All the Impressive Roles Michaela Coel Has Had Before HBO’s I May Destroy You
HBO’s I May Destroy You is edging its way into becoming another success for the TV giant. But it is only the latest in a slew of knockout roles for Ghanian-British actress Michaela Coel. While her incredible acting is hard to forget, here’s a reminder if you’re having trouble recalling her previous roles.
Coel has always been an entertainer, dabbling in music, theater, and film since her college days. In 2013, she wrote and starred in a play based on her upbringing, Chewing Gum Dreams. The play was adapted into the British sitcom Chewing Gum a couple of years later, starring Coel as Tracy, a sexually inexperienced, awkward young woman looking for freedom outside of her strictly religious home. Chewing Gum was later picked up by Netflix, where American audiences soon fell in love with Coel’s quirky writing and hilariously unabashed performance.
Coel played a series of dramatic roles in 2017 and 2018, most of them in Netflix originals. She played Shania, an office worker trapped inside a virtual space craft, in Black Mirror‘s episode titled USS Callister in season four, and starred in the Netflix drama Black Earth Rising as a legal investigator taking on war crime cases.
In 2018, Coel stepped out of her TV show comfort zone to take on the role of Simone in Netflix’s original film Been So Long, where she portrayed a dutiful, single mother. She also made an appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi which diehard fans may remember (she played a Resistance monitor).
In I May Destroy You, Coel not only shows even depth to her acting but also increasing range in her talents as a writer. As the series develops, we see more glimpses of Coel’s nuanced balance between comedy and gut-wrenching drama. She does it all, but we still can’t wait to see what she does next.
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