Get to know Sex Education star Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey is swirling around on the set of our shoot, the Italian sunshine streaming through the window.

It’s the day after she sat front row at Fendi’s show during her first foray into Milan Fashion Week. ‘I’m not used to this,’ she sighs, once the dress and accessories have been packed away and she’s back in her own clothes — an oversized tweed suit and sunglasses. ‘But it feels really lovely.’

The 23-year-old has indeed had a major career change in the past 12 months. Until last year, Mackey was working as a translator (she grew up in France) and staying with friends and family in London to make ends meet — a year after graduating from university and six months after taking on an acting agent. Then she got a call to say that she’d landed a part in Netflix’s hotly anticipated drama Sex Education, alongside Gillian Anderson, after five rounds of auditions. ‘When I got off the phone I burst into tears and did a clichéd squeal,’ she says, laughing at the memory. ‘I called my mum and pretended to be very, very cool. Like, “Yeah, got this role, it’s no big thing.”’

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