Although she finally achieved the goal of losing her virginity within 12 episodes, fans of the Netflix’s “Chewing Gum” can expect to see a long-awaited season three starring their favorite British awkward black girl. Creator Michaela Coel revealed to the The London Times that she has a lot more to share when it comes to Tracy Gordon’s random awkwardness and relatable struggle between feeling like a sex goddess and a lame on a day to day to basis. However for this round, she’s called in reinforcements in the form of a full-fledged writers’ room. She says that events in her own life have given her and her team plenty of material to work with and she’s brought on Charlie Brooker, creator of “Black Mirror”, to help her share her misadventures:
“Because I don’t want to die. My sets are not peaceful. It’s a beautiful catastrophe. I am running around like a headless chicken. I don’t sleep because I am writing. It’s manic. I love it — I don’t know if I would want it any other way, but I’ve learnt from working with proper people like Charlie; they really prepare in advance.”
Coel linked up with Brooker for a role on his darkly satirical series. She plays “Shania” in the Star Trek-influenced episode in the first episode “USS Callister” of the series’ fourth season. Her character is modeled after the classic sci-fi show’s character “Uhura”, although Coel admits she only recently watched “Star Trek” for the first time for character reference.
She shares she isn’t currently dating anyone, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had some awkward encounters to pull from for inspiration:
“Surprisingly, my life hasn’t got any less embarrassing. And it’s nothing to do with being on TV. My friends are always, like, ‘Why is this always happening to you?’ So no, I haven’t run out of material. Sadly.”
Coel, whose family are natives of Ghana, shares that even through her rapid rise to success she and her friends want to avoid getting caught up in clichéd ideas if fairytale romance:
“We have all made a pact that we will just live in a big house and have girlie nights all the time, and work, and we will invite a man, and we will sample him, and we will bond with him, all of that, but we don’t want to do the whole marriage thing. But I do need sex. We do need sex, so we need to find a way to have the sex.”
Although shares that dream is more utopian than anything else, Coel shares that more realistically she hopes to expand the idea of what is “normal” for a young woman by society’s standards:
“I wanted to be strong as well as vulnerable, I wanted to go against the grain, provide something different for young people to aspire to be.”
Coel who dropped out of college early, created “Chewing Gum” initially as a 15-minute graduation project before it turned into a one-woman stage play. She says that success is nothing new to her and that she felt like she was achieving great things even before the fame:
“Even when I was a poet and I was driving a Fiat Punto to gigs and getting paid the fuel fare, to me I was a success. So when people go, ‘Oh my God, you’ve made it!’ I go, ‘I made it back when I was driving a Fiat Punto.’”
Still, the 30-year-old admits she’s still adjusting to how much people love her work and is humbled by it all:
“I mean, I am grateful. I have ‘Whoa!’ gratitude. I put my life and soul into writing this story and actually people heard it. People write scripts and nobody ever sees or hears them. And I have never written a script that people haven’t seen. I try to give advice to others too, even though I’m still in a sense thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ I think I am quite alienated by the idea of what is going on in my life right now. It’s all quite strange, quite surreal.”
No official premiere date has been released for season 3 of “Chewing Gum”, but you can catch Coel in the London-set musical Been So Long, airing on Netflix later this year.