How Michaela Coel of ‘Chewing Gum’ and ‘I May Destroy You’ Broke Into the Industry With ‘No Experience’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel‘s critically-acclaimed HBO present I May Destroy You lately aired its closing episode of season 1. Coel is beforehand recognized for her sequence Chewing Gum (which aired on Netflix). However, earlier than Chewing Gum, Coel had basically no expertise writing or performing for tv. How did she know tips on how to write a TV present adequate to promote to Netflix — after which, HBO?

Michaela Coel was fully new to TV writing when she created ‘Chewing Gum’ for Netflix

Michaela Coel
Michaela Coel visits the Build Studio in 2019 | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Multi-hyphenate expertise Michaela Coel (she’s an actor, author, director, producer, poet, the checklist goes on) lately joined Terry Gross for an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. Coel mirrored on her time writing I May Destroy You — in addition to her earlier sequence, Chewing Gum. Gross famous how inexperienced Coel was to the trade when she first started:

… while you began to put in writing Chewing Gum … you had no expertise with a TV sequence. And you had been, you already know, the author and the star. The creator. How did you be taught? How did you discover ways to write a sequence?

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RELATED: ‘Chewing Gum’: Michaela Coel Reveals Potential Timeline for Season Three and a Time Jump

The artist had a surprisingly easy reply.

“I Googled how to write a series,” Coel admitted, “and tried for a while.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” the radio host interjected. “Was Googling how to write a series helpful? Did you learn anything from that?”

Oh, my God. It was so useful,” Coel gushed. The Chewing Gum creator shared that she wanted help in “understanding a comedy.” Things like, as Coel defined:

… ending on a excessive earlier than the business break and establishing the world of the character, the construction of acts, whether or not you’re doing a 5-act construction or 3-act construction. It gave me data that I believe was positively useful.

The ‘Chewing Gum’ and ‘I May Destroy You’ author on the themes of her new present for HBO

Coel continued, noting how heartbreakingly relatable the themes in I May Destroy You are.

“… because I found it so huge in my life, it seemed only natural for me to write it,” Coel instructed Gross. “But as I began thinking about doing this, other people started sharing their stories with me, friends, friends of friends.”

The 32-year-old Chewing Gum star started to know how widespread her trauma actually was.

“I realized that many people had some sort of experience that was connected to mine involving consent,” Coel continued. “And there were so many different ways to explore consent and how it affects us today.”

Paapa Essiedu, Michaela Coel, and Weruche Opia, I May Destroy You castPaapa Essiedu, Michaela Coel, and Weruche Opia, I May Destroy You cast
Paapa Essiedu, Michaela Coel, and Weruche Opia in I May Destroy You Season 1 | Natalie Seery/HBO

RELATED: Michaela Coel Just Revealed Why She Refused to Sign a Deal With Netflix for ‘I May Destroy You’

That’s what the author/director/actor tried to debate in I May Destroy You. The 12-part HBO sequence aired its season finale on Aug. 25, 2020.

How to get assist: In the U.S., name the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to attach with a educated workers member from a sexual assault service supplier in your space.

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