Michaela Ewuraba Boakye-Collinson famously known as Michaela Coel, is a British screenwriter, poet, and actress. She is known for creating and featuring in the Channel 4 sitcom Chewing gum and also a part of the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She is known for chewing gum.
Michaela Coel Biography
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Michaela Ewuraba Boakye-Collinson was born on 1st October 1987 in East London to Ghanaian parents. She alongside her sister grew up in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, East London. She was a student at Catholic schools in East London, the actress said that during primary school she bullied other pupils, attributing it to her isolation as the only black pupil in her age group.
Coel studied at the University of Birmingham, she majored in English Literature and Theology. She transferred to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she was the first black woman enrolled in five years. Coel won the Laurence Olivier Bursary award, which helped her pay her tuition. While she was at Guildhall, She attended the Mark Proulx workshop at Prima del Teatro and also took the Kat Francois Poetry Course at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. She completed her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2012.
Michaela Coel Career
Coel started performing at poetry open mics in Ealing in 2006. She was urged by her mentor, actor, playwright, and director Ché Walker, who was at one of her performances at the Hackney Empire, to apply to Guildhall. As a poet, Coel performed on numerous stages, which include, Wembley Arena, Bush Theatre, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and De Doelen, Rotterdam. Her stage name was Michaela The Poet.
She enrolled in the Talawa Theatre Company summer school program TYPT in 2009. Coel was in the TYPT 2009 production of Krunch, directed by Amani Naphtali when she was in Talawa. Also in that year, she released an album called Fixing Barbie, which showcased her work as a poet and musician. In 2011, Coel released the record We’re the Losers.
Coel’s famous play Chewing Gum Dreams was her senior graduation project at Guildhall in 2012. The play was first produced at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick. It featured Coel in a one-woman show telling the dramatic story of a 14-year-old girl named Tracey. The play later went on to be produced by the Bush Theatre in 2012, Royal Theatre Holland in 2012, Royal Exchange Theatre in 2013, and the National Theatre in 2014. Receiving many positive reviews.
Channel 4 announced that Coel would write and star in their new sitcom called Chewing Gum, inspired by her play Chewing Gum Dreams in August 2014.
She created, wrote, produced, co-directed, and starred in the comedy-drama series I May Destroy You, inspired by her personal experience of sexual assault. The show launched on BBC One in the UK and HBO in the US in June 2020. She admitted rejecting $1 million from Netflix after the streaming service refused to offer her intellectual property license for her show.
Coel was featured in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020. She was also named one of the breakout stars of 2020 for the film. She was also featured in British Vogue’s 2020 list of influential women. In addition, in the 15th annual Powerlist of the most influential people of African or African-Caribbean heritage in the United Kingdom, Coel ranked fourth for the influence of her work on I May Destroy You.
She was cast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in July 2021.
On September 7th, 2021, Coel’s first book, Misfits: a Personal Manifesto, was published in both the UK and the USA by Ebury Press. The book is based on her MacTaggart lecture at 2018’s Edinburgh Festival, which speaks on her experiences with racism and misogyny.
Michaela Coel Movies
Coel has featured in the following stage and screen work;
2014: National Theatre Live: Medea
2013: Top Boy
2013: Law & Order: UK
2013: Three Birds
2013: Chewing Gum Dreams
2014: Blurred Lines
2014: Home (Revival)
2014: Chewing Gum Dreams
2015: London Spy
2015–2017: Chewing Gum
2016: The Aliens
2016: Black Mirror
2017: Black Mirror
2018: Black Earth Rising
2019: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
2020: I May Destroy You
2014: Monsters: Dark Continent
2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
2018: Been So Long
2022: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Michaela Coel Awards/Nominations
The following are awards and honors received by actress Michaela Coel;
Theatre Royal Stratford East Poetry Slam – Won (2008 & 2009)
Cordless Show for Poetry/Music – Won (2010)
Laurence Olivier Award for Bursary Award – won (2011)
Alfred Fagon Award for Best Playwright of African or Caribbean Descent – Won (2012)
British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance (won) and Best Scripted Comedy (Nominee) and Breakthrough Talent (won) (2016)
RTA Programme Award for Breakthrough – (won) Comedy Performance (won) and Writer – Comedy (Nominated) 2016
South Bank Sky Arts Award for Times Breakthrough Award (Nominated)
Black Reel Television Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Actress Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing Comedy Series – Nominated (2017)
Berlin International Film Festival Award for EFP Shooting Star – Won (2018)
British Academy Television Award for Best Scripted Comedy – Nominated (2018)
Black Reel Television Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series Black Mirror – Nominated (2018)
British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Nominated (2018)
Black Reel Television Award for Outstanding Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series – Nominated (2019)
British Academy Television Awards for Best Mini-Series, Best Actress, Best Director: Fiction, and Best Writer: Drama – (Won all 4) (2021)
Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series – Nominated (2021)
Independent Spirit Awards for Best New Scripted Series Best Ensemble Cast – Won (2021)
MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Performance in a Show – Nominated
NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special – Nominated and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series – Won (2021)
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series – Nominated, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie – Nominated, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special – Won and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special – Nominated (2021)
Producers Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television – Nominated (2021)
Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie – Nominated (2021)
Television Critics Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Drama – Won (2021)
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for Best Drama Series, Best Actress, and Best Writer – (Won all three) (2021)
Coel wore a dress designed by her mother at At the 2016 BAFTA Awards. The dress was made of Kente cloth, a traditional Ghanaian dress. Coel had said that, like the Chewing Gum character she portrayed, she became very religious in the Pentecostal faith and adopted celibacy. However, she stopped practicing Pentecostalism after her time at the Guildhall. She now identifies as aromantic.
Michaela Coel Net Worth
The British-born actress is worth $2 million as of 2022.