Michaela Coel grew up on a London council estate with her Ghanaian mother, Marion, and now her starring and screenwriting role in the HBO/BBC1 drama I May Destroy You has netted her in excess of £3million
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Actress Michaela Coel grew up on a council estate in the heart of London’s financial district… but now SHE seems to have a license to print money.
The London native has grossed £3.3million since writing and starring in the 2020 gritty HBO/BBC1 drama I May Destroy You.
Michaela, 34, had previously turned down an offer from Netflix of £750.00 for the show because it meant signing the copyright – but the risk paid off well.
Michaela’s initial accounts for her company Falkna Ltd show she paid £766,593 to creditors last year. But that still left her with a net worth of over £2.6million, according to records filed with Companies House last week.
It’s a long way from her tough childhood on a council estate in London, where Michaela and her sister Jasmine, 36, were raised by their Ghana-born mother Marion, 54.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2020, Michaela said: “Between skyscrapers and medieval lanes there is a social housing estate, there in sight and yet somehow invisible.
“It was built in 1977 with the aim of helping the homeless and this is my proud home.
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“We were at most one of four black families there that I didn’t know was cared for until someone left a pile of shit on our doorstep. My mother cleaned it up quietly. But when we got a bag of shit in the mailbox, I had no choice but to take matters into my seven-year-old hands.
“I’ve walked around the property, swinging on the swings, desperate for transparency and wondering who my family’s enemies are.” Michaela capitalized on such experiences for her BAFTA-winning E4 show Chewing Gum, which revolves around a young girl who grows up on a council estate. She has also starred in two television series – Black Mirror and The Aliens.
But Emmy-winning I May Destroy You, about a rape survivor, literally changed her fortunes. Michaela began presenting the show in 2017 and Netflix offered £750,000 for the full rights. But Michaela refused, insisting she should keep the copyright.
She recalled: “There was just silence on the phone. She said, “We don’t do it like that here. Nobody does, it’s no big deal. I said, “If it’s not a big deal, I’d really like 5% of my rights.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/destroy-you-star-michaela-coels-26395768 I May Destroy You stars Michaela Coel's £3million fortune as Netflix gamble pays off