In the never-ending slew of 2021 Netflix TV shows that are coming out, several are returning with new seasons, such as The Witcher Season 2 or You Season 3. However, a show with plenty of great ensemble characters, heartwarming stories and hilarious moments is coming back, as well, as part of the 2021 fall TV schedule, and that is Sex Education Season 3.
But, people who are fans of the show might wondering why some of these actors may look so familiar, such as Asa Butterfield or Gillian Anderson. Look no further, because here, we’ll be talking about where you might have seen the Sex Education cast before.
Asa Butterfield (Otis Milburn)
As one of the main stars of Sex Education, Otis Milburn is an adorkable teen who struggles with his mother’s occupation as a sex therapist, but learns to accept it over time. Asa Butterfield portrays Otis Milburn, and has had roles in several films.
Some of his big hits have been the drama, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the fantasy film Hugo, Ender’s Game, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, X+Y, The Space Between Us, and many others. Butterfield also had a recurring guest role on the fantasy show Merlin before his big role in Sex Education, and, hopefully, now we might get to see him more on the silver screen.
Gillian Anderson (Jean Milburn)
I think we’ve all fallen in love with Jean Milburn as the cool mom who offers great advice when it comes to love and sex, and no one could bring that charisma quite like Gillian Anderson. Anderson has been around in the business for a long time, but one of her biggest roles is portraying FBI Special Agent Dana Sully in the TV series The X-Files, a role she would reprise in two films based on the series.
Anderson has had plenty of other starring roles too. In terms of TV, she had a main role in the crime drama The Fall, played Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, and had recurring and guest roles in several other shows, including Hannibal, American Gods, The Great, and others.
She’s also had success in film too, including bigger roles in titles such as Shadow Dancer, Viceroy’s House, the Studio Ghibli film From Up On Poppy Hill, The Spy Who Dumped Me, and more.
Ncuti Gatwa (Eric Effiong)
Eric is definitely one of my favorite characters in Sex Education, because I think we could all use a friend like him in our lives and how he constantly looks out for Otis.
Ncuti Gatwa portrays Eric Effiong in the show, and Sex Education has been his biggest role thus far. Prior to this part, he had a couple of roles in TV miniseries, like Bob Servant and Stonemouth, both of which had minor roles for him. However, with how popular Eric is on this show, I’m sure it won’t be long until this talented actor starts to pop up in several more films and TV series soon.
Emma Mackey (Maeve Wiley)
In every high school show, there’s always that one girl who’s a bit of a social outcast, and that was Maeve in Sex Education. However, she ends up becoming a good friend to Otis, and runs a sex therapy clinic beside him.
Emma Mackey had her breakout role playing Maeve in the show. Prior to this, she had a couple of parts in a few film shorts, and later on would have roles in the films The Winter Lake and Eiffel. However, coming up she will be in both Death on the Nile, and star as Emily Bronte in the film, Emily, so keep an eye out for this one to pop up on movie screens soon.
Connor Swindells (Adam Groff)
To be honest, Adam Groff sort of reminds me of Sex Education’s version of Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender- always being compared to his sister, and has a tense relationship with the school’s headmaster, who is also his father. But, even he is trying to work on himself now.
Connor Swindells plays Adam, and has had some success prior to his role in Sex Education. He had a part in the thriller The Vanishing, and played a role in the period romance, Emma. He has also guest-starred on several TV shows, such as the Hulu original series Harlots, Jamestown, and as of 2021, had a role in the miniseries Vigil. Soon, I’m sure he’ll be popping up in far more projects.
Kedar Williams-Stirling (Jackson Marchetti)
There always needs to be that standout student in every school, and Jackson Marchetti is most certainly that, acting as head boy of his school and a swimming champion in Sex Education.
Kedar Williams-Stirling plays the young man in the Netflix series, and has been in a few roles prior to his part in Sex Education. He was in action film Shank, Montana, and the comedy Changeland. In terms of TV, he had a main role in the fantasy series Wolfblood, and a recurring part on the drama, Will. He’s also guest starred in several shows, such as Doctors, Roots, Death in Paradise, and more.
Alistair Petrie (Michael Groff)
We already talked about Adam in Sex Education - but now we have to take a look at his strict father, Michael Groff, played by the talented Alistair Petrie. Petrie has been in several films prior to his role in Sex Education, as well as TV shows.
In terms of movies, Petrie has appeared in films like The Bank Job, Cloud Atlas, Rush, the Star Wars film, Rogue One, and several others. He also has had success in TV, appearing in the dystopian series, Utopia, the BBC television series, The Night Manager, had a guest role in the British drama Sherlock, and several others. He also currently has a main role the British espionage series, Deep State, so if you’re looking for some spy fun, be sure to check him out in that.
