Michaela Coel: 5 Things To Know About The Actress Playing Aneka In ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

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Image Credit: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

  • Michaela Coel plays Aneka in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’.
  • She’s best known for starring in the HBO miniseries ‘I May Destroy You’.
  • Michaela is an Emmy Award winner.

Michaela Coel, 35, is one of the new cast members in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She plays Aneka, a rebellious Wakandan warrior. Michaela stars in the Marvel film alongside Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta. Michaela is going to be a major addition to the Black Panther sequel, which picks up after the loss of King T’Challa, who was played by Chadwick Boseman who passed away in 2020.

So, who is Michaela Coel? Keep reading to learn more about the talented actress joining the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which comes out November 11.

Michaela Coel at the ‘Black Panther 2’ premiere in London on Nov. 3 (Photo: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)

Michaela plays Aneka in ‘Black Panther 2’.

Michaela was officially cast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in July 2021. It was revealed that she was playing Aneka at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Aneka is a captain and fight instructor in the Wakandan military force, the Dora Milaje. In an interview with Vogue, Michaela revealed that Aneka’s sexuality was a major reason why she took on the role.

“That sold me on the role, the fact that my character’s queer,” the actress said. “I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana. [Black Panther] is about representation on a very mainstream platform, about the magic of Africa, the magic of the people, our ancestors.” Michaela also told Vogue how she bonded with the cast who were mourning Chadwick’s death. “There was a sense that we have to bring this baby home in the name of Chadwick. I thought to myself, I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m getting in. I don’t need to be front and center, I’m here to support,” Michaela said.

Her career started in theater.

Michaela started her career as an actress and poet, which launched her into the theater world. Her play Chewing Gum Dreams was produced by the Bush Theatre and the Royal National Theatre in England from 2013 to 2014. Michaela starred in the play which told a dramatic story about a 14-year-old girl.

She won an Emmy for ‘I May Destroy You’.

At the 2021 Emmy Awards, Michaela won Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series for her work on the HBO miniseries I May Destroy You. Michaela created, wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the 12-episode show, which focuses on a young writer rebuilding her life after being raped. In total, Michaela received four Emmy nominations for I May Destroy You, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, where she lost to Kate Winslet for Mare of Easttown.

She is British.

Michaela was born in East London, to Ghanaian immigrant parents. Her parents separated when she was young so she was raised by her mother. She attended Catholic schools in East London, before studying at the University of Birmingham. She transferred to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she fell in love with acting.

She identifies as ‘aromantic’.

Michaela’s confirmed she identifies as aromantic, which is when someone has no interest in romantic relationships. “I googled aromanticism and I very much felt like, ‘Oh, that’s me,’ ” Michaela said in an interview. “I am OK being by myself,” she also said. “I like having intimate relationships but I don’t want to change people or want to be changed by anyone. Diamond rings don’t make me happy. Flowers don’t make me smile. I can’t smell them. I don’t have a sense of smell. I want to know who you are.”