Friday 24 January 2020

Sex Education star Asa Butterfield reflects on show’s ‘profound’ success

The 22-year-old returns as high school student Otis later this month.

Asa Butterfield (Matt Crossick/PA)
Asa Butterfield (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Sex Education star Asa Butterfield has said he did not expect the show to have such a “profound” effect on young people.

The actor, 22, who stars as the socially awkward high school student Otis alongside his sex therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson), said people had felt “empowered” by the show.

Netflix touted the first series as a streaming figures success, while viewers praised the way the show tackled teenage sexual politics.

Butterfield said he first noticed the reaction while he was doing press in New York with co-stars Ncuti Gatwa, who plays Eric, and Emma Mackey, who plays Maeve.

He told the PA news agency: “It was crazy. I remember me and Chutes and Emma were doing press in New York during the week before it came out and then when it came out, so we weren’t really at home.

ipanews_4ba3e4bb-af83-4c03-a7e1-142797dc4080_embedded1812302
Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson in Sex Education (Netflix)

“We were getting all these pop ups on our phone, people talking about it, and then when it came out, it went crazy, and we were so excited.

“We were really proud of the show, and when you’re proud of something, and you get such a positive response from everyone… People really, really connected with it.

“People were telling us how much it helped them. I don’t think we expected it to have such a profound effect on people, and people really connected with it and felt empowered by the show, which is amazing.”

Sex Education is returning for a second series later this month, written by Laurie Nunn.

Butterfield said he thought viewers had responded to the cast of young actors’ honesty and diversity.

He added: “I think a lot of people really appreciated the honesty with which we displayed these characters and the diversity of these people, showing all these different relationships and issues without any kind of judgment.

“I think people really responded to that. And responded to the humour, which elevates all the drama within it.”

Series two of Sex Education launches on Netflix on Friday January 17.

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top