Mimi Keene (Ruby Matthews)
You know them, you love them - it’s the leaders of the Untouchables in Sex Education, Ruby Matthews - a girl you just want to hate at first, but she starts to grow on you over time. Mimi Keene plays Ruby in the show, and Sex Education is one of her first big roles
However, Keene has had success prior to her work in the Netflix original. She had a voice role in the Castlevania video game series, and was a series regular on the British soap opera, EastEnders, for 122 episodes. Recently, she played a minor role in the biographical film, Tolkien, based on the life of famous author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Aimee Lou Wood (Aimee Gibbs)
There are just so many popular girls in Sex Education that at this point I’m beginning to lose track, but Aimee is definitely one of my favorites due to her cute friendship that she has with Maeve. Aimee Lou Wood portrays the teenager, and, believe it or not, this is her first role in both film and TV.
Prior to her role in Sex Education, Aimee Lou Wood had been very active in theater, including roles in Mary Stuart, People, Places and Things, Downstate, and Uncle Vanya. Hopefully with this big role on Netflix, we’ll get to see a lot more of her in on screen soon.
Chaneil Kular (Anwar)
Another member of the Untouchables, Anwar seems like a rude person and sort of mean until you really get to know him, and see he has a hard time opening up to new people. Chaneil Kular portrays the gay teen on Sex Education, and has mainly kept his career focused in television.
Kular had a big role in the TV series, Doctors, in 2019, a guest role on Informer, and had a recurring role on the TV miniseries, Black Narcissus.
Simone Ashley (Olivia Hanan)
Olivia Hanan is another member of the Untouchables, and probably has one of the strangest stories out of all of them, in my opinion (Season 2 was a trip for Olivia with that orgasm storyline). Regardless, Simone Ashley plays the teen, and has been in a couple of bigger projects prior to her role in Sex Education.
She had a role in Kill Ben Lyk and a minor role in the video game film, Detective Pikachu. She also has had several guest roles in TV shows like Wolfblood, Broadchurch, Doctors, and a couple of others, as well. Coming up, she is actually going to have a main role in a hugely popular Netflix series, Bridgerton Season 2, so keep an eye out for her.
James Purefoy (Remi Milburn)
Remi in Sex Education is a therapist with a bit of a sex addiction, but sometimes, it’s always enjoyable to see him come around and spark up drama in the lives of our favorite characters. Remi Milburn is played by James Purefoy, who has been plenty active on camera.
In terms of film, he’s appeared in several bigger roles in A Knight’s Tale, Vanity Fair, John Carter, Churchill, Interlude in Prague and several others. With television, James Purefoy become widely known for his role as Mark Antony in the historical drama, Rome. After that, he would have major roles in crime thriller The Following, the drama Hap and Leonard, and as Laurens Bancroft in the Netflix series Altered Carbon. Recently, he had a main role as Wayne Addison in El Candidato.
Tanya Reynolds (Lily Iglehart)
Look, I could do a whole article on Lily Igleheart in Sex Education. But, I don’t need to get into that alien erotica stuff, so let’s just move on to Tanya Reynolds, the talented actress behind her.
Reynolds has had a couple of bigger roles prior to her part in the Netflix series. She played Mrs. Augusta Elton in the drama Emma, and was part of the main cast of British drama, Delicious. She’s also had several guest appearances on TV shows like Outlander, The Bisexual, Death in Paradise, and more.
Patricia Allison (Ola Nyman)
I feel like the daughter of a love interest on a show is always one of the sweetest characters, and that’s who Ola Nyman is in Sex Education.
Patricia Allison plays the girl on the series, and has mainly stuck to TV in her career. Prior to her role on Sex Education, she appeared in a string of guest appearances on many TV shows, like Moving On, Unprecedented, and the 2019 TV adaptation of Les Misérables. Sex Education is her first big role, and I'd love to see more of her very soon.
Mikael Persbrandt (Jakob Nyman)
Playing Jakob Nyman, handyman/Ola's dad/Jean's boyfriend on Sex Education, is Mikael Persbrandt. Persbrandt has appeared in several Swedish movies, but one of his biggest roles was playing Gunvald Larsson in the Beck movie series.
He’s also widely known for his starring role in the Academy-Award nominated film, In A Better World. Persbrandt also had a role as Beorn in The Hobbit franchise, and played a part in the British historical fiction series, The Last Kingdom.
Anne-Marie Duff (Erin Wiley)
Erin Wiley is a bit of a wildcard in Sex Education, but I do hope that the mother of Maeve and Sean will be able to make amends for how long she’s been absent in their lives.
Anne-Marie Duff plays Erin on the show, and some of her biggest roles have been playing Fiona Gallagher on the British version of Shameless, a role in the His Dark Materials cast, The Virgin Queen, Before I Go To Sleep, and several others.
With such a large ensemble cast, it feels great to have them all back together for Sex Education Season 3.
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.