Film & TV

5 Things You Didn't Know About Emma Mackey, Maeve in 'Sex Education'

Get to know the French-British actor before the premiere of the show’s second season.

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Back in November, Netflix announced that hit series Sex Education will return to the streaming platform for a second season. A recently released trailer confirms that actor Emma Mackey will reprise her role as Maeve Wiley, a character that has captivated fans — and protagonist Otis Millburn (Asa Butterfield) — with her cutting sarcasm and unapologetic honesty. The second season of Sex Education, which will introduce a new set of students as well as an unfortunate chlamydia outbreak, hits Netflix on January 17. Before the new season premieres, learn more about the rising star behind Maeve.

1. She grew up in France.


Born to a French father and British mother, Mackey spent her first 17 years in the idyllic town of Sablé-sur-Sarthe. In an interview with Stylist, the actor revealed that she made up her mind to leave France at an early age: “When I was seven I said, ‘As soon as I’m 18 I’m moving to university in the UK.’ I weirdly kind of rejected France for most of my life;
 I was like, they don’t get me, they don’t get my sense of humor,” she confessed.

2. She studied English Language and Literature at Leeds University.

Mackey followed through on her childhood conviction to move to the UK and eventually studied English Language and Literature at Leeds University. There, she developed a love of theater — in fact, she performed in and directed several productions while in school.

3. She was rejected from drama school.

After moving to London, Mackey stayed with friends and juggled nannying jobs while also attending acting class. She applied to drama school, but didn’t get in — however, she met a professor who helped get her signed to a talent agency. According to an interview with Vogue Paris, she received the casting call for Sex Education six months later, eventually landing the job after a series of auditions.

4. She channels her off-screen self into Maeve for the show’s second season.


As the show’s writers got to know Mackey more, they incorporated some of her real-life persona into her character. “Her lip bites, her smiles, those idiosyncrasies which were mine are now hers,” Mackey told Stylist after wrapping season two.

5. She has several upcoming projects in the works.


Though Mackey exudes the confidence of a seasoned actor, Sex Education was her breakout role. Now, there’s no slowing down — the star is set to appear alongside Gal Gadot in Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, the sequel to Murder on the Orient Express. She’s also earned a starring role in Irish thriller The Winter Lake and what will be her French film debut, Eiffel.
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