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‘IMDY’: Paapa Essiedu explains why his close friendship with Michaela Coel doesn’t give him “more allowances” on set

Natalie Seery/HBO On the critically-acclaimed HBO drama series, I May Destroy You, Paapa Essiedu gets to work alongside his longtime friend and collaborator Michaela Coel, who also happens to be his boss. 
Essiedu tells ABC Audio t…

Natalie Seery/HBO On the critically-acclaimed HBO drama series, I May Destroy You, Paapa Essiedu gets to work alongside his longtime friend and collaborator Michaela Coel, who also happens to be his boss. 

Essiedu tells ABC Audio that thankfully there's no egos involved when it comes to Coel, who he says is always open to support new ideas.

"I think that Michaela is good. She's humble with it. And...not precious," he says. "So like, she's up for taking the ideas. She's like a sponge. She absorbs it. And she's very eager to say yes to someone offering something up."

However, even with their close friendship, that dates back to drama school, Essiedu admits Coel is definitely not a pushover when it comes to getting down to business.

"But... I don't think... because I was friends with her, I actually got any more allowances than anybody else," he says.

In fact, because of their friendship, Essiedu notes that he's even a bit reluctant to offer his input when it comes to his character Kwame.

"And also, I didn't want to kind of push it that way... because I think it hurts more if your friend tells you, 'No, you can't do that.' You know? Rather than like it's just like some person that you're working with. So like, we keep it kind of professional to an extent."

Still, Essiedu says it's hard not to let their real-life camaraderie reflect on set.

"We're playing friends in the show. So obviously [it's] going to mirror what we're like in real life," he says.

"[But, Coel] is just like the most incredible collaborator, the most talented... person I ever worked with," he adds.

I May Destroy You airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

ABC Audio

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