One of the most highly-anticipated shows for 2016 is Marvel’s Luke Cage which after Jessica Jones and Daredevil is the next show in the series which will culminate in The Defenders – the team of the street heroes. We got a chance at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) to sit down and chat to actors Mahershala Ali (Cornell Stokes) and Alfre Woodard (Mariah Dillard) about their roles in the series.
When asked to describe their characters, Alfre Woodard says that that Mariah was born and bred in Harlem, went away to be educated and returned in order to do good in the community. Her first cousin is Cornell ‘Cottonmouth’ Stokes and their rumours about the family whether they rose up in Harlem because they are an established family or whether it was through nefarious deeds. Mahershala Ali describes his character as someone with a great amount of ambition who missed his calling.
They spoke about Harlem as a character in the show, of how the writing features the essence of the community and how much it has to play in the show. Woodard went on to explain that there are no truly morally good or bad characters in the show, and you can choose who you want to see as a villain, there is a lot of grey area.
Ali goes on to say that the emphasis on Harlem in Luke Cage is important because “because we live in a time where, especially in New York, things are so quickly gentrified and so the history of what Harlem represents to black culture, to American culture, but for black people, was that one place that you could go and you could just catch the vibe.”
Watch our full interview here:
Marvel’s Luke Cage will stream on Netflix from September 30th.