Once Hero Fiennes Tiffin was cast as the fictional Hardin Scott in the After film franchise, fans immediately started fawning over the British actor. Now that he’s finished filming all four films, which were based off the book series by Anna Todd, the actor has opened up about playing the misunderstood heartthrob.

Hardin, a tattooed bad boy inspired by Harry Styles, has an eye-opening character arc throughout both the After films and movies. At the beginning, he’s a typical college-aged boy, but everything changes once he meets Tessa Young (played by Josephine Langford).

“Hero I met for the first time in the casting room. I had watched the auditions and we were down to three people, and I knew within, like, 20 seconds that he was the one,” author Anna recalled during an interview with BuzzFeed from April 2019. “I didn’t have to convince many people because everybody loved him, but I knew immediately.”

Before being cast in the fan-favorite film franchise, Hero had no prior knowledge of the After book series. The Harry Potter alum was really just drawn to the “complexity and mystery” of Hardin, which he told W Magazine in April 2019 is “especially attractive to an actor for a first lead role.”

“There are so many layers that you slowly reveal to the audience. It’s obviously hard work and long hours and conflicting opinions, but the whole process of filming was fun,” Hero added. “We got so lucky in the cast and crew — I’m in touch with so many of them still today.”

When it came to discussing the actual relationship between the fictional Hardin and Tessa — dubbed #Hessa by fans — Hero had a lot to say.

“It’s very, very far from a perfect relationship, but yes. That question — Is this a healthy relationship, and is it worth them getting back together? — is what the movie’s about, and what makes it interesting,” the actor also told at the time. “I think it’s a huge question in everyone’s life, in any relationship, and this is just one specific example. It’s by no means a guidebook, but hopefully just an entertaining story of one couple who are trying to figure out if their love is going to work, if it’s worth it and if the other person is right for them.”

The first After movie hit theaters in April 2019, with the second — After We Collided — coming a little over a year later in October 2020. Then, the cast filmed the final two — After We Fell and After Ever Happy — back-to-back before saying goodbye to the characters.

Scroll through our gallery to read everything Hero has said about playing Hardin over the years. 

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