A star of Netflix box-set hit Sex Education has revealed how the role catapulted him from being homeless to instant fame.
Ncuti Gatwa, who plays Eric Effiong in the show, says he was homeless for five months prior to finally landing his breakthrough role.
The actor, from Scotland, told how after struggling to cope with the financial stress of London life as an aspiring actor he didn’t have a fixed address, and relied on friends to let him sleep on their sofas of a night.
In an interview with The Big Issue, he admitted that while temping at luxury department store Harrods in the city, he was selling £7,000 fragrances by day but didn’t have a bed to sleep in when he went home at night.
He also revealed that a friend had to lend him money to get to the audition for his role, which earned him praise for his show-stealing portrayal of a gay black teen.
Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa (pictured) revealed he was homeless for five months, prior to landing his role as Eric Effiong in the Netflix series, which propelled him to overnight stardom
The role earned him praise for his portrayal of a gay black teen. He is pictured in the show alongside the character of Otis, played by Asa Butterfield
The show focuses, often in graphic detail, on the sex lives of a group of British teenagers in an unnamed town. Written by Laurie Nunn, it turned many of the cast into overnight stars, which proved a huge contrast to the poverty experienced by Gatwa prior to landing the role.
‘I couldn’t seem to handle it all financially. I was supposed to move into a new place and it fell through’, said Ncuti.
‘So for five months before Sex Education, I was couch-surfing among all my friends. I didn’t have a home.
‘I was homeless. The only thing stopping me from being on the streets was the fact I had friends. ‘
He went on to describe how envious he felt of the customers at his temporary job as a shop assistant, and simply wanted his ‘own bed’.
Gatwa confessed that a friend had to lend him money so he was able to travel to the audition for his role. (Pictured: in a scene from the first series of the Netflix series)
He admitted his life is ‘so different’ after landing the Netflix show. He is pictured alongside Butterfield in the show
‘I was looking at people, thinking, “You are so lucky to be about to go home to your own bed.” Then I was going to work to sell £7,000 perfumes.’
Sex Education was a huge hit with audiences, with over 40million viewers streaming the first series after its debut last year.
The quirky Netflix drama premiered its second season on Friday, with an eyebrow-raising start.
The introduction featured a rather graphic montage of main character, Otis (Asa Butterfield), engaging in a solo sex act in a variety of locations. This prompted fans to take to Twitter to express their shock at the ‘over-the-top’ start to the series.
Shocking: Netflix’s Sex Education returned for series two on Friday and it certainly lived it up to its provocative title
Intense: The montage began with Otis (Asa Butterfield) in the shower starting his day by engaging with a solo sex act
‘Uncomfortable’: The opening few minutes of the episode featured a rather graphic montage of main character, Otis, engaging in a solo sex act in a variety of locations
Risky: It continued with him repeating his morning routine but focused solely around him unable to resist engaging in self pleasure
The montage began with Otis in the shower before moving onto the cinema and even during a bike ride.
One viewer exclaimed: ‘WELL THE OPENING TO SEX EDUCATION SEASON 2 SURE IS SOMETHING.’
Another said: ‘the opening of sex education s2 made me so uncomfortable goodbye.’
Some viewers enjoyed the rather graphic montage tweeting: ‘The#SexEducation s2 opening scene reassured me that it’s gonna be a good season.’ Another said: ‘BEST OPENING EVER!!!’
For some it was even enough to deter them from the rest of the season.
The first series of Sex Education came to Netflix in 2019 and was focused on Otis falling for bad-girl Maeve (Emma Mackey) (pictured middle) and his effort to lose his virginity
One penned: ‘I CANT DEAL WITH THE OPENING OF SEX EDUCATION SERIES 2, TOO FAR OMG.’
Another tweeted: ‘Hey Sex Education, was the 3 minute Otis w*** compilation really necessary?’
The first series of Sex Education came to Netflix in 2019 and was focused on Otis falling for bad-girl Maeve (Emma Mackey) and his effort to lose his virginity.
The high school student made a name for himself offering sex advice to students despite not actually engaging in the act himself.
However, after Maeve disappeared Otis moved on to new girl Ola, and the trailer kicks off with Otis excitedly planning to have sex with his girlfriend for the first time.
But season two will see Maeve return to the scene and cause a predicament for Otis and his love life.
Meanwhile, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) appears to have a new love interest as a new French student starts in the school and asks him out on a date, with the pair then seen kissing.