Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa opens up about being homeless before the show

Dusty Baxter-Wright

From Cosmopolitan

Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa has opened up about quite how much the Netflix original changed his life, revealing he was homeless before being cast in the hit show.

Speaking to The Big Issue about how landing the role of Eric Effiong was his big break, Ncuti explained he went months without landing an acting job, before eventually running out of money and losing his London flat.

"Being a 25 year old man with no money or job affected my sense of self-worth," he told the publication. "Rejection became unbearable. Auditions weren't just acting jobs, they were lifelines."

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

He went on to touch on how the potential to live somewhere rent free fell through, leaving him feeling rock bottom. "As I was standing on the street with my suitcases, one thought came into my head: 'I'm homeless'.

"I couldn't have got through without two wonderful friends. One made me stay with her and the other wired me money for food every week. Their generosity was incredible but difficult to accept as it meant accepting what my situation had become – and it was a situation I could barely comprehend.

"To the outside world everything seemed fine," he added. "I was temping at Harrods. I'd wake from the double bed I shared with my best friend, leave the house in a slick-looking trench coat and polished brogues without a hair out of place.

Photo credit: Netflix

"I was complimented for looking so presentable. When I lost weight due to only eating once a day, people said how lean and healthy I looked."

Speaking of his mental health struggles, he added: "I developed depression. But I never let people know how down I was feeling. That would have been another burden for my friends to take on. My mind became my biggest enemy."

Kudos to Ncuti for opening up about his past struggles, and for being so open and honest with fans. We couldn't imagine Sex Education without him.


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