Great Britain

I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu teases Kwame ‘taking control of trauma’ in BBC’s season 2

I MAY Destroy You star Paapa Essiedu has spoken out about his queer character Kwame's ownership of his "trauma" on the BBC series.

The gritty programme, created by scriptwriter and actress Michaela Coel, sees a hard-hitting insight into the nature of sexual abuse told from her character, Arabella, and her best pal.

Both have suffered harrowing assaults yet Paapa told Digital Spy he was adamant his role as the gay dancer and gym instructor would not fall into well-trodden stereotypes.

Talking of his collaboration with BAFTA Award winner Michaela off-screen, he told the website of Kwame: "In the grand scheme of the show, he is Michaela’s friend, but he has his own autonomy and independence, even in the storylines that he’s given."

Londoner Paapa, 30, then speculated on the future for his role, as he added; "It’s really interesting— I think it’s quite short-sighted to think, “How can we bring closure to Kwame’s story?”

"That’s not how it works. That’s not how trauma works.

"We never eviscerate things that have happened to us.

"Unless we’re sitting in denial, we’ve got to live with the events of our lives.

"I definitely have hope for Kwame. I feel like he’s heading in a hopeful direction, and he’s been able to take control and ownership over himself and his actions, his history and hopefully, his future.

"So I think I approach it more with curiosity and hope than any specific desires."

Kwame is the first friend Arabella turns to when she decides to report her rape to the police - displaying the pair's close bond - yet the fourth out of 12 episodes then turns its shift to Kwame's love life and how he meets men through app such as Grindr.

Kwame hooks up with a bi-curious friend and a stranger and they engage in a threesome, but Kwame's mate decided to call it a night as he and the stranger begin to have sex.

However, things took a turn for the worse as Kwame was forced back onto the bed when he tried to leave and was raped by the stranger he had just had consensual sex with.

He later branded the gritty scene as a "historic" moment for British television.

I May Destroy You trailer: A fearless and challenging drama exploring the question of sexual consent in the modern world

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