featured image

Martin, who is “very bisexual,” nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, and Joe Hampson, the show’s co-creator, set out to tell a relatable and realistic story about the complexities of relationships and about addictive behavior, which “I’m very familiar with,” Martin said.

Martin began doing stand-up in Toronto at 13, and eventually dropped out of school and worked at Second City, first in the box office and then ultimately onstage. Martin met Hampson at a comedy festival in 2012, and the duo went on to pitch several shows — mostly science-fiction series, murder mysteries and other genre stories — that no one wanted. Which was for the best, Martin said. “They were real stinky.”

Then Channel 4 in Britain approached Martin after seeing their 2017 stand-up show “Dope,” about love and addiction. The idea was to “narrativize a more autobiographical comedy-drama thing,” Martin said. “Feel Good” premiered in March 2020 on Channel 4 and on Netflix globally, and Martin recently earned a BAFTA nomination for acting in the series. In December, Netflix renewed it for a second season (two was always the plan). “‘Feel Good’ is honestly a childhood dream come true,” Martin said, “to be able to ‘get the girl.’”

“I grew up wanting to be a leading man,” they added.

Along the way, Martin has won famous admirers like the Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, who called himself “both a fan and a friend” of Martin’s in an email this month. “Mae’s integrity, vulnerability and intelligence sets them apart, both as a person and as a creative force to be reckoned with,” Page said. “When I first saw their work, I was struck by their honest and nuanced depiction of gender and sexuality, and clearly, it is resonating with other people as well.”