Ncuti Gatwa considers the impact of “Sex Education” on his life, specifically how playing Eric Effiong “undid a lot of the internalized hate I had.”
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“I’ve experienced racism my whole life, and while I always believed in myself, always knew [racists] were stupid and uneducated, I guess it did misinform my view of how the world works,” Gatwa told Elle in an interview prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike. “It makes you think everyone has that opinion and you’ll constantly have to fight through life – then you learn that you don’t: you can find a tribe, you can find your people.”
“Sex Education” is coming to an end after four seasons on Netflix, with the final season launching on the streaming service on September 21. The British teen sex comedy series also stars Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Aimee Lou Wood, and others, in addition to Gatwa.
Gatwa also thanked author Laurie Nunn in the interview for “giving nuance to this gay, Black character and gifting him to the world.”
“He’s so fierce and unashamed,” Gatwa went on. “It was healing for me, and great for people to see themselves represented. It taught me the importance of representation: it’s so powerful and necessary.”
Gatwa recently appeared as one of the Kens in Greta Gerwig’s hot-pink comedy “Barbie,” with ensemble cast Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, Simu Liu, and Gatwa’s “Sex Education” co-stars Mackey and Swindells.
Gatwa told Elle how nervous he was on the “Barbie” set at first, saying, “I was so nervous I hardly spoke for the first month. There was a time when I was talking to Greta and I turned around and Ryan Gosling was looking at me, and his eyes were so blue that I just… fell over. I just drowned in his eyes.”