What to Watch

What to Watch With Mike Colter, Star of Luke Cage and Girls Trip

When he's not superheroing, Colter takes in Big Little Lies and Narcos.

by | October 16, 2017 | Comments

Girls Trip stars Regina Hall and Mike Colter (Universal Pictures)

While Mike Colter enjoys the life of a comic book hero on Luke Cage and The Defenders, he occasionally likes to break away and become the heel. In Girls Trip, he plays Stewart Pierce, a man with a great life. But his wandering eye and wandering heart leads his wife Ryan (Regina Hall) to question their marriage and go on a wild, girls-only vacation during the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, and Larenz Tate also star.

Mike took a few moments from his busy days as a hero to talk to us about his heel turn in Girl’s Trip and what he’s watching on TV when he finds a free moment.


What’s appointment viewing for you?

Big Little Lies stars Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman (Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO)
(Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO)

I’m so busy [that] it is hard for me to watch anything on a schedule. So I catch-up with things after the fact. Like I’m just now watching Big Little Lies. Everybody knows what that’s about, and I’m like, “I’ve got one more episode.” I’m that guy. I’m weeks and weeks late to the party. I’m also watching The Deuce on HBO right now.


What’s on your DVR?

Dragon attack in Game of Thrones season 7, episode 6 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

I’ve got like 10 episodes of everything that are just sitting there and I haven’t touched it. I tend to do the on demand thing. Sometimes Game of Thrones will come on and I watch that almost when it comes out.


What’s on your streaming queue?

Pedro Pascal in Narcos (Netflix)

I finished Narcos season 3, which is unbelievable. Awesome. Love that show. Big fan of that. I watched GLOW. It was a very short, succinct series that was about 10 episodes. I watched that when I had a weekend [off]. There’s so many shows on television. It is so hard to keep up. Handmaid’s Tale — I hear it’s phenomenal, but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

I watched a documentary on John G. Avildsen (John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs) the other day. He directed Rocky and The Karate Kid. People don’t think about it, but these are classic movies that have lasted and stood the test of time. He gets very little credit but he’s done some great work, you know? He’s one of those unique directors that people just overlook.


What’s coming soon that you can’t wait for?

Catherine Zeta-Jones ( Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

There’s a movie that Guillermo Navarro (the director of the third episode of Luke Cage in the first season) is making called Cocaine Godmother. It’s about Griselda Blanco, the notorious Columbian drug lord. She lived in Queens and Los Angeles and was operating during the same time as Pablo Escobar. She’s responsible for most of the violence in Miami that was in the early ’80s. She was like a female Scarface. [The documentary] Cocaine Cowboys tells part of her story, but I’m looking forward to that story being told [as a drama].

(Catherine Zeta-Jones, pictured, is set to star in the Lifetime movie.)


Mike Colter in Marvel's Luke Cage (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

Erik Amaya for Rotten Tomatoes: Is a movie like Girls Trip a break from the superheroing?

Colter:  Yeah, absolutely. It’s kinda going from heroes to heels. One moment it’s like people celebrating, next thing you know people looking at you with a side eye going, “Ah, this guy.” It’s like why? Why, why, why? Why did you do that? So, I was looking forward to that. So, I embraced that. I wanted to be playing a somewhat likable yet misunderstood unlikeable kinda guy. You kinda understand it, but you don’t wanna justify anything he’s doing, and stuff like that. I thought it was a nice departure.

RT: How often do you get offered the heel-turn part? Has Luke Cage changed what comes your way?

Colter: It doesn’t really affect [the parts I see] too much. When I’m thinking about choosing other roles, there’s always something that’s very un–Luke Cage like. I think it gives me something to sort of focus on. You play a hero and you do all this stuff with action, and you do all this other stuff for a long period of time, you want that departure.

RT: When you get ready for a performance in Luke Cage or something like Girls Trip, is it the same approach in a lighthearted movie as it is with something in a more serious tone?

Colter: I think that somebody said there’s really no difference in playing comedy and drama. Both of them take full commitments. You have to commit to the stakes and the circumstances. And, that’s what you’re always holding on to. No matter how absurd the situation is, you have to commit to the truth of the situation, the truth of the moment, the truth of the scene. I don’t think it’s a whole or huge departure when you talk about comedy versus drama.

One of my favorite actors, John Lithgow, he goes between the two and he does it quite well. I love that about him. It takes a great versatility and understanding of the material.

RT: Did you get to spend a lot of time at the Essence Music Festival (where portions of Girls Trip was filmed)?

Colter: Yeah! It was absolutely crazy. I was overwhelmed. First of all [the shoot] was June-July-August. It was pretty hot. It was so hot that it was 90 at night. It was one of those weird things where you’re like, “It’s a great time to be in New Orleans” because the Festival brings a lot of people. They sort of converge in New Orleans and the city becomes so busy. It’s hard to find any place that’s not completely packed with people. It’s not Mardi Gras, but it’s close to it.


Charlie Cox, Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter in Marvel's The Defenders (Courtesy of Netflix)

RT: What would Luke Cage make of Stewart Pierce?

Colter: Luke Cage would be sort of disappointed in Stewart Peirce for squandering that happiness. I think he would probably frown upon him a bit. Luke Cage is sort of a hopeless romantic. He wants to be married. He wants to have kids. He wants to settle down and sort of do the things that normal people do. And that’s not in the cards for him. He wishes he could just have that sort of consistency [Stewart had]. That sense of peace.

