On September 30, a brand new superhero steps out of the shadow when Marvel’s Luke Cage begins streaming on Netflix. The 10 episode series will be an instant cult fave and its leading man, Mike Colter, should get used to the spotlight.
West Coast editor Regina R. Robertson spoke with Colter about his new show, staying humble and being related to Viola Davis.
Name: Mike Colter
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
Role Call: When his first, ever, television scene (on 1990s sitcom, Spin City) landed on the cutting room floor, he shrugged it off, after talking to his family. “Making that call was a little embarrassing,” laughs Colter, who later made his big screen debut in the Oscar-winning film, Million Dollar Baby. Since then, he’s been racking up credits on American Horror Story, The Following and The Good Wife.
Breakthrough Role: Two Names—Luke Cage. After breathing life into Cage on Marvel’s Jessica Jones last year, Colter takes the lead for the Netflix spin-off on September 30. He’ll reprise the role in the follow-up series, The Defenders, too. “Luke has a lot of skeletons in his closet,” Colter says of his indestructible character, “but he’s constantly trying to figure out what it will take to become the man he wants to be.”
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On Transitioning to Leading Man: “I don’t feel like a lead when I walk set,” says Colter. “It’s the same crew, same cinematographer, same cameramen, hair and make up artists… it was the same people. Krysten [Ritter, his Jessica Jones star] just wasn’t there as much. I just came to set more and said more stuff and there were more days and I worked longer hours. I took three weeks off but it didn’t feel like anything changed except that I was there more. The storylines obviously changed but I just felt like was there more.”
Family Ties: This husband and dad of a 1-year-old girl is a cousin of Emmy winner Viola Davis’s. “I know her family from my hometown, but we’ve never met,” he admits. “I’m sure our paths will cross at some point.”