Wizard World St. Louis 2016: Mike Colter Panel


Bam Smack Pow presents a transcription of the Mike Colter panel at Wizard World St. Louis 2016!

Hello comic book fans! It’s been almost a week now since Wizard World St. Louis 2016 but we’re not done covering the event just yet! Today I have a treat for fans of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, a partial transcription of Mike Colter’s panel from Wizard World STL!

Premiering later this year, Colter will be playing the title character in Luke Cage on Netflix, which will look at the origins of the character. From there he will also be appearing in Marvel’s The Defenders, which will also be on Netflix.

So Daredevil is kind of known for their hallway fight scenes, do we have anything like that to look forward to in Luke Cage?

Yeah uh, there are some really good fight scenes, Daredevil you know is more of a martial artist, so it’s a different type of fight scene as Luke Cage is more of a brawler. He takes guys out pretty differently, it’s pretty efficient. He doesn’t really have to do a lot of intricate fight moves ’cause he can just punch you in the face and that’s pretty much it. But that being said Luke Cage also knows that he can kill people ‘mere mortals’ if he hits them too hard so he has to kind of tailor his fights, he’s not trying to kill anybody you know, he’s just trying to dispose of people so he doesn’t have to deal with them anymore so you’ll notice sometimes he slaps people with an open hand instead of punching them.

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So can you elaborate on any of the differences between like the Luke Cage series that you’re doing and Jessica Jones? Like are they two completely different series in tone and everything else? Or are they pretty similar?

Yeah actually tone is a good point to start with, it’s a completely different tone, it’s as if you saw Luke Cage from the Jessica Jones series and he went uptown and he’s got a whole new group of friends, you know a whole new group of associates and he’s trying to find his way there. And if you guys have ever been to New York, and if you’ve ever been to Hell’s Kitchen, Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem are completely different even though they are in the same city.  Luke Cage, yeah its way different uh but in a good way, I think, if you watch Jessica Jones, Luke Cage was from Jessica Jones’ point of view. So when you watch Luke Cage it’s all through her eyes and basically the way she interprets Luke Cage and saw him through her eyes. Well just imagine now we take the point of view and we put it in Luke Cage’s corner, and so you’ll see it through his perspective and so his world is going to change a lot. So I think it will feel like a completely different show but very unique in the way that Jessica Jones was very unique.

So if you can, put us in the head space of Luke Cage, what makes him tick from your perspective?

He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, like he doesn’t have a lot of time for a lot of stuff that is superfluous, he doesn’t take time to deal with people he has no time for. So in his world he would like to go about his business and get the job done that he has at hand and find a way to make a living. And in the superhero world there’s always somebody that needs saving, so Luke Cage is like “oh here I go again I have to save someone” and he’d rather mind his own business. But he’s been endowed with these powers, and when you’re bullet proof and you have super strength and stuff like that it’s kinda hard not to step up to the challenge. So he’s found himself in a situation where he really wants to help out and make a difference in his neighborhood and he’s found himself basically fighting bad guys because the guys that the bad guys are fighting just don’t have the wherewithal to fight them so he’s stepped up when he’s needed to. It’s one of those things, he’s growing into the role of being a superhero, and before he wasn’t trying to be a superhero but he’s found himself in that role and he’s starting to enjoy it and he’s starting to uh relish in that role and it’s going to take a while. So the series is about the journey of him becoming a man and also growing as a superhero, a pillar in society as it were.

What did you do to kind of get yourself in the mind-set of how you wanted to play Luke Cage, what was your inspiration for your take on the character?

For me as an actor I always look at the character from the perspective of “let me see the script, let me see what the writers are thinking, what’s the blueprint?” Because it’s like as an actor, the writers are the architects and I have to build the house, I have to kind of construct this thing. So when I see what they’ve laid out, I have a certain amount of leeway whether or not that feels right or that makes sense because everything they put down on paper doesn’t necessarily end up onscreen. So then they start to trust me and I trust them and eventually what happens is they start to write the character based off the things they see me do. And they’re seeing me on the dailies, we call ’em dailies, everyday as we work as actors the producers and writers can see the footage and then they go back and say “well this is something that I see and I want to use more of that or I want to flush that out more. So as an actor we’re creating the character and they’re starting to write for you the actor and it becomes a marriage. So the writers first inform you and then you inform the writers so then it becomes a balance between the two.

Related Story: Wizard World St. Louis 2016: Elizabeth Henstridge Panel

Before I go I want to take the time to thank Wizard World, and especially Abby Ferguson in their media relations department. This is the second year in a row that Eric and I have personally interacted with Abby over the course of the con and she and all the Wizard World people have always been very friendly and accommodating to help us get the best coverage of the con that we could. So thank you Wizard World, and thank you Abby, I look forward to hopefully working with you next year!

Be sure to check out our cosplay photos from Wizard World St. Louis 2016 and our article covering the Elizabeth Henstridge panel, and check back with us tomorrow for the Daredevil panel!