Ncuti Gatwa is reflecting on Sex Education ahead of its series finale this year on Netflix and opening up about how playing Eric helped him heal.
“Shout out to [screenwriter] Laurie Nunn for giving nuance to this gay, Black character and gifting him to the world,” he said in an interview with Elle before the SAG-AFTRA strike. “He’s so fierce and unashamed. 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.”
In the same interview, Gatwa talked about identifying as queer just like his character on the streaming show. The series is ending its run after four seasons with the Season 4 premiere in September. Gatwa says that the show helped him understand many things about himself.
“It undid a lot of the internalized hate I had. 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,” he explained. “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.”
Gatwa was part of the summer’s blockbuster playing one of the Kens in Barbie and sharing the screen with actors like Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, Issa Rae, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, as well as his Sex Education co-stars Emma Mackey and Connor Swindells.
Up next for Gatwa is taking on the role of the Fifteenth Doctor in the upcoming season of Doctor Who.