Top 84 Michaela Coel Quotes

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“If there’s anyone out there that looks a bit like me, or just feels a little bit out of place just trying to get into performing, you are beautiful; embrace it. You are intelligent; embrace it. You are powerful; embrace it.”

― Michaela Coel

“I believe there are some great things that I’ve taken from the Bible in terms of loving the world and trying to be kind. There are a lot of good things to take from the Bible, and I like to think I try to apply them to my life.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Chewing Gum’ is kind of like the world I wish I grew up in. There wasn’t really a sense of community growing up.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’ve always liked using humor, but what I had to with ‘Chewing Gum’ was take out a lot of darkness so it would be a bit more feel-good.”

― Michaela Coel

“I love listening to audiobooks – I always lose my glasses, but if I have an audiobook, I don’t need them.”

― Michaela Coel

“The idea of wanting to do something that’s completely natural and then having to repress it is something that I find fascinating.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Chewing Gum Dreams’ should make you look twice at the girl shouting on the bus and not just cuss her off from your life.”

― Michaela Coel

“I do like making people feel uncomfortable – it’s separating the wheat from the chaff.”

― Michaela Coel

“Comedy in the past hasn’t spoken to women because it wasn’t written by women, and male writers don’t make women three-dimensional characters. Too often, women just facilitate the man’s comedy: they’re not crazy; they’re not funny. But women are as vulgar as they are elegant, as stinky as they are smelling of eau de parfum.”

― Michaela Coel

“At college, I became friends with this girl who was a ‘cool Christian.’ They did street dance, then they prayed. It became my whole world. I had Christian friends. I went to Christian parties.”

― Michaela Coel

“When you’ve got African parents, you go to uni, do finance, and go into accounting. But I’m not good with systems. I dropped out in my final year of college to become a Christian poet. Then went back to do my A-levels and went to uni in Birmingham to do political science and theology. I lasted 12 weeks.”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t believe in comedy as a TV genre – I think there’s drama that is funny. Because beyond the laughs, there has to be cost, and there has to be heart.”

― Michaela Coel

“There always seems to be an element of faith in my writing.”

― Michaela Coel

“In drama school, they do these big shows and period dramas, and I felt that none of those shows were representing me as a person, and I knew I wouldn’t be cast in any of those when I left school. I decided to write my own one-woman show, and that was called ‘Chewing Gum Dreams.’”

― Michaela Coel

“To suggest things may be going on in our brains that we aren’t fully conscious of, that we unknowingly make classist, sexist and racist presumptions… Well, there just aren’t many comfortable ways to take that. And in the face of discomfort comes the mask of defence.”

― Michaela Coel

“It strikes me as odd that we’ve made journeys with our social conditioning in certain areas, but not in others. The world is always changing; discoveries in technology and science relentlessly expose our dearest values as fictions.”

― Michaela Coel

“Socialisation is not optional. It’s an inescapable contract, and our birth into the world is our signature of agreement. Norms and ideologies vary from society to society, and most of them weren’t formed during our lifetimes but were handed down from one generation to the next.”

― Michaela Coel

“The unpredictability of the weather, the increasing possibility of intelligence introducing a species more powerful than ours, the growing uncertainty that animals can or should be slaughtered for our pleasure, has led many of us to start asking more complex questions about what is and isn’t normal.”

― Michaela Coel

“Drama school taught me not to be precious.”

― Michaela Coel

“To see people laughing or crying or listening, then being inspired to do their own thing? I can’t think of anything better than that.”

― Michaela Coel

“We can put fear of the future in front of us to block us, or behind us to drive us forward. I feel like telling all the people who look like me to start trying to write. You don’t know it’s possible because it’s not often in front of you.”

― Michaela Coel

“Don’t sit there and complain. Rub your hands together and figure out what to do.”

― Michaela Coel

“The first time I got into astrology was being in New York. I was like, ‘Oh, this is a real thing here!’ Now, I’ll Google what your sign is and what my sign is to see the predictions of friendship, and I find that really cool. But that’s the most I know.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’m very rational, so sometimes I need the facts, and if I don’t have the facts, then I get huffy, and I move on.”

― Michaela Coel

“I have to go to sleep with music.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’m a Louis Theroux addict.”

