TV and Movies·Posted on Oct 12, 202113 "Sex Education" Actors In Their First Big Acting Performances Vs. Their Time On The Show Vs. Them IRLSooo much talent. 🤩by Simrin SinghBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Asa Butterfield as Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008): Disney / Via youtu.be youtu.be One of Asa's first roles was as the lead in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. After the success of the film, Asa continued to act throughout his childhood in productions like Nanny McPhee Returns and Hugo. Asa as Otis Milburn in Sex Education: Netflix Asa has said he loves his role in Sex Education because it's different from what he has done in the past. "A lot of the roles I had as a kid were dramas or adventure, so to do a heartfelt, raunchy comedy — I don’t think people necessarily expected it from me, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do it." Asa IRL: View this photo on Instagram @asabopp / Via instagram.com Asa is in pre-production for a couple of films, but he has taken the past year to dive into his passion for gaming, writing, and watching Mad Men. 2. Ncuti Gatwa as the lead in the theater production 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (2015): View this photo on Instagram @ncutigatwa / Via instagram.com One of Ncuti's first major roles was as the main character in this play, which was an adoption of a novel about a D-Day trial run that results in 946 deaths. Prior to his role in 946, Ncuti had a cameo in the sitcom Bob Servant and a supporting role in the miniseries Stonemouth. Ncuti as Eric Effiong in Sex Education: Netflix Three years after his success in the theater, Ncuti got a lead role in Sex Education, even though he thought he blew his audition. In a previous interview he said, "It's really nice to have a gay character, a Black character, be at the forefront of this story on a show like this. The show has helped a lot of people find strength within themselves, 'cause a lot of the characters have a struggle they’re going through that a lot of people can identify with." Ncuti IRL: View this photo on Instagram @ncutigatwa / Via instagram.com In addition to his work on Sex Education, Ncuti appeared in The Last Letter From Your Lover this year and has recently announced that he will be in a new docuseries called The Outsiders. 3. Connor Swindells as Donald in The Vanishing (2018): Lionsgate / Via youtu.be In addition to his role in The Vanishing opposite Gerard Butler, Connor played the lead in the film VS. Connor as Adam Groff in Sex Education: Netflix Connor, who plays the school bully finding his identity, said his character is relatable to those watching Sex Education. "Adam is a young man wrestling with his masculinity. As the show goes on, we start to peel away those layers and see what a scared little boy is sitting inside of him, which I think will resonate with a lot of men." Connor IRL: View this photo on Instagram @connor_swindells / Via instagram.com Aside from Sex Education, Connor appeared in Emma and the BBC mystery show Vigil. He's also filming for a new limited series, SAS: Rogue Heroes. 4. Kedar Williams-Stirling as Junior in Shank (2010): Revolver Entertainment / Via youtu.be youtu.be Before he was Jackson on Sex Education, Kedar appeared in major roles in several TV shows and movies like Wolfblood, Shank, and Montana. Kedar as Jackson Marchetti in Sex Education: Netflix In addition to playing the misunderstood school jock in Sex Education, Kedar was recently in the film short Lockdown Love Vol. 1 and the limited TV series Small Axe. Kedar IRL: David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images for VA Aside from Sex Education, Kedar appeared alongside Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green in the indie drama Changeland. 5. Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files: 20th Television / Via youtu.be When Gillian moved to LA in her early 20s to pursue acting, she promised herself she would never act in TV shows. But after struggling to land a movie role, Gillian landed a guest appearance in Class of '96, which got her the script for The X-Files. For her strong performance as the female lead in the sci-fi show, she won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, two SAG awards, and a Saturn Award. Gillian as Jean Milburn in Sex Education: Netflix In an interview, Gillian said she loved Jean's complicated personality, but that the potential impact and message of Sex Education are what convinced her to join the cast. "The fact that kids who are questioning their sexuality, or have other questions they’re curious about, can watch it, often with their parents, is beautiful." Gillian IRL: View this photo on Instagram @gilliana / Via instagram.com Lately, Gillian has been working on Sex Education and The Crown, which she will continue to play Margaret Thatcher for in the upcoming Season 4. She is also in the middle of filming for The First Lady, a TV series about Eleanor Roosevelt. 6. Aimee Lou Wood in a production of Mary Stewart (2016–17): View this photo on Instagram @aimeelouwood / Via instagram.com Prior to her onscreen debut on Sex Education, Aimee was part of a few theater productions. Most notably, she played a handmaiden in the play Mary Stewart and starred as Laura in the show People, Places, and Things. Aimee Wood as Aimee Gibbs in Sex Education: Netflix Wood initially auditioned to play Lily but was offered the role of Aimee, Maeve's best friend. Throughout the seasons, the character goes through many complicated experiences, the largest being becoming a victim of sexual assault. "It was a great acting challenge because I really want to express the importance and magnitude of this issue, but I also want to maintain that lovely Aimee-ness as well," she said in an interview. Aimee Wood IRL: View this photo on Instagram @aimeelouwood / Via instagram.com Since her work on Sex Education, Aimee is starring alongside Bill Nighy in the upcoming movie Living, which is an adaptation of a 1950s Japanese film. She has also become an advocate of body positivity and self-confidence after struggling with it herself. 