The actress opened up about working on “I May Destroy You” – a risky series that Coel not only stars in but also writes and directs.
In the TV show, Coel’s character, Arabella, experiences flashbacks from the night she was drugged and raped.
Speaking about how her own experience of sexual assault influenced the series, she said, “I know the show feels like in some way a risk, but maybe every show is like that.”
Discussing how she found humour in the pain of her assault, Coel said, “There’s a strange line, isn’t there? And I don’t know where that line is. And I’m not looking for it. I think it’s just the mode that I write in. I’m sure there could have been a version of this series where it was so distasteful to…survivors of sexual assault.”
She continued, “But I wonder whether just having the personal experience of it means that you have a level of empathy but also a level of—I’m not here to just sit in an echo chamber listening to violin strings about my pain, because I need to move…I can’t just sit here.”
Responding to online comments about her appearance, Coel added, “I don’t look anymore, because it doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do. Life is tricky enough navigating being a woman, being a Black woman, being a dark-skinned woman in England on television. It’s so hard.”
WSJ. Magazine’s November Issue hits newsstands on Saturday, Nov. 21.