“Luke Cage” star Mike Colter sat down with elle.com to discuss his feminist side, Marvel’s “Jessica Jones,” which was renewed for a second season, and doting on his baby daughter. He also explains why he finds women who are looking for their very own superhero a turnoff.
“Yeah. I respond to women who have their stuff together, who are in charge, who don’t need men to do things for them,” he said when asked if he would call himself a feminist.
“I want a woman to have her own thing, you know? My wife is very smart, she’s got a doctorate degree, she’s got her own career going, she doesn’t need me to take care of her. I respond to powerful women. I’m not intimidated by that, I like that, it’s not something I shy away from, so I don’t want women who are looking for me to take care of them. To me, that’s a turn-off. I respond to strong, powerful, independent women.”
Check out more highlights from Colter’s elle.com Q&A below.
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I was a huge fan of ‘Jessica Jones’. How did you get involved with the project?
It was always decided that Luke would have his own show, but they needed to introduce him in Jessica Jones, because they really wanted to have him in Jessica’s show. So when they were doing Jessica Jones, they were trying to focus on casting Jessica and Luke, knowing that Luke would go on to do his own show.
So I went in for Melissa Rosenberg, who is one of the biggest female writers in the business, and did the chemistry read for her. I starting reading with Krysten Ritter, just to figure out if it worked out chemistry-wise. But I responded to the material. I thought it was really interesting. I didn’t feel like, oh, this is a female-driven show, and she’s front and center, and I’m playing the supportive guy who is there when she needs him, yet I’m a superhero doing my own thing.
I really dug that he could do more to help her, but he’s not trying to impose his role on her whole life because she’s capable. If she needs him, she’ll ask for help. And if not, he’s just there. That’s hard because most men really want to enforce their role in relationships. It’s like when they see something they’re like, ‘No, no, no! I’m gonna do this; I’m gonna take care of it.’ They think they’re helping, but really they’re hurting. You should do only as much as they ask you to do because for the most part, I’ve learned over the years, when someone is complaining or wants to vent and has something they want to tell you, they don’t necessarily want you to fix it.
There has been a lot of talk about Luke Cage being a kind of Black Lives Matter superhero—this powerful black man who cannot be hurt.
Everybody tries to let the show to be what it will be. The story was basically based off something from 1972. It’s not like the stuff was based off of what’s going on today and we’re trying to be political. It’s just kind of still relevant.
Yesterday, I was talking to what happened to be two black guys about what it meant for them. … For them, seeing a guy who has a certain stature, a certain complexion, in a hoodie, doing something positive and not being that stereotype, felt really good for them. It felt refreshing and it made them feel different about themselves. So that’s pretty powerful stuff when you have someone who can walk out of their door feeling different about themselves than they felt the day before because of something they saw on Netflix.
What is it like having a 17-month-old baby?
She’s great. I’ve got to tell you, if we’re going to have another baby it’s because she’s a great baby. If she was a bad baby I think we’d be like, that’s it, we’re done. But if we have another child, I will say to the second child, ‘You know you’re here because of your sister. Since your sister was so good, I could see that this was worth doing again.’ She’s smart, she’s got a great personality, she’s playful, she laughs without anybody telling her to laugh, she just has a very good, strong personality. But she’s growing up fast. She’s walking and talking; she’s having little conversations and she’s already telling the dog what to do. She’s a bossy little girl. So we’ll see.
She’s got my heart, like I look at her and I know I’m the fourth most important person in her life because there’s the nanny and the mom and the dog and her stuffed-animals that she likes. I’m probably number five on the list, but hopefully she’ll see how important daddy is one day.
So what’s next? You’re filming the ‘Defenders’ series… Any other projects you’re excited about?
Well we shot this thing called Girl Trip, which is a comedy that comes out in the end of July of next year. Then I have a break hopefully in March and I can do another project, something that’s very un-Luke-Cage-like, something different. You’re used to having this kind of commitment to work for a long period of time, but then you do have to find things to do in the meantime. When I have breaks, I will look for other things to kind of take a chance on and see where it goes. I’m excited about the projects, I’m excited about this Defenders series that’s coming up, and I’m excited about the next project that hopefully I’ll start sometime on the hiatus. It’s work, work, work, you know? I like to take a break, but at the same time, I think most actors are not very good at sitting around doing nothing because we like to work.
You can read Colter’s full interview HERE.