“I had to get over a lot of my own insecurities and concerns about how other people would judge me.”
Ncuti Gatwa has revealed the Sex Eduction scene that was a “challenge” to film.
In an interview with Radio Times, the British actor – who plays Eric Effiong in the critically-acclaimed Netflix dramedy – reflected on the fifth episode from the show’s first season, in which his character dons full drag to attend a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
“There was one scene in which I wore a wig, full make-up and stilettos and thought, ‘Oh my God, my family, all my friends in Tottenham! Nobody’s ever seen me like this before…'” Ncuti explained. “It was definitely a challenge but it helped me become braver as an actor.
“I had to get over a lot of my own insecurities and concerns about how other people would judge me. And I felt amazing I’ve never felt that brave in my own life, so it was very cool to experience that through him.”
The character of Eric has been a beacon of light for LGBTQ+ visibility in mainstream television in the past few years. One scene in particular that connected with queer viewers was Eric’s relationship with his father and his journey to accepting who he is.
“We need to see all types of love on our screen represented,” Ncuti told GAY TIMES earlier this year for his cover story. “And I think it was a really beautiful representation of a young LGBT boy of colour and his journey through life, and his journey through his own acceptance, his culture, coming from a West African background.
“I was at UK Black Pride and the amount of people who were coming up to me specifically about the relationship between Eric and his dad was constant. And I think it really touched people to see this portrayal of this black man, this strong big black man loving his gay son.
“It was quite beautiful, and it’s something that we don’t see often and I think that’s why it impacted people. It was an interesting portrayal of masculinity as well.
“I think it’s important to show that level of acceptance and love between men because there’s a lot of young boys out there killing themselves and killing each other because of their views on masculinity or their identity. So it was a nice portrayal of masculinity.”
Ncuti has received universal critical acclaim for his performance as Eric, as well as a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme.
The first two seasons of Sex Education are available to stream worldwide on Netflix.