Michaela Coel is about to hit the big screen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will take on the role of a legendary LGBTQ+ hero.
And on the occasion of that she also became a Fashion cover star, impressing during a high fashion shoot for the November issue of the style bible.
In the accompanying interview, the I May Destroy You talent saw her influential role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever tease and give a rare glimpse of her life off-screen.
Star power: Michaela Coel is about to hit the big screen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And on the occasion of that, she also became a Vogue cover star
The Vogue shoot took place in Ghana, Michaela’s childhood home, with her father, Derek Kwesi Coel, and grandmother Jemima Andam also in the photos – all three dressed to perfection in designer pieces.
Africa stars in the upcoming Black Panther sequel Wakanda Forever, in which Michaela plays Aneka, a combat instructor for the Dora Milaje, the fearless, all-female crew of warriors protecting the kingdom of Wakanda.
Her character falls in love with her warrior colleague Ayo, played by Florence Kasumba.
On playing a queer character in a movie set in Africa, where there is a strict anti-gay policy, Michaela admitted, “That sold me the part, the fact that my character is queer.”
‘I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana… People say: ‘Oh, it’s good, it’s just politics.’ But I don’t think it’s just politics if it affects how people go about living their daily lives.’
Family: The Vogue shoot takes place in Ghana, Michaela’s childhood home, with the father, Derek Kwesi Coel, and grandmother Jemima Andam also in the photos
While she has not publicly addressed her sexuality, Michaela has always been an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+.
Michaela grew up in East London, but told Vogue’s Chioma Nnadi that she immediately felt an affinity for Ghana on her first visit in 2018.
“When I came here, I really saw people who looked like me. A friend of mine was with me, and he remembers getting off the plane and me walking around like I knew where I was going,” she explained.
“I remember looking at all the kids playing and it dawned on me, Wow, this could have been me and I think I would have really enjoyed that. Yes, there are many sad things; poverty, unemployment, struggle. There is also a lot of peace, kindness. There is a lack of fear.’
Starring: In the accompanying interview, the I May Destroy You talent teases her influential role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and life off-screen
“That’s why I thought it was important to step into that role, because I know that just because I’m Ghanaian, Ghanaians will come.”
As for her own love story off-camera, Michaela said she’s working hard on herself in hopes of finding her equal match one day.
‘I do want a life companion. I love romance and I love it when romance turns into something deeper, a relationship where there is understanding, transparency, forgiveness and openness,” she said.
“But you have to find that person, and personally I haven’t seen many healthy men.”
“So I don’t know if I trust myself. I try to do the job. I talk about them all the time in therapy, and actually they get healthier and healthier from person to person.’
Role: In the sequel to Black Panther, Michaela Aneka, a combat instructor for the Dora Milaje, plays the fearless all-female warriors who protect the kingdom of Wakanda
Michaela landed a part in the Black Panther sequel after being spotted by the film’s director, Ryan Coogler, at the first film’s London premiere, where she confidently blended into the cast.
Development on a sequel to the original Black Panther began shortly after the release of the original, which premiered in 2018.
Numerous cast members from the first film expressed interest in returning for a sequel, though plans were complicated when star Chadwick Boseman tragically died of colon cancer in August 2020.
It was later confirmed that there would be plans for a sequel and that the late actor’s role would not be recast.
“It felt like the entire cast was processing grief,” Michaela said of her experience on set after Boseman’s passing.
“There was a feeling we had to bring this baby home in Chadwick’s name.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out November 11.
The November 2022 issue of Vogue will be available nationwide from October 18.
Tribute: Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died tragically of colon cancer in August 2020. “It felt like the whole cast was processing grief,” Michaela said of her experience on set