― Michaela Coel

“We live in this era where we really enjoy being offended, although only on the Internet. I don’t know how beneficial it is. I wonder if we live in an age where we don’t have power, yet somehow feel we have virtual power. But I feel like it’s a distraction from real life.”

― Michaela Coel

“I think you just have to do you, whatever that is, and not feel like you have to be a certain way for other people to like you.”

― Michaela Coel

“I over-write!”

― Michaela Coel

“I see my shows like Gandhi, and I’ve got little baby Gandhis, and they are changing the world. I know that I’m a bit delusional about that, but I do think of them like Gandhi. They are not celebrities: they are like Gandhi and Mother Teresa.”

― Michaela Coel

“When I think of the things that I want to write, I can never say them out loud because I know how crazy they sound. I know what things sound like when you haven’t actually worked on the script, so I don’t go around saying some of these ideas because they just sound awful.”

― Michaela Coel

“What was nice for me was that when I got to secondary school – like high school – I met many other Ghanaian schoolgirls whose parents were also born in Ghana and were raising them here. We automatically had a huge kinship that was amazing.”

― Michaela Coel

“In comedy, I often see so many weird race jokes, and it’s like, there is no racial diversity in your show to even make those race jokes. The problem is that there is no one in the back to say, ‘Hey, that race joke is not really appropriate.’”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t know what it would have been like to grow up with a man in the house.”

― Michaela Coel

“It was only when I went to sixth-form college that I encountered boys.”

― Michaela Coel

“Growing up on our estate, we were all different colours, but we were all really poor. I never really realised that black was a problem for some people.”

― Michaela Coel

“I feel that when you want to start attacking people or completely rejecting the people you see as not on the godly side, to me, that isn’t God, and that isn’t love.”

― Michaela Coel

“My generation of black British people often feels part American because of what we learned from TV.”

― Michaela Coel

“So many of my memories revolve around TV.”

― Michaela Coel

“Where I grew up, in Aldgate, east London, one of the poorest boroughs in the country, I saw lots that was real – the bankers with their briefcases, the man next door with five wives, the illegal immigrants in Flat 5. I’m from a world you rarely see on screen, and I want to show it off.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Chewing Gum’ is a sitcom set on an estate in east London. Its central character is a girl from a Pentecostal background who decides to embark on a more worldly lifestyle – it’s about adolescence 10 years too late. In my dreams, everybody is watching it, finding out about my world and realising it’s not what they imagined. That it’s not terrifying.”

― Michaela Coel

“My sets are not peaceful. It’s a beautiful catastrophe. I am running around like a headless chicken. I don’t sleep because I am writing. It’s manic.”

― Michaela Coel

“I was very unhappy at one point and dealt with my unhappiness by hitting people.”

― Michaela Coel

“Inequality starts in the womb.”

― Michaela Coel

“I am really weird.”

― Michaela Coel

“I love Issa Rae. I adore her.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Moesha’ is very strong in my brain. The black women on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ are very strong in my brain.”

― Michaela Coel

“In Britain, we need to start presenting the option of being a writer in front of black women. We need to present the idea of being a writer into poorer communities because the majority of black people in this country are working class. We need to let working-class people know that their voices are important.”

― Michaela Coel

“We need to encourage black women to know that they are authors of their own destiny, that they have important stories to tell, and that they are capable, so magically capable, of writing them and creating important pieces of work that will live forever in history.”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t write with this thing in the back of my head about carrying the weight of young black women on my shoulders.”

― Michaela Coel

“Black isn’t something I became after a car crash that I’ve been dealing with ever since. I’d like the colour of my skin to not be a factor in my life at all.”

― Michaela Coel

“I wanted to write a show about an estate that wasn’t sad or morbid, like a lot of shows portray working class life to be.”

― Michaela Coel

“I took what I was given in Christianity and put it into my secular, hedonistic life.”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t think we should be presentable or present ourselves for the sake of others.”

― Michaela Coel

“When I was 18, I suddenly became very, very religious. I became an evangelical Christian; I was celibate for five years.”

― Michaela Coel

“I wrote a play at drama school, which was a dark comedy – people laughed and cried. And then my script of one of the shows was picked up by a comedy sketch company… so then I had to write comedy.”

