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

scene in color game of thrones LGBT psycho Fox Searchlight BBC australia vampires Mystery Marvel crime thriller Spring TV 72 Emmy Awards VOD fresh RT History renewed TV shows Emmy Nominations golden globes Apple Photos sequel cinemax miniseries spanish language comics Summer adenture comic See It Skip It blockbusters Year in Review marvel cinematic universe IFC Films women Hallmark Musical Image Comics italian heist movie Starz witnail USA prank Brie Larson Interview BET Cartoon Network cartoon political drama Film IFC Polls and Games cats animated toy story casting video Amazon Prime Hallmark Christmas movies Apple TV+ basketball Spectrum Originals Sundance Now Bravo Paramount X-Men TIFF BAFTA batman crime drama south america PBS Reality Quiz Tokyo Olympics sitcom Sundance 2017 jurassic park king kong composers TNT Classic Film cars Spike worst movies facebook live action Nickelodeon zero dark thirty HBO legend Marvel Studios nfl documentary Schedule movies series award winner TCA toronto dramedy Showtime sports anime hollywood Elton John ABC Signature universal monsters DC streaming service criterion VICE Trailer new star wars movies nbcuniversal parents Cannes football saw twilight E! Musicals Comic-Con@Home 2021 Masterpiece obituary RT21 mockumentary rotten comic books 99% Action children's TV 4/20 medical drama Oscars 45 comiccon technology Awards Black History Month boxoffice Pixar directors TV ratings Hulu The Walt Disney Company Television Academy Exclusive Video green book Discovery Channel Super Bowl Extras Crunchyroll Disney Plus Country Warner Bros. comedies TCM Family a nightmare on elm street thriller halloween Crackle Premiere Dates Teen emmy awards Ghostbusters Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt werewolf Amazon stoner YA superhero Ovation 24 frames game show Star Wars screen actors guild FXX Turner festival 93rd Oscars HBO Max singing competition trailers First Reviews films rom-coms new york cancelled Disney+ Disney Plus 007 Pride Month GIFs The Witch Rock politics Certified Fresh blaxploitation serial killer Sneak Peek APB Cosplay quibi 2021 Emmys documentaries TV One ghosts scary movies Binge Guide adventure teaser sequels Sci-Fi Anna Paquin diversity DGA Acorn TV tv talk Set visit Disney Channel indie 2015 CNN cancelled television Writers Guild of America Black Mirror revenge BBC America E3 spy thriller Song of Ice and Fire Martial Arts war black archives pirates of the caribbean superman spider-man TCA Winter 2020 Election die hard Britbox Superheroes ITV foreign Lifetime Christmas movies best Amazon Prime Video Baby Yoda GLAAD MTV Tarantino aliens Broadway Epix Chernobyl Awards Tour spain cops Apple TV Plus Mudbound President what to watch Fantasy stand-up comedy Red Carpet boxing Academy Awards Disney streaming service DC Comics french james bond ViacomCBS Horror transformers Universal USA Network Lifetime target Rom-Com monster movies CBS All Access true crime reviews 1990s breaking bad 2020 Grammys Amazon Studios BET Awards Rocky Hear Us Out 2016 Legendary hidden camera CMT Mary Poppins Returns TV movies Mary Tyler Moore Mary poppins Comedy Central chucky Sony Pictures NBC robots Calendar spinoff TV Land Travel Channel Superheroe YouTube Red Fox News Box Office remakes Columbia Pictures japanese The CW blockbuster Netflix Netflix Christmas movies sag awards romance Shudder Western Women's History Month 90s science fiction Best and Worst Kids & Family canceled franchise Holidays CW Seed DC Universe CBS kong doctor who The Arrangement suspense LGBTQ versus Esquire fast and furious canceled TV shows name the review Infographic Peacock aapi cancelled TV shows First Look lord of the rings indiana jones joker classics Comic Book elevated horror VH1 Reality Competition Fall TV Valentine's Day television talk show Comics on TV Mindy Kaling reboot Lionsgate Biopics 20th Century Fox Pacific Islander theme song docuseries adaptation Lucasfilm deadpool dark New York Comic Con Creative Arts Emmys Food Network History Music SXSW festivals DirecTV spanish PlayStation A24 Countdown Tomatazos Ellie Kemper WGN Pop TV Turner Classic Movies Television Critics Association harry potter FX on Hulu Podcast MSNBC A&E streaming movies zombie HBO Go Freeform TBS venice slashers unscripted Thanksgiving space Alien anthology know your critic japan TCA Awards Sundance TV streaming high school zombies FX The Walking Dead discovery independent NYCC police drama biography WarnerMedia justice league disaster worst Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dragons scorecard Arrowverse Wes Anderson Paramount Network TLC olympics Captain marvel Trivia ABC El Rey cancelled TV series jamie lee curtis Nat Geo 2018 golden globe awards halloween tv asian-american hist Character Guide FOX 21st Century Fox The Purge Comedy TCA 2017 Pirates Syfy SundanceTV cults Tubi Walt Disney Pictures Video Games Avengers child's play satire christmas movies video on demand ESPN Heroines all-time stop motion 2019 dceu YouTube Premium hispanic AMC Holiday Stephen King laika Film Festival free movies Disney NBA cooking crossover telelvision Nominations international Adult Swim YouTube binge natural history OneApp Winners psychological thriller romantic comedy Marathons PaleyFest 71st Emmy Awards book adaptation TV renewals Vudu GoT news BBC One OWN TruTV San Diego Comic-Con 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards dogs Toys ABC Family movie nature Christmas Paramount Plus Winter TV Funimation historical drama Pop screenings MCU Tumblr docudrama supernatural ID Logo Trophy Talk new zealand American Society of Cinematographers rt archives Shondaland strong female leads dc Dark Horse Comics critics rotten movies we love social media Pet Sematary popular latino finale based on movie travel Opinion crime Star Trek Rocketman mutant Watching Series kaiju Drama Endgame Marvel Television period drama National Geographic Animation mission: impossible The Academy kids concert SDCC richard e. Grant razzies godzilla book