The casting director for the Netflix Marvel series Luke Cage could not have found a better actor to play the title character. Handsome, tall and muscular, South Carolina native Mike Colter looks like a superhero.
Colter returned to his home state this weekend for the fourth annual Soda City Comic-Con at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
“This is kind of my old stomping grounds, just being here feels surreal,” he said. “To do that for this, the city of Columbia, to me, it’s special. It’s like a homecoming and I feel comfortable here. It’s a nice chance to come and see some family, see some friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Raised in St. Matthews, Colter transferred to the University of South Carolina after one year at Benedict College. He remains a Gamecock fan and loyal to former coach Steve Spurrier.
“I’m still bitter that Steve Spurrier walked away,” he laughed. “It’s anybody’s year. If you beat up on the guys that you’re supposed to beat up on, and then we take care of business with the guys like Georgia and the Alabamas and those guys like that then I think you’ve got a chance. So I’m going to forget Spurrier and keep hoping that the guys keep moving on and going forward.”
Colter splits his time between New York, where Luke Cage is filmed, and Hollywood, where he works on other projects. He said he comes home about once a year to see family.
“It’s good to be home. I love the University of South Carolina and I love the city of Columbia,” he said. His father worked at the Adluh flour mill, next door to the convention center where Colter met with reporters Friday.
Colter said kids from anywhere can pursue a career in the arts.
“Make a plan for yourself,” he said. “We’re here in South Carolina and I know that it seems really far away from any place else in the world like Hollywood or New York, but it’s not that far.”
Organizers expect about 10,000 people to attend Soda City Comic Con this year. Attendance has tripled since the 2016 debut, when 3,500 people attended despite the historic flooding which struck the city that weekend. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.