― Michaela Coel

“Being fetishized because of my skin? I’ve definitely encountered that wall of people.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’m way too honest. It can backfire.”

― Michaela Coel

“One thing I am quite passionate about is the absence of dark-skinned women in the media, so I have a passion to show dark-skinned women as beautiful, as vulnerable, as people who can be sexually desired and loving people, because it is never really seen on TV.”

― Michaela Coel

“Now I’m steeped in this world, I keep thinking going to the theatre every week is normal, but there’s a whole world of people who don’t go at all. I wrote ‘Chewing Gum Dreams’ for them – I’d love them to come.”

― Michaela Coel

“I want to make sure I’m climbing because there’s no back-up. No one in my family has a house, and, regardless of your background, if someone has a house, that means you can always come back home. When you don’t have that, it’s like there isn’t anywhere to stand, so you have to keep jumping.”

― Michaela Coel

“There’s Psalms that tell you things that nobody tells you – that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, that you’re beautiful, that you have worth, basically.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’m massively open-minded to pretty much anything.”

― Michaela Coel

“I’ve been bullied about my appearance since forever.”

― Michaela Coel

“I didn’t know I was going to write for TV until I was suddenly writing for TV, so that kind of stuff can bewilder you.”

― Michaela Coel

“What dominates my life isn’t the fact that I started off doing theatre. It’s probably to do with Christianity, my race, the class I was born into. These are the things that make my work. They make who I am as well.”

― Michaela Coel

“Women are tired of ‘presenting’ themselves; we just want to be who we are.”

― Michaela Coel

“Men are trained to like this version of womanhood, and when someone comes along smashing the table and messing up the party, it’s a bit like, ‘Get out; why are you disturbing the peace?’”

― Michaela Coel

“I went to drama school, where you learn to clown around a bit. You’re walking around in leotards every day for three years, and you’re taught clowning and mask work.”

― Michaela Coel

“You have to be true to your instinctive way of writing. You have to find your identity.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Chewing Gum’ ages me 15 years every time I do it – it’s insane.”

― Michaela Coel

“I actually thank God for television… it’s not technology, it’s storytelling. Technology is saying, ‘Do less, do less, do less.’ And I don’t think it’s healthy, no.”

― Michaela Coel

“Twitter is just full of silly little people enjoying being sarcastic and rude and mocking.”

― Michaela Coel

“We live in a world where if you’re white, an upper-class male of extreme privilege, and able-bodied, and you’re nothing that takes you away from that norm, then you’re going to have – then the world will not assign you problems because of what you are. That is actually the world we live in.”

― Michaela Coel

“I love Jeremy Corbyn, definitely.”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t actually believe in the genre of comedy. Sometimes when I watch comedies, I can’t see the soul of the show. I want to be able to laugh and cry. That is where the magic is. I’m trying to get to that place.”

― Michaela Coel

“The environment on the ‘Chewing Gum’ set is where everyone can work to the best of their abilities and everyone is happy. So, if I’m not happy with something, I’ve learnt that you don’t start flailing about; you go in quietly, and there’s a conversation.”

― Michaela Coel

“I don’t really go with the crowd. I’m the kind of person that if I heard some girls were bullying my friend in another school, I would go to that school by myself and try to have a fight with a hundred girls.”

― Michaela Coel

“When I grew up, my race was not a thing. My identity was in my class. It was not about colour on my estate.”

― Michaela Coel

“’Chewing Gum’ is the London that I know.”

― Michaela Coel

“I feel angry with myself the way I handled the Bible and Christianity. A lot more people are more normal with Christianity. I was crazy… telling people you will go to hell. I lost all my friends because of my militant faith.”

― Michaela Coel

“The acting world is tough. It’s competitive – and even more so for women – but actually, for black female actresses, the issue isn’t really that it’s competitive: it’s that there just aren’t enough roles for them in film and TV.”

― Michaela Coel

“I became a very passionate Christian when I was 17. I started writing and performing poetry at different venues across the U.K. I started performing from then, really.”

― Michaela Coel

“I definitely believe in spirituality. I like to pray, but I’m not praying to something that I can define; I’m just speaking because I know it does have an effect.”

― Michaela Coel
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