×

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

  • Baldvin-Z

    Iceland’s Baldvin Z Crime Series “Black Sands” Added to All3Media Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  All3Media is to handle international rights on Icelandic crime series “Black Sands” which, currently in development, is to be pitched at the Göteborg Festival’s TV Drama Vision confab on Thursday. “Black Sands” marks the first crime thriller to be created by Icelandic helmer Baldvin Z (“Trapped”) since the hit series “Case.” Commissioned by [...]

  • Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the

    Ad Time in Fox's Super Bowl Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn't

    Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV. But just this week, it found a little more. After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe'

    NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe' From 'House' Alums

    NBC has given out its fifth drama pilot order for the 2020-2021 season. The broadcaster has commissioned “Ordinary Joe.” It explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Dazzler, Tigra, Hit-Monkey, and M.O.D.O.K.

    'Howard the Duck,' 'Tigra & Dazzler' Animated Marvel Shows Not Moving Forward at Hulu

    Marvel Television’s remaining slate continues to dwindle. Variety has confirmed that the animated shows “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” — two of four animated Marvel projects set up at Hulu — are no longer in the works at the streamer. The other two shows, “M.O.D.O.K” and “Hit Monkey,” are currently still on track [...]

  • Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

    After 'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Delay, Is the Force Still Strong With Disney Plus?

    The issues on Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series are either a minor stumble or a portent of trouble ahead, depending on who you ask. It was reported on Thursday that series writer Hossein Amini was no longer attached to the project as Disney wished to overhaul the scripts. The move led to pre-production in London [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content