‘Sex Education’ Star Dua Saleh Talks Playing the Show’s First Nonbinary Character

by Shine My Crown Staff

Sudanese-American musician Dua Saleh joined season three of the Netflix series, “Sex Education.”

In the series, Saleh plays Cal, a nonbinary student from Minneapolis. Cal transfers to Moordale, where their character finds support from Jackson Marchetti (Kedar Williams-Stirling) to survive their awful headteacher.

The logline reads: “It’s a new year, Otis is having casual sex, Eric and Adam are official, and Jean has a baby on the way. Meanwhile, new headteacher Hope (played by Jemima Kirke) tries to return Moordale to a pillar of excellence, Aimee discovers feminism, Jackson gets a crush and a lost voicemail still looms. Prepare for commitment animals, alien phenomena, vulva cupcakes and much more of Madam Groff.”

Saleh is nonbinary, both on and off the screen.

“What drew me to the character is, I don’t really see that many nonbinary characters depicted in ways that are authentic and true to a whole person. It didn’t feel like Cal was a caricature of what a nonbinary person is supposed to be. Cal seems to be somebody who is their own self. It’s just like a teenager trying to figure s—t out,” she told Teen Vogue.

While some viewers may only be finding out about Saleh from the show, others already know her work as a recording artist, songwriter, poet, and actor based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Saleh says that she would like to pursue acting following her time on the show:

I’d love to continue acting, just as I’ve had such a wonderful experience with the show, and challenging myself and pushing myself to access different parts of my brain that I probably wouldn’t have accessed if I was just thinking about my own story,” she shares. “Also, the creative director for all of my music videos or the director actually for all of my music videos is asking me to direct a music video in the future. I was paying attention to the directors and the way that everything was set up onset while I was in Wales. Right now I’m not really thinking too far into the future. I’m just thinking about what’s coming directly next. I’ve been in L.A. focusing on a project that I’m working on, back and forth between here and New York. I’m just trying to focus on music for now.

She currently has a new track with Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter Amaarae on the way on Sept 24th, the first single from their forthcoming “CROSSOVER” EP.

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