A Rundown of Mike Colter’s Most Successful Works as an Actor and His Marriage to Iva

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the biggest film franchises that has existed in the 21st century, with the brand making about $22 billion in the global box office just from the movies they have created. But the scope of this franchise is inclusive of television shows such as Luke Cage, The Defenders, and Jessica Jones, all these television shows feature the talents of Mike Colter.

Mike Colter has had a long successful career as an actor. Most of the work he has done is on television but joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing the role of Luke Cage has been one of the most significant things that have happened to his career.

Mike Colter Got His Fame With Appearances On Television Shows

As a black child who grew up seeing little to no representation of his race in films, when Mike Colter saw the 1984 A Soldier’s Story that featured a black actor in its lead role, he made the decision to become an actor. His first course of action was to create his school’s drama club but it was not until 2002 after he moved from South Carolina to New York that his childhood dream came to be.

His first role was in an episode of the medical drama ER, then he had equally small roles in The Parkers and a number of Law & Order episodes. Mike Colter’s first role in a movie was in the 2014 Million Dollar Baby, where he played the role of Big Willie Little, a boxer. He had other small roles in Brooklyn Lobster, And Then Came Love, and Men in Black.

In 2011, Mike Colter’s career changed radically as this was when he got his first major break. He was cast in the role of Lemond Bishop on The Good Wife, unlike previous shows that featured him in just one episode. Mike Colter was on the show for 21 episodes.

His next major role was in Ringer where he had appearances in 17 episodes as Malcolm Ward; the show was canceled after one season. Other shows that have featured Mike Colter are American Horror Story, Halo: Nightfall Blue Blood, and Criminal Minds.

Colter has had a long career as an actor, he has worked many years at building his career, and playing Luke Cage is one of the best things that have happened to him since he made his debut as a professional actor in 2002.

Relevance With Jessica Jones And Breakthrough With Luke Cage

Mike Colter’s appearances in the aforementioned series indeed prepared him for his work on Jessica Jones. The talented actor was cast as Luke Cage in the television series and was in the running for this role with two other actors- Lance Gross and Cleo Anthony. The show lasted for three seasons before it was canceled in February 2019.

The makers of the show were casting for this role with the idea that whoever played Luke Cage in Jessica Jones will go on to play the character in a recurring role across the Cinematic Universe and in a standalone television show that was already in the works. In December of 2014, Mike Colter was announced as the actor who would play Cage.

Jessica Jones was mostly met with positive reviews but as the seasons progressed the ratings dropped significantly. Mike Colter’s salary when he was on Jessica Jones was $880,000. On the critic aggregate website, Rotten Tomatoes the show has a 92% rating for its first season and an 85% rating in its second season.

The show was also nominated for a number of awards some of which were for Mike Colter’s acting. A year after the debut of Jessica Jones, episodes of Luke Cage started to air with Mike Colter in the lead titular role. The show aired for two seasons on Netflix and was canceled before the start of its third season.

It has been rumored that the show ended because of creative differences between the writers and creators of the show and Netflix where the show was streaming. However, because of the nature of the character, Mike Colter may still be able to play the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Mike Colter
image source Mike Colter – Luke Cage

In 2017, he reprised the character in The Defenders where he appeared in 8 episodes. For playing Luke Cage, Mike Colter was nominated for the 2017 Saturn award for Best Actor in a television series, his other nominations were from NAACP Image Award and MTV. The makers of Luke Cage reportedly spent $40 million per season for each of the show’s two seasons, it is however not clear what was allocated for his salary.

The success of the show paved the path for him to more lead roles in movies and shows, between 2018 and 2019 he was cast in Extinction, Skin, Black and Blue. He is also playing the lead role of David Acosta in the 2019 show Evil.

Success With CBS’ Evil

After Netflix canceled all their Marvel shows including Luke Cage in October 2018, Mike Colter got a role to star in the CBS drama series Evil the following year. The supernatural drama features Colter as a catholic seminarian who joins a psychologist and a carpenter to investigate mysteries behind possessions, and miracles.

Bearing in mind the fact that the series premiered in September 2019, not much can be said about his financial gains from it. But it is important to note that in all this time he has been able to build his net worth up to $2 million. With Rotten Tomatoes reporting a 91% approval rating, it is safe to believe that the series has received a satisfying number of positive reviews.

Colter And His Wife Iva Were Longtime Lovers Before Marriage

Mike Colter
Mike with wife Iva

Mike Colter was in a long-term relationship with his wife, Iva Colter for more than a decade before the two got married in 2016. The couple met while they were both students at Rutgers University, he was getting his Masters in Fine Arts while she was getting her Ph.D.

Iva Colter currently works in the position of the Vice President for Talent Acquisition with Netflix, the streaming entertainment company. She has worked here since 2014, around the same time Mike started to act as Luke Cage which streamed on this same platform. In 2015 they had their first child, Naiella Colter and in 2018 their second child was born.

Iva is a white woman and because of their difference in race, the couple have been victims of anti-biracial marriage rhetoric. It is right to say that this is expected, considering how the on-screen black superhero is perceived as a ‘super black champion’. On the cable television channel TV One, a poll was once conducted in 2016 to find what people had to say about his marriage to a white woman. There were no comments from him on this event. The couple lives in Los Angeles with their two children.

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