Alfre Woodard says Mike Colter’s ’Luke Cage’ is the perfect superhero

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

‘Luke Cage’ is a bulletproof black man fighting in the streets for justice — and he just might be the hero we all need. Marvel’s highly anticipated Netflix series premieres Friday, and theGrio got the scoop with cast member and award-winning actress Alfre Woodard.

In the show, Woodard plays a Harlem politician named Mariah Hillard, a Howard University and Wharton graduate with a fierce reputation for getting things done.

Woodard talked about the importance of the show’s setting in Harlem and how gentrification is a theme her character tackles.

“She wants Harlem to be for Harlemites,” Woodard told theGrio. “And that as this gentrification goes on — it’s like everybody can come, but you have to come wanting to be in Harlem.”

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Woodard also praised her cast-mates, including Mahershala Ali (who plays ‘Cottonmouth,’ her cousin and the show’s villain ) and Mike Colter, who stars as Luke Cage.

“Mike Colter is the perfect superhero,” says Woodard.  “He is just big and fabulous — looks like he’s carved out of mahogany! (laughs)”

But Luke Cage is also a reluctant superhero who wants to stay under the radar until he has to stand up for what’s right.

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For Woodard, the show’s message extends beyond the pages of a comic book or entertainment.

“[It’s] the struggle that we all make of do I step out? Do I get involved? What will make me do that?  I think that’s one of the great offshoots of this will be, wherever people are in the world, they will see that it’s a decision. One person can change. One person can create community.”

Check out Part 1 and 2 of our interview with Alfre Woodard and tell us if you’ll be streaming Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’ this weekend!

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