"It's geared towards an adult audience, which is something that will be different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you've seen before on the big screen. I'm excited about playing the character because I've read the comic books. They're very detailed, gritty; the world they've written in the comic books is very clear. Marvel does a fantastic job about bringing human stories – because you're telling big stories with a heart at the centre of it – and that's what connects all of the characters to our audience members. Audience members have to feel connected with these characters, to make them relate to the character's situations and that's what you see with all of the Marvel characters."
"What I’m most excited about is touching on what makes him tick. It feels good to get a character that has such a story, background, and history. And when I look at the scripts, I’m really pleased with it because it’s a slow-burn; there’s nothing happening really fast that gets ahead of itself. I’m really with where they’re taking it and how they’re developing the characters, because it’s really cool."
"We have a more gritty, focused story on our heroes and characters that live in New York City, but it’s geared towards a more adult audience and I think that’s the thing about the series that will be different."
"Marvel actually gives you a special training class in how not to say too much in interviews [laughs]. We’re in the middle of shooting A.K.A. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage is a very interesting character who just happens to have super strength and unbreakable skin. He’s a neighborhood hero, very much linked to New York and Jessica Jones. It’s all part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but Luke Cage is a darker, grittier, more tangible character than Iron Man or Thor. He likes to keep things close to his chest, operate on the hush-hush. He has these abilities but he’s not sure how and when to use them. He’s a very nuanced character."
"I can tell you what they’ve allowed me to, which is basically, Luke Cage will take place a few months after Jessica Jones. So in real time, if you watch Jessica Jones, you’ll find Luke Cage uptown in Harlem, working, trying to make ends meet. Luke Cage really hasn’t figured out what he’s doing. He’s tending bar, he’s bouncing around. And for good reason, he’s a fugitive, he has some skeletons in his closet. He’s trying to basically stay off the radar. The people he hangs around with, though, are in need. Ultimately, he’d rather be alone, but with the way he’s equipped he does step up. That’s what it’s about, it’s about finding that inner feeling to make you want to take action. Sometimes we just sit around, and sit on our hands and don’t do anything because it’s like 'hey, that’s not my problem.' You can’t do that when you’re a superhero. You have these gifts, now use them."
"I am, for the main reason that I get a nice little break because I'm like, 'Jessica, Luke -- there is an Iron Fist, right?'" I'm really excited about it. Whether I'll be in it, I don't know, but it will be nice to see."
"[about the character's trademark tiara] You know when you see something and you know they're going to do it and you can't believe it's real? I'll leave it at that."
"The actor has been cast, but he’s in a basement somewhere. When the time is right, they’ll let him up and tell him where he is. I am excited. I’ll get a nice little break, after doing Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Whether I’m in his show, I don’t know, but there’s The Defenders."
"We were trying not to be on the nose. We’re going to give all the fans all the things they want. But we’ve got to bring it up a bit and step into the current time. So we’re going to make sure everybody’s happy, but don’t expect a yellow shirt every day. Let’s put it that way … We brought it to mustard. We started there. We knocked it down a bit. Not so bright."
"There are politicians and then there are shady characters that function on the other side of the law. Who does what? I won’t say, but this becomes a situation where there are a lot of people who want to help Harlem and think they have Harlem’s best interests, but, ultimately, just because they think or say they have Harlem’s best interests, sometimes they’re being very selfish or being very short-sighted. So sometimes what they’re doing is actually harming the community. So this is where Luke comes in because Luke is a person who likes to, he observes and he listens and he takes in to account what people tell him, and he’s a pretty smart guy himself and he understands that some peoples’ way may not be the best may not be the best in the big picture so ultimately Luke has to get involved because there are a lot of things that happen, a lot of people get hurt, a lot of lives are lost and unfortunately he’s the only one who is capable of actually helping deal with this because sometimes the law enforcement is actually not the best because they’re not aware or they’re not capable, or maybe they’re corrupt. So, without getting into too many details, Luke Cage is gonna have to step up and be the man."
"What we do is really unique… We’re adult kind of oriented. We’re not PG-13. We’re not really for the mass audiences, crowd pleasing, family oriented. We have sex scenes. We have, you know, adult situations, and while I think it’d be nice to be in the films, I don’t know if we want to dilute what we’re doing that makes us very unique. That being said, you know Marvel, if they can make it work I’m sure it’d be nice, but it’s really scheduling. They schedule movies years in advance, we’re shooting TV series year round. It’s very tough to just kind of make things just work the way you want to because it’s just so much going on."
"Luke comes with a certain amount of emotional depth. As a black man in today’s culture, what he represents and what he’s dealing with in his own life — being a fugitive on the run but being innocent, but at the same time not feeling sorry for himself — he’s always thinking about the community, and thinking about things in a larger sense in his life. He wants more than just this thing that he’s doing now — it was kind of thrust upon him. He’s very thoughtful about his actions. He has no agenda with his powers. He’s seen what helping out leads to; he doesn’t see the point. It never ends well. He doesn’t have a costume, he doesn’t have a mask, everybody knows who he is. So I think he brings a certain gravitas that says, “I don’t want to rush to judgment about anyone. I don’t want to do anything until we just talk about this, because everything has a consequence.” I see him as the consigliere of the group."
"I could. I think we have to get to a point where Luke is entrenched in the Marvel Universe. I think he would need to be literally a hero for hire, because I don’t think he’d join forces with anyone for nothing. He’s pretty busy trying to make ends meet, so as we build his storyline it’d have to be something like that. The Avengers are off dealing with aliens; Luke is trying to take care of Harlem and New York. It’s more personal for him. You’d have to justice him with dollars."
"Well, it’s not fair to spar with any of thoseguys because it would not be a fair fight. I mean, let’s be honest. You want me be the punching bag so that they can get their aggression out on me? And I just stand there and take it until one of them hurts their hand? Sure. I can be a punching bag."
"The decision to do that was done way before we started production. It's a lot of people that's involved in this. When you do it on paper, here's what it is. It's like running a play in football. You do it in practice. It works. Looks good. In the game, it doesn't work, and all of the sudden in retrospect, it seems stupid. Because what you have is all the series have a bad guy, and usually by the end of the season people are going "well, we're tired of this bad guy and we think the bad guy should've been, we should've been able to resolve this in 10 episodes, in 8", so in theory you're going, wow, you bring another baddie in, if the baddie is good and people are enthralled by this guy, now you've reset the series in a sense, and now people are in another direction, and they don't know what's going to happen. You basically knock them on their heels. It's like running a trick play on an onside kick to start the second half. These things work, but when they don't work people go "aww, that was ridiculous.""