Michaela Coel Of ‘I May Destroy You’ On Trauma, Levity And The Space Between
HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” the latest project from British actress and writer Michaela Coel, is getting a lot of eyeballs.
The series follows a young writer named Arabella, who is sexually assaulted after her drink is spiked at a bar. Based on Coel’s own life, it exploresconsent and trauma – and the unexpected moments of levity on the path to healing.
There’s an expansive, long-limbed, genre-casual energy held together by Coel’s performance. The way her face flickers from placidity to horror and levity to devastation reflects the mercurial nature of trauma itself. Even though the show has been marketed as a “consent drama,” the label feels insufficient, maybe a touch misleading, because she is less concerned with political correctness or the failures of the criminal-justice system than with the psychology of the self: How do you become whole again after trauma breaks you open?
We talk with Coel about her vision for “I May Destroy You,” and the art of writing through trauma.
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