7. Patricia Allison as Susan in the theater production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2017–18): View this photo on Instagram @trishallison / Via instagram.com Before appearing on Sex Education, Patricia was involved in multiple theater productions, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She made her onscreen debut with a minor role as Marguerite on BBC's Les Miserables. Patricia as Ola Nyman in Sex Education: Netflix Patricia plays Ola, who makes new discoveries about her sexuality over the course of the show, and eventually determines that she is pansexual. "A lot of young people are trying to figure out what sort of box they go in. Pansexuality is also something that's never really been discussed properly before," she said in an interview. Patricia IRL: View this photo on Instagram @trishallison / Via instagram.com Outside of Sex Education, Patricia is good friends with co-star Tanya Reynolds. She's also getting into screenwriting and hopes to produce some film shorts soon. 8. Mimi Keene as Cindy Williams in EastEnders (2013–15): BBC One / Via youtu.be youtu.be Mimi started her acting career as a child in the Royal Court Theatre and went on to play guest roles in various TV shows. Her biggest onscreen role was as a series regular in the popular British soap opera EastEnders. Mimi as Ruby in Sex Education: Netflix Mimi, who plays the mean girl in Sex Education, said she's excited about Ruby's character development in the latest season. "You find out a lot more of who she is behind the bravado of, ‘I'm perfect. Everything in my life is brilliant. I'm better than you." Mimi IRL: View this photo on Instagram @mimikeene3 / Via instagram.com Outside of acting, Mimi loves hanging out with her pup, Baby, who has a role as Ruby's dog in Sex Education. 9. Tanya Reynolds as Teresa in Delicious (2016–19) Sky 1 / Via youtu.be youtu.be Before she joined the cast of Sex Education, Tanya scored major roles in shows like Delicious and Outlander, as well as in films such as Rellik and Fanny Lye Deliver'd. Tanya as Lily Iglehart in Sex Education: Netflix When Tanya first read the script for Lily, she was excited to get the chance to embody such a unique character. "I not only thought she was one of the funniest characters that I’d ever read, but just so brilliantly unusual," she said in an interview. She added that she's glad the show spotlights characters like Lily, as well as topics like female pleasure and self-confidence. Tanya IRL: View this photo on Instagram @tanyaloureynolds / Via instagram.com Aside from Sex Education, Tanya is set to act in a couple of movie shorts, Everybody Dies...Sometimes and X to X. You'll also be able to see her in two upcoming shows, Dodger and The Baby. 10. Simone Ashley as Girl Ben Lyk in Kill Ben Lyk (2018): ZORG Studios / Via youtu.be Simone attended theater school growing up and landed several small appearances in TV shows, but her first leading role wasn't until her performance in the movie Kill Ben Lyk. After, she acted in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and in TV movie A Working Mom's Nightmare. Simone as Olivia Hanan in Sex Education: Netflix Simone plays popular teen Olivia, who hides her love life from her parents and seeks sex advice from Otis. Simone IRL: View this photo on Instagram @simoneasshley / Via instagram.com Simone is set to star in Season 2 of the hit show Bridgerton opposite Jonathan Bailey who plays Anthony Bridgerton. In an interview, she said the training process for the show has been pretty intense, but rewarding: "If I’m not filming, I’m horse riding, training or in rehearsals. I’m in accent training or I’m in a fitting." 11. Alistair Petrie as George Forsyte in The Forsyte Saga (2002–3): WGBH / Courtesy of Everett Collection Prior to his role in Sex Education, Alistair appeared in The Forsyte Saga series as well as several theater productions. He also played major roles in movies like The Bank Job, Cloud Atlas, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Alistair as Mr. Groff in Sex Education: Netflix Soon before Alistair started playing Mr. Groff, Adam's strict dad and the school principal in Sex Education, he played major characters in two TV shows, Deep State and Year of the Rabbit. Alistair IRL: View this photo on Instagram @petriealistair / Via instagram.com Aside from Sex Education, Alistair is in the middle of filming a new TV miniseries, Why Didn't They Ask Evans? 12. Mikael Persbrandt as Ola Simonsson in Rederiet (1992–94): SVT / Via youtu.be Throughout his career, Mikael appeared in dozens of Swedish- and English-language movies and shows, including the long-running soap opera Rederiet. Mikael as Jakob Nyman in Sex Education: Netflix Just before his role as Jean's boyfriend and Ola's father in Sex Education, Mikael acted in the political drama Invisible Heroes, which is about the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. Mikael IRL: View this photo on Instagram @mikaelpersbrandtofficial / Via instagram.com Mikael is set to act in a season of a long-running soap opera called The Kingdom. He will also appear in a new miniseries, The Unlikely Murder. 13. Sami Outalbali as Ilyes in Les Grands (2016–19): View this photo on Instagram @samioutalbali / Via instagram.com In addition his leading role on Netflix's Les Grands, Sami appeared in a few popular French productions including The Tuche Family and Vive la colo! Sami as Rahim in Sex Education: Netflix In an interview, Sami said he had a lot of creative freedom to build Rahim's character, who starts off tough and opens over time. The actor explained that this show and his character are important voices in today's world. "We don’t talk about sex, which is a problem for me. So I was really happy to be a part of that, and make the dialogue freer and easier." Sami IRL: View this photo on Instagram @samioutalbali / Via instagram.com Aside from Sex Education, Sami is set to star in a new French thriller, Novembre.