The second season of Heartstopper introduces Stéphane Nelson, Nick’s father, who lives in Paris and does not make an effort to be a part of his children’s lives. Thibault de Montalembert plays the role of Stéphane.
Nick’s father, Stéphane, is French and lives in Paris. He works in property development and does not get enough time to visit his sons. Due to this, Nick does not talk about him much, and before going to Paris, Nick’s friends did not know that his father is French.
In the second season, Nick tries to come out and make his relationship with Charlie public. When Nick and his friends go to Paris on a school trip, Nick decides to take this opportunity not only to meet his father but also to introduce him to Charlie.
An absent parent
Nick contacts Stéphane and asks him to meet him. However, as always, Stéphane does not reply to Nick’s messages. Nick keeps waiting for him to reply, but he does not, much to Nick’s disappointment.
Nick admits to Charlie that it is hard to get in touch with Stéphane, as he does not visit and does not bother answering Nick’s messages. Nick believes that Stéphane is not a very reliable father.
When Stéphane finally reaches out, Nick takes Charlie with him to meet his father. He intends to introduce Charlie to him and come out to him. However, he never gets the opportunity, as Stéphane barely stays for a few minutes.
In their brief meeting, it becomes evident that Stéphane does not know much about his son’s life. He has not even introduced Nick to his partner. Although he promises to introduce them someday when Nick talks about meeting her, his promise sounds hollow.
Stéphane does not know anything about Nick, except that he likes rugby, so he leaves him with what he considers to be words of encouragement about girls and rugby. This does nothing but disappoint Nick further.
Beyond the point of caring
Soon after, Stéphane comes to England for work. He is invited to have dinner with his sons and ex-wife, Sarah, who invites Charlie’s family as well. Nick intends to finally come out to his father later that night.
Sarah does not think that Nick owes anything to his father and that he does not need to tell him, but telling his father about being bisexual is important to Nick. He is not doing this for Stéphane; he is doing this for himself.
Nick’s plans of telling his father later go out of the window when Nick’s brother, David, keeps provoking him. Nick ends up standing up to his brother and telling his father the truth about his relationship with Charlie then and there.
Nick was earlier stressed about sharing this part of himself with Stéphane but not anymore. He no longer cares what his father thinks, as he does not bother visiting them more than twice a year. On top of that, he never takes an interest in Nick’s life and keeps disappointing him.
When Nick leaves and David badmouths him, Stéphane chides him and tells David that he has not grown into the man that he hoped his son would be. Unlike Nick, David cares about Stéphane’s opinion.
This results in an argument between Sarah and Stéphane. Sarah does not think that Stéphane has the right to criticize their sons when he has not been a parent to them. When Nick questions her about Stéphane not caring about them, she admits that she has not been able to understand why he does not care.
Stéphane is not irredeemable as a father. Before leaving, he tells Nick that he wants to be better. While Stéphane does not understand Nick and Charlie’s relationship, he tells Nick that it was nice meeting Charlie, which shows that he is willing to understand.