RT: What is the first superhero you remember?

Mike: The Incredible Hulk. I grew up watching it. The TV show was big for me. I loved the TV show. I met Lou Ferrigno a couple times, I remember the television show very, very vividly and, of course, the music playing in the beginning.

RT: Are you happy to keep Luke on the ground, or are you ready to do something a little more crazy and cosmic?

Mike: I think it’d be fun to see him in that world. Because that world is so otherworldly, sort of galactic. Think those [Avengers] things from his stand point. He doesn’t leave home that much. He’s sort of a very small fish, a small neighborhood kinda guy. I don’t think he travels much. It would be interesting to see how he would sort of blend in with that kinda crowd and those problems. He’s very simple and very straightforward. It’d be funny to see how he would play with those guys, you know? If he had those toys, or if he was in that universe. I think the situation itself would create a certain sort of appeal for him.

Girls Trip is now available on digital and will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand October 17; The Defenders and Luke Cage are both now streaming on Netflix. 



Tag Cloud

miniseries First Look SXSW unscripted halloween Ghostbusters spain Mary Tyler Moore Warner Bros. HBO Emmy Nominations Writers Guild of America psychological thriller E! IFC Logo composers X-Men crime drama SDCC YouTube Premium Trophy Talk Sony Pictures Christmas richard e. Grant PaleyFest APB Election Song of Ice and Fire Nat Geo canceled TV Paramount revenge christmas movies theme song See It Skip It video indie zombies Mudbound Star Trek Britbox Biopics Shondaland Cartoon Network DC streaming service movies Ovation Sneak Peek Acorn TV Set visit strong female leads FX San Diego Comic-Con Pirates DGA Shudder AMC Hallmark Christmas movies 24 frames spinoff spider-man YA versus VICE Disney cancelled TV shows CBS All Access BET LGBT police drama Apple TV+ what to watch 2015 Quiz Comic Book crossover YouTube Red Certified Fresh joker Fantasy VH1 ratings ABC Marvel Studios Marvel Disney Channel President DC Comics Valentine's Day Sundance Now book game of thrones Freeform Nominations psycho Oscars Vudu Comedy 20th Century Fox Comedy Central cancelled TV series CNN Polls and Games NYCC Emmys The Purge The CW spanish language Columbia Pictures USA Super Bowl elevated horror Starz award winner Disney+ Disney Plus Photos Epix Spike kids Tomatazos WarnerMedia adaptation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Superheroe Arrowverse Anna Paquin Brie Larson Disney Plus E3 cinemax Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt werewolf Lifetime ITV streaming zombie Lucasfilm LGBTQ Western diversity Star Wars FOX Kids & Family MCU IFC Films Winners space dceu Red Carpet RT History witnail Universal anthology Mindy Kaling BBC America Stephen King natural history teaser medical drama Crunchyroll mockumentary Crackle HBO Max Bravo PBS technology Podcast binge Marvel Television latino talk show tv talk Dark Horse Comics Walt Disney Pictures disaster Schedule travel TNT jamie lee curtis blockbuster 45 Pixar MTV TCM Trailer Creative Arts Emmys Winter TV slashers Binge Guide Best and Worst Apple TV Plus TV Land Turner south america romantic comedy El Rey Syfy cats robots justice league green book Food Network Opinion GLAAD nature Teen Tumblr FXX Drama CMT independent Spring TV discovery Nickelodeon political drama series science fiction Action TV renewals aliens 2018 foreign Reality war Netflix boxoffice quibi Masterpiece stand-up comedy cops harry potter Marathons Box Office game show finale 007 vampires Musical Showtime TIFF Television Academy TLC Amazon cults Extras Watching Series Tarantino golden globes dc Apple Interview television transformers Toys Lionsgate comiccon NBC 21st Century Fox anime YouTube The Walking Dead National Geographic children's TV ghosts historical drama zero dark thirty Sci-Fi Animation Family A24 Year in Review cancelled The Arrangement serial killer canceled TV shows cooking Women's History Month Rocketman Reality Competition Adult Swim CBS Hallmark DC Universe thriller Film Festival Amazon Prime Classic Film Cosplay TCA 2017 Holidays Awards Lifetime Christmas movies 2016 Superheroes Infographic Pop Thanksgiving based on movie American Society of Cinematographers 2019 Fox News Netflix Christmas movies supernatural Pride Month Country Fall TV cartoon TruTV GoT cars Chernobyl biography docudrama Captain marvel RT21 Ellie Kemper Rocky Video Games 71st Emmy Awards New York Comic Con Hulu Horror Premiere Dates Mary poppins Countdown Rom-Com hispanic Peacock dragons 2017 singing competition rotten movies we love Rock mutant sequel animated dramedy Turner Classic Movies crime thriller MSNBC BBC Holiday Esquire USA Network Calendar crime festivals breaking bad History Grammys Musicals Summer ESPN Heroines casting OWN Trivia Paramount Network Amazon Prime Video facebook true crime TBS social media Music Character Guide Martial Arts GIFs Elton John politics Sundance free movies period drama CW Seed Film Spectrum Originals First Reviews sitcom blaxploitation batman renewed TV shows toy story adventure Black Mirror WGN sports comics The Witch hist cancelled television Comics on TV ABC Family Disney streaming service Mary Poppins Returns comic Mystery spy thriller screenings Cannes DirecTV SundanceTV doctor who romance Awards Tour TCA Pet Sematary A&E