‘I May Destroy You’: Is Michaela Coel’s HBO Series Based on Real Events?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michaela Coel on I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel — who beforehand wrote and starred within the Netflix collection Chewing Gum — additionally created and starred in I May Destroy You, which is now obtainable on HBO. Is the 12-episode plotline of I May Destroy You primarily based on Coel’s actual life — and the way intently does it observe the actual story?

Why the ‘I May Destroy You’ creator wished to jot down a TV collection about sexual violence and consent

Michaela Coel on I May Destroy You
Michaela Coel on I May Destroy You | Natalie Seery/HBO

When Coel joined radio host Terry Gross on a current episode of Fresh Air, she went in-depth in regards to the background of her HBO collection I May Destroy You. The NPR interviewer first requested Coel why she selected to jot down about such a darkish matter.

“I think in the beginning I wanted to write about it because it had happened,” Coel defined. “And I have a habit of writing some sort of piece that’s inspired by reality, whether it’s poetry or music or a one-woman play or a TV show.”

Coel has been writing poetry for years — and her earlier critical Netflix collection Chewing Gum relies on a poem that’s closely influenced by her real-life childhood experiences and observations. For I May Destroy You, Coel drew from her personal sexual trauma — in addition to that of her associates’. The author/performer shared:

… as I started fascinated about doing this, different folks began sharing their tales with me, associates, associates of associates. And I spotted that many individuals had some types of expertise that was linked to mine involving consent.

Michaela Coel drew from private experiences to jot down the 12-episode HBO collection

As Vulture put it so properly, watching I May Destroy You “is like entering a pool of Coel’s consciousness.”

Michaela CoelMichaela Coel
Michaela Coel, giving the annual MacTaggart Lecture on the Edinburgh International Television Festival, on August 22, 2018 | Ken Jack – Corbis/Corbis through Getty Images

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

The whole collection is impressed by the creator’s personal life, with some small modifications within the particulars. The publication reported on Coel’s expertise that led to I May Destroy You:

While pulling an all-nighter drafting its second season in 2016, she took a break to fulfill up with a friend at a bar; Coel’s drink was spiked, and she or he was sexually assaulted by two males. She discovered herself returning to consciousness on the Fremantle Media manufacturing workplace, the place she’d been working, her telephone smashed, and completed the episode in what she would later study was a drug-induced fugue state.

Coel clarified a few of the particulars throughout her Fresh Air interview.

“Arabella’s story at that point in the series is very similar to mine,” she informed the radio host. “But there are differences that I’ve intentionally kept.” Coel defined that she saved “a distinction between [herself] and Arabella.”

Finding herself “back at work, typing and finishing the episode,” on the workplace: that was when she realized: “gee … my phone was smashed.”

“You know, I was a mess, but I didn’t quite connect the dots until I had a flashback,” the Chewing Gum star continued.

While parallel to the plotline of the HBO collection, Coel made some alterations to Arabella’s story — like the truth that it was one man, quite than two, in I May Destroy You, and that Coel she’s engaged on a e-book, quite than a TV present.

‘I May Destroy You’ Season 1 is how Coel made sense of her trauma

However — there are most likely extra issues alike than totally different. Another factor in frequent: she had a little bit (effectively, lots) of assist from her associates.

“I had friends who helped me going through overseas bank statements, calling other friends to literally try and gather the pieces,” she defined on the NPR program. “So our stories … are different, but there are many, many similarities.”

I May Destroy You cast member Michaela CoelI May Destroy You cast member Michaela Coel
Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You | Natalie Seery/HBO

RELATED: ‘I May Destroy You’ Creator Michaela Coel Says She ‘Googled How to Write a Series’

The I May Destroy You creator additionally confirmed to Gross that like her character, Coel by no means did work out the id of her attacker.

I May Destroy You is the fruits of her try to make sense of the mindless — an epic journey of autofiction that manages to in some way be each of the second and past it,” Vulture reported on Coel’s present.

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 skilled workers member from a sexual assault service supplier in your space.

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