Sex Education's Connor Swindells didn't think being an actor 'was what a man was supposed to do'

"I was born in a very working-class household where you were meant to end up on a building site.”


Words: Will Stroude

As Sex Education 'bad boy' Adam Groff, Connor Swindells has established himself as one of the hit Netflix drama's most exciting breakout talents - but as the series returns for a third outing this Friday (17 September), the rising star has revealed that he initially didn't believe he could pursue a career in acting.

As Connor invites us behind the scenes of his cover shoot for the Attitude October issue - out now to download and to order globally - the 24-year-old admits that the path originally laid out for him in life didn't include the arts.

"I think I always thought that I was supposed to [act]", reflects Connor. "I always found some fluidity in it but for the longest time rejected that because I didn't think that that was what a man was supposed to do."

The East Sussex-born actor goes on: "I was brought up in a very working-class household where you were meant to end up on a building site, and that was very much something I didn't want to do after having done it for so long.

"I thought, I don't want to be on my death bed and have someone looking back and me saying 'God, I'm the version of you that you could've been, and you've pissed it away'."

Of course, pursue his dream Connor did, and his role in Sex Education has given him the opportunity to share scenes with screen legends like The Crown's Gillian Anderson, who the actor names as the co-star he'd like to work with more. 

"She's so amazing" Connor enthuses. "She's beautiful and funny and charismatic and a wonderful scene partner to have, so I wish I could have more opportunities to work alongside her."

He adds: "She's actually quite, when you first meet her - people say this about me as well - but quite a sort of intimidating presence to be around, and then once she's said hello to you she's absolutely wonderful and golden and lovely. But I think I was quite reserved around her and nervous for the most part!"

The Attitude October issue is out now.

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