Things aren't going too well for Misty Knight (Simone Missick) when season two of "Luke Cage" kicks off.
The no-nonsense NYPD detective has been through a lot thanks to her run-ins with Harlem's bulletproof hero and his merry band of Marvel misfits, and even lost an arm while fighting off evil ninjas in last year's "Defenders" finale. On top of missing a limb, the always gung-ho heroine is in a rut after being forced into desk duty due to her injuries.
"She’s depressed. She’s in a place of not knowing who she is anymore," Missick tells Metro. "So much of her life has been tied to her physical ability. Growing up, she was a basketball player. She excelled at that because she was physically strong."
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"As a detective, she was not only mentally far ahead of all of the other people in her department, but she was also able to handle herself," she adds. "I think that when you take that away, when you take a huge part of someone’s identity away, they are left with not really knowing who they are."
Simone Missick talks 'Luke Cage' season two
The topic of depression couldn't be more timely, as the world is finally becoming more open to discussions around mental health. Missick admits that she's struggled with depression in her own life, and was able to get through those tough times thanks to her group of female friends.
"I think that we all, at different various points in our lives, suffer from depression. I know that I certainly have," Missick says. "I remember reaching out to my girlfriends, and it was that circle of women that really helped me to talk about what I was going through and to find a light at the end of that tunnel."
Missick wanted to make sure that her portrayal of a character who loses a limb was authentic, so the actress did a lot of research into what happens to people who suffer from traumatic injuries. She was particularly influenced by the stories of Boston Marathon bombing survivors.
"Some of the stories that just really stood out to me specifically were the survivors of the Boston Marathon," Missick says. "They’re these people who are at the top of their game physically, you know? And they’re out there to participate and to win a race, and to have their limbs taken away from them in that way, the trauma that that brings, was something that I knew that I definitely had to explore as Misty."
Misty eventually gets her groove back thanks to her "Iron Fist" pal and partner-in-crimefighting Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), who ends up having a bigger impact on her than Luke Cage or any of the other Defenders. Not only does Colleen hook Misty up with a fancy, new bionic arm, she also provides Missick's character with the support and motivation needed to move on with her life.
"This person was a part of this traumatic experience for her, and when she reaches out, to have Colleen answer is so important," Missick says. "Now, we are especially aware of how often we don’t reach back. We don’t pick up the phone. We don’t check on people that we know are hurting."
"It is opening your arms and ears to being able to receive and to shoulder this with somebody that can save their life," she adds. "I think that Colleen did that for Misty and I think that I’ve definitely had people do that for me in my life. I pray that I have done that for others."
Comic book fans will be glad to hear that the Misty-Colleen relationship will continue to grow on "Luke Cage," as well as season two of "Iron Fist," which is set to air on Netflix later this year. As for a possible "Daughters of the Dragon" show, Missick would love to bring the comic series starring Misty and Colleen to life at some point.
"I love Jessica Henwick. She is so much fun to work with," Missick says. "In season two of 'Iron Fist,' you get to really enjoy them getting to know each other, but then also what that relationship would look like if it were on 'Daughters of the Dragon.'"
"I think that the fans would love it. I would love it. Jessica and I have talked about it," she adds. "With the right team, it would be the best thing. It would be the best. Two strong women."
"Luke Cage" season two debuts on Netflix June 22.