Michaela Coel just snagged a Critics’ Choice TV Award nomination for her daring performance in the HBO limited series “I May Destroy You,” and the rising star is now on pace to score her first bid at the SAG Awards. The English actress, who won a BAFTA in 2016 for her sitcom “Chewing Gum,” plays Arabella, a young woman who seeks to rebuild her life after being drugged and raped in a nightclub. Coel is the star, creator, writer, producer and co-director of “I May Destroy You,” which was inspired by her own experience of sexual assault.
Coel currently ranks fifth in our overall odds in the TV movie/mini actress race at the SAG Awards, based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby users. At 12/1 odds, she trails Cate Blanchett in “Mrs. America” (71/20 odds), Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Queen’s Gambit” (4/1 odds), Nicole Kidman in “The Undoing” (9/2 odds) and Uzo Aduba in “Mrs. America” (13/2 odds). A nom for Coel would make her the first woman in this category to be recognized by the guild for a project she created and wrote for herself.
“I May Destroy You” has been getting rave reviews from critics since it premiered in June. The series maintains an impressive score of 86 on Metacritic, with Isobel Lewis (The Independent) writing, “No TV show has ever shown the complexities of sexual assault and how it affects survivors, their friends and their communities quite like this difficult, harrowing and hilarious drama.” Tambay Obenson (IndieWire) says, “It marks a bold new territory for Coel, who’s operating at a level unmatched by her peers.”
Should Coel prevail, she would be just the fifth Black actress to win this category. Since the Screen Actors Guild began handing out awards in 1994, four have taken home this prize, with two of those winning twice. Alfre Woodard took home a pair of statuettes for “The Piano Lesson” (1995) and “Miss Evers’ Boys” (1997). Halle Berry won for “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” in 1999 and S. Epatha Merkerson came out on top for “Lackawanna Blues” in 2005. Queen Latifah has won this category twice for her roles in “Life Support” (2007) and “Bessie” (2015).
Last year the guild of actors chose Michelle Williams as the top TV movie/mini actress for her performance in “Fosse/Verdon.” Patricia Arquette (“The Act”), Toni Collette (“Unbelievable”), Joey King (“The Act”) and Emily Watson (“Chernobyl”) were the other nominees.
The SAG nominations will be announced on Thursday, February 4. Five Experts are currently predicting Coel’s name to be read among the nominees, in addition to three Editors and nine of our All-Star Top 24 users. Do you agree with them?
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