The February 2019 issue of Vogue US touches base with writer and actor Michaela Coel in a small cafe near her London apartment. AOC first met up with the Bafta-winning actor Coel in the February issue of British Vogue. Her essay ‘Flight Or Fight: Michaela Coel On Why We Need To Talk About Race’ was calming, as she dug deeper into the topic of ‘white privilege’ and racial stereotypes than the usual talking heads. I can learn from Michaela Coel.
"We are not campaigning for you to hand over your money, job, Upper Class flights and land... rather it’s the freeing of your minds from history we want"
Coel, now 31, rose to fame in Britain in the “semiautobiographical and widkedly funny TV series ‘Chewing Gum’. After dropping out of university twice, Coel ended up in drama school. So totally disenchanted with the roles offered to her, she wrote her own one-woman theatrical show, one that eventually became ‘Chewing Gum’.
‘Black Earth Rising’
Her latest TV project ‘Black Earth Rising’ is an eight-part drama by Hugo Blick, in which Coel plays Kate Ashby, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. The series will debut on Netflix January 25.
Kate is raised as the adopted daughter of Eve (Harriet Walter), a British barrister, who joins forces with her colleague Michael (John Goodman) take on the prosecution of an African warlord who played a role in ending the genocide.
In the series, Kate has to reevaluate her ideas of right and wrong, which is perhaps why she wrote such an insightful essay on race a year ago. “This role changed me as a person,” she says.
Her next project is a twelve-part drama looking at sexual consent in the #MeToo era. Cole is the sole writer for the series, one that is inspired by her own experience of a 2016 sexual assault by strangers. “It was horrific,” Coel says about the attack. “I needed two and a half years away from the event to write about it.” Coel engages—on Instagram—with her fans, many of whom have shared with her their own experience of harassment. “I really wish to give this as a gift to them,” she says. Read on at Vogue US.