Marvel superhero Luke Cage has his own series on Netflix. Star Mike Colter told TV&Satellite Week why it's a boyhood dream come true

You’d imagine life as a superhero would be great fun, but that’s not the case for Luke Cage. After first appearing in Jessica Jones, the mysterious man with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin returns in his own 13-part Netflix series, Marvel’s Luke Cage.

US star Mike Colter tells us about about his starring role…

Luke is desperate to conceal his power. Why does he want to avoid the spotlight?
“For Luke, the negatives of having his powers far outweigh the benefits. It’s a conundrum for him because if he uses his powers he draws attention to himself and he doesn’t want to do that because he’s on the run. People have this big picture of him being a hero for hire, but in this series we have to figure out how he gets to that point.”

Supervillain Shades (Theo Rossi) suddenly appears at the nightclub that Cage is working at. Why is he so dangerous?
“Shades is a constant threat because he actually knows Luke Cage from his past when he was Carl Lucas. Shades doesn’t recognise him, but Cage recognises who he is and that’s the important part.”

We barely ever see Cage smile. Does he have a soft side?
“He does have a charming side which he shows to Misty Knight (Simone Missick), a police detective determined to learn the truth about him. I think he likes the company of women. He’s a widower who’s kind of lost and, as weird as it sounds, I think that attracts women.”

At the start of the show Cage is trying to live a quiet life. What pushes him to emerge from the shadows and display his powers?
“Luke starts to see that the community needs his help, but viewers will have to wait for those scenes! I think more is less. Jaws worked so well because you didn’t see the shark and therefore you had to imagine it, which made the horror more effective. In the show you earn those moments when he does those things.”

Is it difficult playing a modern superhero?
“The way superheroes are portrayed nowadays is very different from the past. I think there are definitely challenges that come with it. I mean it’s one thing to play a superhero with the costume and the mask, but it’s another to do it without wearing any kind of disguise. They’re basically asking you, as you are, to be a superhero and that’s kind of daunting.”

What’s it like filming scenes where Cage gets to use his powers?
“It’s fun to shoot, although it’s very time-consuming. It takes probably four times longer to shoot an action scene than it does to shoot a page-long piece of dialogue.”

Are you excited to be playing a superhero?
“I’ve loved reading comic books ever since I was a kid. I read the ones I could get my hands on growing up because the place I lived didn’t have a big comic book store.

“I remember I turned a racing driver action figure I had into my own superhero. I can’t remember the name I gave him, but I do recall one of his special powers was telekinesis, where you can move objects using your mind. That was cool. So my imagination was pretty vivid as a kid and I think that’s why I got into acting. I didn’t want to grow up – why grow up if you don’t have to?”

Marvel’s Luke Cage season one is available to stream now on Netflix