Sex Education star Mimi Keene has opened up about the unexpected direction so-called "mean girl" Ruby Matthews takes in the show's third season, which sees her step into a more sympathetic light.
When the series debuted back in 2019, even Keene admitted to viewing her character in "one way", starting out as a mean and selfish rival to protagonists Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey).
In Sex Education season two, we learnt that her spiky persona is a defence mechanism hiding a difficult home life, where her father is living with serious health condition multiple sclerosis (also known as MS).
"When I read this season, she got to open up and you got to see her vulnerable side and see the way that she truly is," she explained. "The way that she's portrayed herself is sort of like a facade almost, until this point."
The star confirmed that we will see more of Ruby's personal life in the new episodes – including more than one surprise reveal – adding that this allowed a deeper exploration of why the Moordale student acts the way she does.
She continued: "Being able to show someone's home life gives you way more opportunities to delve into that character. So for me, that was probably one of the most challenging parts, because she's very embarrassed of who she is. Playing someone who's feeling shame and feeling embarrassed is very different to what's come before."
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Keene added that she felt "very lucky" to be given such a strong storyline, which is likely to transform her into a true fan-favourite from the stellar Sex Education cast.
RadioTimes.com brings you exclusive interviews with the stars of Sex Education to celebrate the arrival of the new episodes, including a Big RT Interview with Ncuti Gatwa and BAFTA winner Aimee Lou Wood.