sex education extra

This is what it’s really like filming Sex Education, according to an extra who was there

Apparently Kedar Williams-Stirling wore contacts and Mimi Keene vaped ‘the whole time’

An extra in the most recent season of Sex Education has shared exactly what it’s like to be on set and act in scenes with some of the show’s biggest characters – including how it is to be in the same vicinity as the God that is Ncuti Gatwa.

Chikamso Chukwuenyem spoke to The Tab about her experience being in the fourth season of the show and what it was like to be around Otis, Ruby and Viv – otherwise known across the world as Asa Butterfield, Mimi Keene and Chinenye Ezeudu.

Explaining her experience of working with such big Hollywood names, Chikamso also revealed in a TikTok video how her behaviour on set actually got her cut from one scene with Asa after she “pissed off the director”.

After responding to an open casting call, the Coventry University graduate explained how she travelled to Bristol to apply, but was met with thousands of hopeful others with the same idea. Chikamso told The Tab: “There were thousands of people so they started sending us home and telling us to apply online, which I did.”

But after her successful application, Chikamso took a day off work as a reporter to appear on set in Wales back in December 2022. Being paid £200 for her day on set, she was surrounded by “all the main hitters”, apart from Maeve Wiley, played by Emma Mackey, and Adam Groff, portrayed by Connor Swindells.

Getting into what the cast was really like, Chikamso spilt the tea, explaining that Mimi Keene was vaping on set and Chinenye was super friendly and was actually laughing at her jokes.

“So, Ruby – vaping the whole time. I said ‘Sis, some of us might have asthma.’

“Viv, Viv liked me. Viv laughed at my jokes, she turned ’cause we were actually sitting all in the same place, then they came and separated us because, come on. So I was making jokes and she literally turned to laugh. That’s how funny I am.”

Unsurprisingly, Asa was another one of the main cast who was super welcoming to Chikamso and the other extras on set, chit chatting with people and being all round a smiley guy: “Otis. He was just sitting on the stairs with his Starbucks. He was just like, so approachable.”

Explaining her tactics to appear slick on set, Chikamso said she played it cool while around Asa, despite fangirling hard over him: “People were talking to him, but I thought ‘No let me be different, let him think, ‘Why isn’t she talking to me?”. It did not work at all.”

She also revealed how Jackson’s blue eyes are apparently just contacts and that Kedar Williams-Stirling was a little bit obsessed with his phone, only putting it down after the director called “action” or when Chikamso accidentally stood on his foot.

sex education extra

via Netflix

But not all of the cast were eager to say hi, with Ncuti keeping his distance from extras, despite having a friendly air about him on set. Explaining this to her 154,000 TikTok followers, Chikamso said how some people hired as extras can assume that actors are always super approachable and interactive with people, but actually that’s not always the case.

“What you guys have to understand is, I was an extra. When you’re extras, I think people think that because you’re in their proximity you guys are all buddy buddy. No, they’re doing their job.”

Speaking about Ncuti’s behaviour on set and towards herself and the fellow extras, she said he was super professional but not easily impressed: “Ncuti, my king. Even though I’d been an extra quite a few times before, I still thought he’d be all like [impressed]. He’s an actor, he’s a professional actor. He was just about to do Doctor Who so. It was just smiles, he didn’t come anywhere near us which was absolutely fair enough.”

Admitting she hasn’t actually watched the final season, Chikamso joked that she hasn’t yet caught up with the show since season two due to being cut out of a scene – which was actually due to a misunderstanding when the director instructed her on how to act in a scene with Asa Butterfield.

Asking her and a fellow extra to walk across set in front of the camera, the director failed to explain that all “talking” by extras is actually meant to be mimed, to ensure that microphones pick up dialect from the main characters in shot.

sex education extra

via TikTok @chikamso_

“So basically, I have been an extra before but like, it was never that serious so I don’t know all the lingo. So, they asked me and someone else to walk across like, the camera. I think Otis was talking to the crowd, I don’t know what was happening. But then they said ‘Ok, just talk and walk past.’ So, did I not just start talking?

“After it he literally rushed up to me, you know like Dumbedore [in] Goblet of Fire, I don’t remember the scene exactly but that kind of movement. And then he says, ‘Why were you talking? You talked the whole shot.’ And I said ‘You told me to talk!’.

But apparently, it’s common knowledge on sets that talking is a big no no for extras, with someone telling Chikamso “you’re supposed to mime”. Understandably, she was unaware, even joking “Why did no one tell me, are you guys stupid?”. But the damage was already done, with Chikamso being “relegated to the back” of the scene with Asa, where cameras didn’t register her at all.

Despite having her phone “locked up”, the extra expert explained how she made friends with a runner and was invited back for filming of the rest of the series, although was unable to appear in any more scenes due to work commitments.

Thankfully, she still has her stolen tote bag from set as a token and to “prove” she was there, on top of her brief cameo in episode seven.

Sex Education is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related articles recommended by this author:

• Sob, here’s why Sex Education is actually ending with season four

• How old the Sex Education characters are now, compared to the actors who play them

• Here’s what the cast of Sex Education looked like in their first versus last episode

Featured image via Netflix and TikTok @chikamso_