“If viewers think they know Michaela Coel personally after watching “I May Destroy You,” she understands why.
“Even though it’s fictional, there’s something very transparent about the show,” Coel tells Variety. “I know a lot of people will say, ‘You think you know me, but you have no idea.’ And I feel like, ‘No. You probably do have a pretty good idea.’”
This rings true, even over Zoom, where Coel is as profoundly introspective and pointedly funny as she is on the HBO series that she created, wrote, co-directed and stars in. The show’s delicate balance of tone matches its creator’s personality, as it investigates sexual assault and consent, society’s relationship to social media and the complexities of overcoming trauma while still finding ways to make audiences laugh.
The art Coel consumes is marked by a similar combination. During quarantine, she dove into heady podcasts and books but also made time for Netflix’s zany musical comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
“I actually was crying my eyes out watching. It’s that moment when [Rachel McAdams] begins to sing in Icelandic, I cried. I’m so pathetic,” she laughs. “We’re all rooting for the little guy, aren’t we? It’s emotional.”
Check out variety.com to read Variety’s #PowerOfWomen cover story on the #IMayDestroyYou creator and what she’s working on next.
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