From Child Star To Sex Education, Asa Butterfield’s Career So Far

You may know him best as the awkward, sexually frustrated, and perpetually embarrassing Otis Milburn in Sex Education on Netflix, but at only 23 years old, Asa Butterfield has a varied acting career that stretches over a whopping decade and a half.

We're taking you back to 2006, when Asa emerged as a child star. After small parts in After Thomas, Son of Rambow, and Ashes to Ashes, his breakthrough came when he starred in the The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, an adaptation of the popular book by John Boyne.

Next came appearances in popular franchises including Merlin, and Nanny McPhee, before another starring role came along when he played the titular tole in Martin Scorcese's Hugo. After that, no biggie just the lead role in Ender’s Game alongside Harrison Ford.

More movies followed, with parts in indie flicks, and romcoms as well as the Tim Burton movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, as well the lead role in British war film Journey’s End.

And now here we are. Sex Education and the birth of a Netflix icon in Otis Milburn.

Catch Asa in Sex Education Seasons 1 and 2, as well as Ender's Game, Time Freak, Departures and The Space Between Us, all now streaming on Netflix UK.


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From Child Star To Sex Education, Asa Butterfield's Career So Far

Otis finally loosens up — often and epically — but the pressure’s on to perform as chlamydia hits the school and mates struggle with new issues.

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  1. SoIsobel

    I had a crush on him then and nothing has changed. Wow.

    1. SIUUUU

      @Precious Ayebiowei yeah sure cause the UK is 80% black right?

    2. Leo R

      Same we are the same age. It’s funny cause I’ve had a crush on him since I was a kid but I never realized that he was the same actor in all the movies I’ve watched

    3. VīV

      Me too and I am a guy hahaha weird ? 😅

    4. ainsley

      I like him a bit- my real boy is My profile picture

    5. Wenjie Fan

      Mee to!

  2. Emily Hough

    I want to see him play maeve wiley’s boyfriend 😌

    1. Mosein Khan


    2. arghi zulfiansyah


    3. Emily Hough

      @SIUUUU so did ruby and otis when he was trying to pull away from her and rolling his eyes at her, and so has maeve for the entire series lmfaooo

    4. SIUUUU

      @Emily Hough yes it was a rebound , but Maeve and Otis felt so unnatural. Ruby showed a very secret side of herself to Otis.

    5. Emily Hough

      @SIUUUU ruby was just a rebound and rotis was literally the only forced relationship this season but you keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night 😘

  3. Amaya Amaya

    Fun fact: Asa Butterfield was the 4th actor aftet Tom Holland, Charlie Rowe and Timothée Chalamet in choice to play Spider-Man in the MCU

    1. T€RB

      If he put on a little more muscle, or I guess they could use cgi, then he would’ve been great. All I know is that he definitely has better acting skills than Tom Holland and fits the Spider-Man look a lot more.

    2. Honey

      Yeah, but he got kicked because he blabbed about it on reddit and marvel went bye boo

    3. Name

      If this is tru and if he did play in the movies I would watch all of the movies. lol

    4. Kaye Wilde

      Oh come on. Tom is the perfect spidey. No offense.

    5. Xiomara Cian

      And you have named all my favourite teen actors 🖤

  4. Tsukishiro100

    I feel sad that Asa was so underrated actor, but I hope people will acknowledge him sooner!

    Btw, my favourite film of him is X+Y (also called A Brilliant Young Mind). He mentioned it in recent interview that X+Y is one of his proudest films to work in (besides Journey’s End). Also, he worked with Alex Lawther in that film. Yeay <3

    1. Kaushik Raj

      First movie I watched of asa and that also accidentally.
      But this movie felt strong.

    2. Sidiculous

      he and Freddie Highmore

    3. Giulia Maria

      I agree with you he is really fantastic but all the people underrated him, my mum too, and this is so sad

    4. Amber J


  5. Scott Summers

    I am happy he has finally reached mainstream popularity. He has always been an incredible actor. A future Oscar winner.

  6. Amy Keohane

    Wow he has some serious titles under his belt. He’s crazy talented

    1. seraby

      Best actor resume, most of them are leading, and only 24 yrs old.

    2. kzknacc


  7. Nguyễn Hải Linh

    He is a simple man but a talented actor, he deserves more recognition

    1. seraby

      I dunno, this kid was never underrated. He always get leading roles even as a kid and favored by big hollywood directors.

    2. Izzie Meghan

      Lol such a backhanded compliment

    3. haruhi

      ​@Izzie Meghan what’s wrong with being simple? it was probably not worded right but there’s nothing wrong with their comment.

