reputation and friendship all while navigating love, sex, heartbreak, and drama. Season two finds Amerie and Harper back as besties and at school, but with a new, anonymous, enemy named ‘Bird Psycho’ out to get Amerie.

We caught up with Heartbreak High‘s Asher Yasbincek to disucss her returning to play Harper for a second season and what went into preparing to film some of the more emotional scenes.

Check out our conversation below.

What was it like to get back on set and reunite with the cast to film season 2 of Heartbreak High?

Asher Yasbincek: Stepping back onto set for season 2 was like walking back through the gates of high school after a long summer holiday. Everyone looked a little different, everyone had loads of stories to share and we were all so excited to see one another and get stuck back into these characters and their stories that we all love. 

Do you have a better idea of who Harper is as a character after playing her now for 2 seasons?

Asher Yasbincek: Harper holds such an important space in my heart. She totally owns a piece of me and I care so much about her and her experience. She has always felt like a separate person to me. Someone I think about often and hope is okay. 

Season 2 definitely gave me more insight into her desires for her life and her strength and resilience. I am really proud of her. 

Are there aspects about Harper you can relate to, or is she completely different?

Asher Yasbincek: I can definitely relate to Harper in many ways. Maybe more so internally. We definitely handle things differently. But she’s a young woman navigating very difficult experiences and emotions and she’s learning and improving her space and her energy which is something I also try to do. 

We both fiercely love our friends and love is at the core of Harper even when she’s lashing out. 

Asher Yasbincek. Photo by: Marija Ivkovic

In season 2 we see Harper dealing with many different issues. Was it difficult acting wise to get into a darker mindset to tackle those storylines?

Asher Yasbincek: I think it’s really important to be mindful of the impact it can have on your physical and mental being when you’re tackling a role with heavy content. Whilst your brain might know it’s not real, your body doesn’t. I was super fortunate throughout this process to have so much support and love around me. We had dramaturges for both seasons which was a tremendous help and privilege. 

Everyone behind the scenes gave me so much space and time to communicate and there’s safety in that. 

Our head writer, Hannah Carroll Chapman, and I spoke often about Harper and her experiences and what they meant and what was important to convey and that helped me to feel really grounded in what I was doing. The whole writing team wrote her with such care and kindness. Harper is really Hannah’s creation, I’m the grateful vessel. 

My mentor Scott Major, has taught me how to really step in and out of Harper’s space whilst keeping my own mental state protected and that’s so important. When working on the tough scenes everyone was so considerate and kind. I feel very fortunate to be working with such an amazing team of people. 

(L-R): Ayesha Madon as Amerie and Asher Yasbincek as Harper in season 2 of Heartbreak High. Photo by: Netflix

One of the highlights from season 2 was episode 4 where the students went on a camping trip and ended up taking shrooms. It seems like it must have been fun to film. What can you tell us about shooting those scenes?

Asher Yasbincek: The camp stuff was so so so much fun! It felt like a real camp and everyone really got into it. Acting is playing and I feel like that was such a cool opportunity for us all to play. There was a lot of laughter at the craziness of each character’s mushroom experiences and even just mucking around in the background of shots left me in stitches. 

These people are such great friends of mine and are so talented. It was the best set experience. Being covered in dirt and pretending to be high was a hysterical ‘how is this my job?’ moment. 

Heartbreak High has a global audience since it streams on Netflix; what do you hope people take away when they watch?

Asher Yasbincek: I hope people laugh and cry and heal when they watch the show. I hope they find comfort in the characters as we actors have. I hope they feel seen, heard and represented. I hope that the show can provide a little bubble of Aussie life to those who have lived it and those who haven’t. 

My life has forever been changed. I’ve made a little family here and I hope that the viewers feel included in that too. 

It’s been the best experience ever to hear how loved the show is and what it’s meant to those who have watched. It’s all for you!!!

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Heartbreak High seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.

Follow Asher Yasbincek: Instagram

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