Before the world knew of Storm, there was Misty Knight. The first black female superhero in the Marvel Comic Universe. The character started out as Detective Misty Knight, the morally impenetrable police officer. Though now, she has found herself on the same side with the people she started out investigating. Playing this iconic role—actress Simone Missick. Making her first appearance in season one of Luke Cage, Missick continues her role of crime-stopping in The Defenders. Now back for season two of Luke Cage, Missick’s character is embodying a different side who promises to kick ass, take names, and set sparks flying with the titular character of Misty Knight.
It’s Monday morning and although her schedule is filled with plenty of tasks, Missick sits down with DELUX’s Editor-in-chief to discuss positive black representation, being a woman in Hollywood, and her indestructible superhero show that broke Netflix.
This is her exciting story.
DELUX: Good morning. Thank you for doing this interview with us. I am such a big fan of the Marvel franchise.
SIMONE MISSICK: You are so welcome, and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the show.
DM: Well let’s get started. How did you become Det. Misty Knight? Walk our readers through the audition for the role of Misty.
SM: My manager had sent me the audition information for me to record myself on tape for a character named Missy. I had no idea what the role was. They didn’t tell me anything about the character or the project. I had to sign a non-disclosure. So, I put myself on tape and I didn’t think anything about it. I sent it off and my manager called me back immediately to tell me how I did. I couldn’t get excited about it because I had no idea what it was. Eventually, I got a call back to come in and audition. Ironically, I got sick the day before the audition. The day of the audition, I was dosed up on cough medicine, but I said a prayer, went in and did my thing. I got a call a week later saying I received the part for Misty Knight.
DM: As a black actress in Hollywood, I know the roles come few, and far between. How do you select your roles?
SM: Umm I would say it’s the writing. I never go after a role just because of the people who are involved or the money. And I pray I never have to. Right now, I can say I am blessed enough to not have to just choose something based on a financial situation. For me, it’s 100% because of something that either excites me or the writing, director or because of the cast. I get auditions all the time, but if its something I’m not interested in, I know I’m not trying to take that role.
DM: How important is a representation to you? Do you feel it’s a responsibility of yours as a black actress, and did you feel like your character Misty Knight, does she offer that to you?
SM: I think representation is very important. I also think that we are artists and we are responsible for telling stories. Sometimes, we don’t always get to tell positive stories. We as people are flawed, and a lot of times different stories need to be told so that people can learn from them.
The character was created when there were no black superheroes. She predated Storm, she was the first. She was created in a time when there was no representation of black women in that comic book world. For her to be smart, strong, vulnerable, sassy, funny, and all those things, I felt like this was something I could be proud of. I felt like this was something my family could be proud of, and my children, when I decide to have them would be proud of.
DM: Of course, our natural hair has always been our natural hair, but now it seems to be a trend for a lot of people. What does it feel like for you as an A woman to be able to portray Misty Knight from a natural beauty standpoint onscreen?
SM: When I first moved to L.A., everything was about the hair. Everything was about, do you have a weave, how many inches is it, and how straight is your hair. It was also, do you like basketball wives or a reality tv star? That was the uniform and there was this feeling of if you were wearing your hair curly, you wanted to play someone’s mom or best friend. You were not looked at as a leading lady or sex symbol. For me personally, I think its extremely important for me to be able to celebrate and wear my natural hair. I think it helps combat the ignorance in the media surrounding our hair, and I’m proud to be able to wear mine.
To read this complete article, be sure to download our Summer Issue here. Luke Cage Season 2 begin June 22. Be sure to check out the trailer below.