×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mike Colter on What Sets ‘Luke Cage’ Apart From the Rest of the ‘Defenders’

After scene-stealing turns in “The Good Wife,” “The Following,” and “Jessica Jones,” Mike Colter has long seemed destined for leading-man status.  He’ll finally get his chance Sept. 30, when Netflix releases “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” in which Colter stars as a reluctant hero with invulnerable skin.

Has your life changed much since being cast as Luke Cage?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s odd, because I try not to think about my life changing. That sort of stuff makes me nervous and self-aware and self-involved, so I try not to focus on that. It’s a game I play with myself, and I’m pretty good at it. Regardless of things that are going on in the real world, in my head I’m the same person, and things are kind of the same. But yeah, things are changing.

What’s the biggest difference between the Luke we met in “Jessica Jones” and the Luke we see in his own series?

He had a suspicion that getting involved with Jessica was going to be bad news — it wasn’t going to end well. And I think against his better instinct he still wanted to get involved — he allowed himself to get sucked up emotionally and physically.… I think he’s learned his lesson. But then again, Luke is a hopeless romantic, and ultimately he functions better with someone. He always wants to have someone by his side, so that’s his Achilles heel — wanting to find that connection with someone.

What does Luke bring to the Marvel universe and “The Defenders” lineup that sets him apart from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist?

Luke comes with a certain amount of emotional depth. As a black man in today’s culture, what he represents and what he’s dealing with in his own life — being a fugitive on the run but being innocent, but at the same time not feeling sorry for himself — he’s always thinking about the community, and thinking about things in a larger sense in his life. He wants more than just this thing that he’s doing now — it was kind of thrust upon him. He’s very thoughtful about his actions. He has no agenda with his powers. He’s seen what helping out leads to; he doesn’t see the point. It never ends well. He doesn’t have a costume, he doesn’t have a mask, everybody knows who he is. So I think he brings a certain gravitas that says, “I don’t want to rush to judgment about anyone. I don’t want to do anything until we just talk about this, because everything has a consequence.” I see him as the consigliere of the group.

Aside from your work on “Luke Cage” and “The Defenders,” do you have any other projects coming up?

I just wrapped “Girl Trip,” a comedy that I shot in New Orleans. I wanted to do something that was so far away from Luke Cage that I wouldn’t be thinking about that character at all.

What you didn’t know about Mike Colter
AGE: 40; Born: Columbia, S.C.; College: Rutgers University; Cousin: Viola Davis; Studies with Clint: Played boxer Big Willie Little in Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby”

 

More TV

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Variety to Honor Jax Media Chiefs Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns at New Leaders Event

    Emmy Award-winning producer Tony Hernandez and Emmy-nominated producer Lilly Burns will receive the Creative Leadership Award on behalf of Jax Media at the Variety New Leaders event presented by City National Bank, taking place Nov. 14 in New York City. As founders of Jax Media, Hernandez and Burns have produced shows and specials such as [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Friends

    'Friends' Reunion Special in Early Planning Stages at HBO Max

    More “Friends” could well be there for you when the HBO Max rain starts to fall. An unscripted “Friends” reunion special is in the works at the forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, Variety has confirmed with sources. Sources say original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are in discussions [...]

  • TC3_SM_060718_238A4600.cr2

    'The Crown' New Season: Netflix to Offer Opening Episode for Free in the U.K.

    When Olivia Colman steps into the royal shoes of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers in the U.K. and Ireland will be able to watch for free as Netflix makes the eagerly awaited Season 3 curtain-raiser available gratis. The streaming giant will launch the series opener on a dedicated site for a limited period starting Sunday, making it [...]

  • T.R. Knight

    TV News Roundup: T.R. Knight Joins HBO Max's 'The Flight Attendant'

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight joins HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” and BET renewed “Games People Play.” CASTING T.R Knight has been cast in HBO Max‘s dark comedy “The Flight Attendant.“ Knight will play Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) older brother, Davey. When Cassie’s life starts to unravel, Davey deals with the [...]

  • Days of Our Lives Bill Hayes

    'Days of Our Lives' Cast Members Released From Contracts

    The entire cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” have been released from their contracts, Variety has confirmed. The daytime drama has run for over 13,000 episodes since first debuting in 1965. The show will go on hiatus at the end of November, though it has shot enough episodes to last through the [...]

  • Live+7 Ratings Week of Oct. 28:

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct. 28: ‘This Is Us,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Double

    “This Is Us” and “Grey’s Anatomy” were among the biggest TV ratings growers for the week of Oct. 28. Both the NBC drama and the ABC medical show doubled their ratings after seven days of delayed viewing, with the former ending up on a 2.8 among adults 18-49 (the highest rating for a non-football show [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content