Much before his role as Otis Milburn, Asa was already making a name for himself as a child actor, gamer, and musician.
Asa Butterfield has made a name for himself as a teen sex expert, Otis Milburn, on Netflix's Sex Education. The latest season has created quite a buzz and fans of the show are already anticipating another season.
Asa in the role of Otis plays a socially awkward teenager who is iffy about sex. He is the son of two sex and relationship experts and uses the knowledge he has imbibed from them to help his classmates navigate their own sexual problems.
But even before he found fame through the Netflix series, he was already an up-and-coming actor whom you may have already watched. Here are 10 other things you may have not known about the 24-year-old.
Much before his much talked about role in Sex Education, Asa was already making waves as a child actor. He had started acting as early as seven years of age. He had minor roles in the UK television series After Thomas and the 2007 film, Son of Rambow. You may have also seen him in other popular films like Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang in which he played Norman, Hugo in which he plays the lead, Ender's Game, and even Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But he caught his big break with his 2008 role in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
In this historical drama based on the book by Mark Herman of the same name, Asa played a young German boy named Bruno. The poignant movie about the Holocaust was heartbreaking and Asa delivered a stellar performance. He plays the son of a Nazi officer who befriends a Jewish boy in a concentration camp. The gut-wrenching conclusion of the film has stayed with Asa even after all these years. “There were a few times I came out and said, ‘I can’t do it.’ We took gaps between takes, we played games. But it’s hard for a kid. That topic,” he recalled.
Asa may not be as socially awkward as Otis but he does see a lot of himself in the character he plays. "I’m quite geeky. He’s into his video games, as am I. All the games he plays are the games I play, so it did feel very close to home. There are a lot of references in there which I’ve snuck in," he told Vulture. He even took a Nintendo prop they had on set home.
Speaking of video games, he takes it quite seriously. He even participated in the Nintendo World Championships in 2017. He started off strong but could not make it to the finals. His favorite Nintendo game at the time was Super Smash Bros. Fans were expecting him to do well considering he played Ender in the film Ender's Game which was all about simulation games, reported ComicBook.com.
We could have witnessed Asa in the iconic role of Spiderman but it went to another English lad, Tom Holland instead. In 2015, Asa had auditioned to play the superhero and was even shortlisted for the role. “Every so often there’s a part [that you really want] and it’s a script you love and you kind of put your heart and soul into it, and you don’t get it," he said. "And it is tough and it is s***, but I often find that something even better comes out of it at the end. And so in the case of Spider-Man, I did Sex Ed, because I wouldn’t have been able to do both of those at the same time.”
Much like his onscreen mom played by Gillian Anderson, his real-life mom is also a psychologist. "We spoke about it leading up to it," he said. "She was reading the script and, yeah, it’s fascinating how much impact you can have on someone when they’re in their most vulnerable state. The sensitivity of it was something I found quite interesting." No wonder playing Otis came so naturally to him.
Asa has one elder brother and two younger sisters. His elder brother is Morgan Butterfield who is a musician. He is a drummer who was previously associated with the music group "Underneath the Tallest Tree" and is currently with the band "Oats." His younger sister is Loxie Butterfield and she has an age gap of nearly a decade with Asa. She also loves video games and plays with her brother often. His half-sibling is Marlie Butterfield is his father's and stepmother's daughter.
Asa, much like his elder brother also has a passion for music. They are in a group together called Mambo Fresh. He also plays the drums, the piano, and guitar as well. Asa even produces his own music and had released a mashup of the songs Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus and Making Plans for Nigel by XTC. For the movie Ender's Game, Asa had compiled a playlist at the behest of Billboard.
Even though he has found great success as an actor, Asa does not think he will be acting for the rest of his life. "I'd really likely to shoot wildlife documentaries, I watched so many of those as a child, and I'm quite into wildlife and love photography as well, so that's something I'd like to do," he told BBC. "I'll hopefully be able to make something of it and get out of the UK because in London there's not all that much to film in terms of wildlife - maybe some foxes and pigeons, but that doesn't make a very exciting documentary, so I'd like to go somewhere more interesting."
Asa's full name is Asa Bopp Farr Butterfield. The Farr is his mother's second name and the Bopp, that has made its way to his social media handles as well actually has a deeper meaning. "My middle name is made after the comet Hale-Bopp. #swag," Asa tweeted explaining the significance of his name. It was the comet that was in the sky the day he was born.