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Woodard shares her insight, experience, and personal history and how it shaped Mariah.
If you still haven’t tuned in to the second season of “Marvel’s Luke Cage” on Netflix, you can still watch this bonus clip! In this spoiler-free interview, the hosts of This Week in Marvel sit down with the one and only Alfre Woodard, the legendary performer who brings Mariah Dillard to life! Watch the video above for Woodard’s take on Mariah’s power, how her own history as an activist came into play, and where Mariah’s drive comes from.
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Luke Cage is back for a second season and this time around, it’s all about the ladies. Alfre Woodard and Gabrielle Dennis are two of the series’ stars and we sat down with them to find out how they feel about the state of Black women in Hollywood.
Gabrielle Dennis says she has certainly noticed the shift since she started acting and is excited by the increase in roles for women of color as well as the growing trend of seeing Black women take charge behind the scenes.
“For me, it has been very noticeable. I have been in Los Angeles for eleven years now and just being on sets, it’s not only in front of the camera, it’s also behind the camera which is amazing,” she says. “The shift from when I first started to know if being able to sit around and congratulate women who look like me or women who look like women in my family.”
She also took time to note the camaraderie she has experienced between Black actresses lately.
“With my peers, I went from a time where we were all picking at the same straw to get a job and now everyone’s eating and everyone is working and everyone is happy and we’re celebrating each other. There really is a movement behind the scenes of support and a sisterhood in Hollywood. That for me is what’s most exciting because I feel like there’s so much further that we’re gonna go with that momentum.”
Alfre Woodard has a slightly different perspective.
“Yes, there’s progress. Progress is the natural order of things. Is it solidified? You have to make that decision every day. That’s why it’s important for more women to be in charge, for more people of color to be in charge so that everybody has access,” she explains.
“It’s like the old people used to say in the South, ‘Freedom ain’t free. You have to fight for it and protect it every day.’ Because we are so vibrant and have such presence, you get the idea that there’s more happening than really is happening.”
Time for a new episode, the third of this second season.
Are you all catched up?
Screencaptures from second episode of Luke Cage have been added. Take a look!
The movie production section has been updated with posters, promotional images, behind the scenes and stills from various movies (for the big and small screen) Alfre acted into. Take a look.
Thanks to my friend Marica we’ve got HD screencaptures of Empire. Alfre stars as Renee.
Take a look and enjoy!
Alfre Woodard has long been one of the busiest working actors of her generation, and she’s got four Emmys, three SAG Awards, and an Oscar nomination to show for it. Jumping into the Marvel universe, however, didn’t seem like the most obvious choice for the stage and screen vet. But she says “Luke Cage” creator Cheo Hodari Coker’s scripts were enough to warm her to playing councilwoman-turned-Harlem crime queen Mariah Dillard in Seasons 1 and 2 of the Netflix series, the latter of which premiered June 22. “If you do not feel strongly about a script, do not do it,” Woodard advises. The actor recently sat with Backstage to discuss the project, her training roots, and going toward what scares her.
With acting, specificity is key.
“It’s up to us, even if it’s within the certain parameters that we get asked to work in, to find a new expression of that type of person every time we’re asked. Of all of the billions of people born, nobody has the same fingerprints. So when you stand a character [up], our job is to find as specifically as possible what makes you different from any other person.”
Read the whole interview in our press library.