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Mike Colter on Clint Eastwood’s genius

Larry King NowJul 07 '17

Mike Colter – who stars as Luke Cage in the the Netflix Marvel series – recounts an early role in ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ and why Clint Eastwood is the best at what he does.

Larry King: Is ‘Million Dollar Baby’ important for you?

Mike Colter: Oh, yeah. Um, it was one of those things where I’d only been in the business for a couple of years and done a dozen regional theater, I’d done a couple things on TV in LA, a couple guest star, co-star. And I’d just move back to New York and um, so my wife could finish her doctorate’s degree, and that was something I had to compromise on because she was still trying to finish her degree. I got back and this came about, and most of what was so odd about it was, you know, this woman named Phyllis Huffman -god rest her soul- wonderful, wonderful casting director passed away many years ago now she was Clint Eastwood’s casting director primarily for so many years ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ or something like that. Um, she had me come in, she had cast me in something before and she told me about this project. When I got the role.. First of all I didn’t even think it was possible to get booked off of something without even meeting Clint Eastwood, that didn't make sense to me. But for me it was such a big break for me in the business because it showed me how things should be done and I’ll never forget that experience.

Larry King: Had a lot of scenes?

Mike Colter: I had several scenes. And most of my stuff was at the beginning of the film, um, first 30 minutes and it kind of transitioned into Hillary’s character. Um, but when I read the script I knew a year before the movie was released that this movie was going to win several awards. At least the top four, five awards.

Larry King: Eastwood comes in always under budget.

Mike Colter: Yeah.

Larry King: He’s very methodical.

Mike Colter: Yeah.

Larry King: Is he an actor’s director?

Mike Colter: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I think what makes it work so well when you’re on set with him, he’s got the credibility, you know. He’s Clint Eastwood; he’s got the credibility. People trust him; they know his track record; they believe him; um, and they feel comfortable with him. And a lot of the egos people normally bring to set, you can’t really bring it to set with Clint Eastwood. I mean, he’s the biggest, you know, he’s the biggest ego there is on set. Not that he has an ego, but he’s not..if he’s not gonna act like a you know what then why should, you know? And that’s what really makes it go smoothly.

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