Today, Netflix’s Marvel series Luke Cage cast makes an appearance at 2016 San Diego Comic Con – where sci-fi characters come to life. But there’s one cast member we already have our eye on: Simone Missick who plays Misty Knight. Why? Because Simone’s playing a superhero who looks a lot like us: sunkissed skin, perfect twist outs and a hard-earned body that looks good in a sequined mini as well as a gray pant suit. Although fans will get a sneak peek of Simone’s fierce portrayal of Misty Knight at Comic Con, we’ll wait patiently with the rest of the world for Luke Cage to start streaming on September 30. Until then, here are six things you should know about the actress we’re already loving:
1. She’s playing the first Black female superhero on TV
“Misty Knight is the first Black female superhero to ever be seen on TV. We have Storm in the Marvel Universe, the film world, but Misty Knight is the first TV character on Netflix. Misty is a cop from Harlem, born and raised … Daddy’s girl, athlete, who decided to become a detective. She is very serious about pursuing justice. Her superpower is Misty Vision. It’s her ability to see what’s going on, what’s happened. She can look at something and figure it out. She’s also historically known in the comic books for having a bionic arm—which may or may not make its way into this world, this season.”
2. This is her break out role
“I have had some one day roles, did an episode of Ray Donovan. Just little things. This is definitely my introduction to the industry, which is great, because it’s an iconic role. It is something that little Black girls can look up to. Little girls of color, little girls period. I have two nieces. I am so excited they might want to dress up for Halloween as their aunt. My sister sent me this video of my niece, where she’s running and doing martial arts moves. My sister was like, ‘You have met Misty Knight, meet Misty Afternoon.’” [laughs]
3. She can keep a secret
“When I first got the job the head of Marvel, was like, ‘Say goodbye to your anonymity and welcome to Marvel. You cannot tell anybody.’ My husband Dorian and I literally packed up, left town. I didn’t even tell my girlfriends. I was here in New York and they were releasing [the casting news], but it still was not official from Netflix. People were like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so proud of you, congratulations.’ I had to say nothing. It wasn’t until a month and a half after we got here that I sent the mass ‘Everybody, trust me. I love you all for the love. I was not being weird, I’m just sworn to secrecy.’”
4. She feels it fate she’s playing Misty Knight
“I met Cheo Coker [Luke Cage executive producer] at a party. It was literally like, ‘Hey, nice to meet you. I’m the wife.’ [Missick’s married to actor Dorian Missick.] I don’t even think he knew I was an actor. Dorian was auditioning for a show on CBS. I had been reading this book called The Circle Maker. I have a Bible study with my girlfriends and we were reading that. It’s all about walking circles around your dreams. It can either be to circle it in the Word, whatever that scripture is, or it can be a literal physical circle. When he was auditioning for this pilot, I was like, ‘I’m going to walk around CBS Radford,’ which is a two mile walk.
“I’m walking around on his final audition and we’re decompressing in the car. He’s like, ‘Yo, there’s Cheo.’ Cheo is walking out of his building, and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, hey Dorian. I’m taking a break from writing this show I got on Netflix. What are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘I just auditioned.’ He was like, ‘Well, if you don’t get it, we got a space for you over here. We would love to have you.’ It wasn’t until months later that Dorian was like, ‘That circle that you walked was for you.’ It was for him too, because he didn’t get that show. Dorian ended up getting [BET’s] Zoe and it ended up being the biggest blessing for everyone involved.”
5. She’s a proud natural girl
“Because Cheo’s wife is natural, he was very adamant that the character have natural hair. When I did my audition, I sent in a self-tape I made in my living room. For this, there were no specifications and I didn’t know anything about this show and I didn’t know anything about who she was so I was just like, ‘I’m just going to go in there and do me.’ I did, and they loved it.”
6. Why she thinks Luke Cage is right on time
“What is really great about it is with so many issues that are current. We deal with Black Lives Matter. We deal with police brutality. We deal with gentrification. We deal with drugs in the neighborhood. It’s not just a superhero and he’s fighting crime. It really deals with what is going on in the Black community—definitely what’s happening on the corner, what’s happening in the barber shop. We don’t always see it handled well, and handled from the perspective of people who are from the community and know what’s really going on.
We were respectful of the people of Harlem. I’m not from there. Mahershala Ali [who plays Cottonmouth] is from the Bay Area. Mike Colter [who plays Luke Cage] is from South Carolina. I’m from Detroit, went to school at Howard in D.C. We are not home grown, but come from Black communities, where you see people often taking advantage of those people’s images and making it something that it’s not. This show is definitely real in that sense.”
Luke Cage debuts on Netflix September 30.
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