  8. Cbw Walters

    Asa has always been an amazing actor from a young age. Just imagine having to remember all those lines in the film ‘the boy in stripped pyjamas’ and having to perform it perfectly as it has such a strong message and was a real life thing. He has a real talent and will be more recognised in the future.

  9. kristine meora

    Asa Butterfield is such a talented actor. He deserves more recognition! ✨

    1. shinytrashbag


  10. Atthapon Pinyo

    He has the redeeming quality. I think he does best in Rom-Com. I wanna see him play a sociopath manipulative cold-blooded villain. He could even with Oscars with that!!

    1. sleepy willowby

      Yes omg

    2. MariMarMakeup SFX

      Lily Pond I don’t think he needs to beef up if he plays a villain. He could be the psychological villain that plays with people’s heads. I can see him chopping someone up with an axe and the blood spray across his face. It would be free of emotion. I can see that.

    3. MariMarMakeup SFX

      I think he’d be really good at it. He’s a great actor.

    4. Zing Zing Zing Bah

      Woahhhh that would be so cool

    5. Jack Palmer

      @Tsukishiro100 yeah I dont see that happening. I dont agree with the whole beefing up thing I think he doesnt have to beef up, but compared to what he usually does there is a lot of physical challenges he’ll have to go through durig filming. With all the stunts and action + stuff

  11. Leah Lee


    1. XI MIPA 1 Kelas A

      @Infinite Hazz I hated the ending too. I didn’t think it would end like that. What a poor innocent child😭

    2. Infinite Hazz

      Lol same I hated the ending

    3. Sabbir Ahmed

      Yes. I feel the same

  12. Freyja Richardson

    Yes Asa Butterfield is amazing but can we just appreciate the fact that him and Alex Lawther have been in a film together

    1. Fiore Deste

      whenever I think about that my head explodes lmao love them both

    2. jinji

      yess!!! the house of tomorrow💕

  13. Julia Kardos

    It was kind of funny to see what he actually looked like as a 16 year old in comparison to him playing a 16 yr old at 23 in sex education. He can pull it off though. He’s really talented!

    1. TheKillahKyla

      Are any of the «teenagers» in Sex Education actually in their teens? The woman who plays Lily is 30 😆

  14. V. Watson

    Can someone pls make a film set in Victorian England and cast him? He is like the most Victorian looking actor ever

    1. Elizabeth Pink

      I could definitely see him as a chimney sweep

    2. 심심

      @Tres Sains Ruby💓💓

    3. Tres Sains

      There was a joke in Sex Education where someone said he looked like a victorian ghost.

    4. sofiaanjelik

      i honestly won’t be surprised if they cast him on a cameo or small role in bridgerton

    5. Nikiya Bayadère GiMo


  15. Giovanna Munhoz

    It’s incredible how I became a fan of Asa in 2017 and then found out he was in many movies that I had watched before . He is my favorite actor of all time . He’s so talented and still has a brilliant carreer ahead of him

  16. Monke Vibe

    fun fact: Asa was a number one contender for Finch in the netflix adaptation «all the bright places»

    1. Aadhya Singal

      Bro, hes literally the real life definition of how finch was characterized in physical appearance about his looks. No offence, but he would have made me so more glad. A black actor was simply not suitable for the role in a very honest opinion.

    2. Lu


    3. Alessi lema

      OMG! Elle Fanning and Asa would’ve been perf together 😭❤️

    4. aurelius fransisco


    5. Tsukishiro100

      R u sure? I checked its writer instagram and what I found is he is not number one

  17. haste

    First saw him in Merlin, didnt even recognise it was him when I watched The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    1. Eloise Blount

      me too

    2. Biggest Cheese

      I watched Merlin with my parents and he is like the singel actor I have ever recognised in every movie and series i have seen him in

    3. mlee6050

      I can say that with rambo didn’t know he was in it

    4. everyonelovesdee

      Same, I’m rewatching that whole series again, and it was plain weird seeing him as a child after two season of Sex Education. But I really like seeing child actors navigate this transitition and honing their craft at the same time. Also love Hugo, but that also but I love that book

    5. Whitney Abioye


  18. Alessia D'Agostini

    the space between us has my entire heart. that movie is a masterpiece

    1. Justinhulk

      it’s my favorite asa movie. my top 3 is

      #1 space between us
      #2 miss peregrine
      #3 hugo

    2. EneroOcho

      Sagnik Dey idk..i just don’t like her..

    3. YonekuniKyuhyun

      @EneroOcho thank you! 🤭 I mean, I love Asa, I just couldn’t watch it.

    4. Sagnik Dey

      @EneroOcho I mean why? Britt Robertson is cute.

    5. EneroOcho

      I really don’t like the girl playing in that movie..

  19. Tegan A


  20. zainabzey

    He is seriously my childhood i watched him in A LOT of movies