Michaela Coel born 1 October 1987 is a multifaceted talent hailing from Britain. She’s renowned as an actress, filmmaker, and poet. Coel rose to prominence for her creation and portrayal of the lead character in the E4 sitcom Chewing Gum (2015–2017), a role that earned her the prestigious BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance. She further solidified her status as a creative force with the BBC One/HBO comedy-drama series I May Destroy You (2020), a production she both created and starred in, earning her the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress in 2021. Notably, Coel’s exceptional work on I May Destroy You marked a significant milestone as she became the first black woman to clinch the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Identity School of Acting

Michaela Coel is an actor whose training at top drama school Identity School of Acting has enhanced her skills. She engaged in courses on screen acting, audition technique, text & performance, Stanislavski, Meisner, radio plays & audiobooks, and voice. Michaela excelled in her improvisation course, which focuses on training students in spontaneity, following impulses, and finding truth in performance. This training was instrumental in helping her with rehearsals and performances on screen for “Top Boy” and “Black Mirror.” 

In 2013, Coel graced the screens in the Channel 4 drama Top Boy and showcased her talent on the prestigious stages of the National Theatre. Notably, she delivered award-nominated performances in productions such as Home and the critically acclaimed Medea. 

Channel 4 announced Coel’s venture into sitcom creation with the unveiling of Chewing Gum, inspired by her earlier play Chewing Gum Dreams, in August 2014. Teasers dubbed “C4 Comedy Blaps” were released in September 2014, paving the way for the series premiere on E4 in October 2015. Coel’s stellar performance in the show earned her the esteemed British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2016. Moreover, she clinched a BAFTA for Breakthrough Talent for her exceptional writing on the series. Chewing Gum received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. 

In 2015, Coel expanded her repertoire with a captivating appearance in the BBC One drama London Spy. The subsequent year saw her portraying Lilyhot in the E4 sci-fi comedy-drama The Aliens, a production filmed in Bulgaria. 

Chewing Gum made a triumphant return for a second series in January 2017, further solidifying Coel’s status as a comedic powerhouse. Additionally, she left her mark on Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed anthology series Black Mirror, featuring in both the “Nosedive” and “USS Callister” episodes. Coel also graced the big screen with a small yet memorable role in the 2017 blockbuster Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 

In 2018, Coel continued her streak of captivating performances with her portrayal of Kate in the BBC Two and Netflix co-production Black Earth Rising. She further showcased her versatility as Simone in the musical-drama film Been So Long, adapted by Che Walker from his own stage play. Released on Netflix to rave reviews in October 2018, the film highlighted Coel’s prowess as a multifaceted talent. 

Coel embarked on a multifaceted journey with the creation, writing, production, co-direction, and starring role in the comedy-drama series I May Destroy You, drawing inspiration from her own harrowing encounter with sexual assault. The show debuted on BBC One in the UK and HBO in the US in June 2020, receiving widespread acclaim for its bold storytelling and raw authenticity. Notably, Coel made headlines for her principled stance, turning down a lucrative $1 million offer from Netflix after the platform refused to grant her ownership of her intellectual property. 

In 2020, Coel’s influence reverberated across various platforms as she earned a spot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list and was hailed as one of the breakout stars in the film industry. Her impact extended to the realm of fashion and culture, with British Vogue recognizing her as one of the influential women of the year. Moreover, her groundbreaking work on I May Destroy You propelled her to the fourth position in the prestigious Powerlist, honouring the most influential individuals of African or African-Caribbean heritage in the UK. 

Stepping into the realm of cinema, Coel joined the highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, released in November 2022, portraying the formidable character Aneka, a member of the revered Dora Milaje. In addition to her screen endeavours, Coel unveiled her debut book, Misfits: a Personal Manifesto, in September 2021, offering a poignant exploration of her experiences with racism and misogyny. Recognised for her literary contributions, Coel was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022, further solidifying her status as a luminary in the artistic landscape. 

Looking ahead, Coel is set to captivate audiences once again with her upcoming role in David Lowery’s Mother Mary, showcasing her unwavering commitment to pushing creative boundaries and amplifying underrepresented voices.


What groundbreaking series did Michaela Coel create, write, direct, and star in that addresses the complexities of modern relationships and consent?

Michaela Coel created, wrote, directed, and starred in “I May Destroy You.”

For which series did Michaela Coel win a BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2016?

Michaela Coel won a BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance for her work in “Chewing Gum.”

Michaela Coel made her writing debut with which television show that she also starred in?

Michaela Coel made her writing and starring debut with the television show “Chewing Gum.”

What prestigious writing fellowship did Michaela Coel receive from the Royal Court Theatre in London?

Michaela Coel received a writing fellowship from the Royal Court Theatre in London.

What university did Michaela Coel attend, where she initially studied Theology before switching to Drama and English?

Michaela Coel attended the University of Birmingham, where she initially studied Theology before switching to Drama and English.

Which 2020 awards ceremony saw Michaela Coel deliver a powerful acceptance speech about visibility and supporting the next generation?

Michaela Coel delivered a powerful acceptance speech at the 2020 Emmy Awards.

Michaela Coel appeared in which Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, making her debut in the superhero genre?

Michaela Coel appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

What unique aspect of her personal experience did Michaela Coel incorporate into the storyline of "I May Destroy You"?

Michaela Coel incorporated her own experience of sexual assault into the storyline of “I May Destroy You.”

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