By Bill Vaughan
For someone relatively new to acting, Simone Missick is leaving a hell of an impression. The Howard University grad is currently enjoying an extended run of her New York theater debut in Dominique Morisseau’s “Paradise Blue.” The drama, directed by veteran Ruben Santiago-Hudson, focuses on a 1940s Detroit in transition.
As a native, Missick was amazed that she had not learned of the city’s historic Blackbottom and Paradise Valley area until this play despite her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother settling there from North Carolina.
“The home that they grew up in is no longer there because of the I-75 freeway,” she told Tasty Clips. “My family was a part of the people who were displaced by Mayor [Albert] Cobo’s decision to raze the black neighborhood under the guise of urban redevelopment. So I brought that history to it without knowing that it was within the fabric of who I was.”
Another surprise for Missick was the rush in attention when she was cast as Misty Knight in Marvel’s “Luke Cage.”
“At the time, Marvel TV for Netflix was not what we know it to be now,” she recalled. “They had only done ‘Daredevil’ when we went in production. ‘Jessica Jones’ premiered while we were shooting. Ours was their most successful show. It literally broke their server as it premiered in 190 countries worldwide and actually was the reason why Marvel went ahead and greenlit ‘Black Panther.’”
When we left Misty in season one, she lost her arm, which was a surprise to non-Marvel fanatics but to the delight of comic readers who know the storyline.
As the show returns on June 22, we see her struggling with her disability, not being on the force and the rise of crime and violence in Harlem without her on the streets looking out for her community.
“She has to make a decision on whether she will come back,” Missick said. “We also get to see Misty coming into her own with a prosthetic. You’ll see some unlikely friendships forming and a lot of fighting — which is always fun.”
While not commenting on any spinoff with her character and Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing from “Iron Fist,” who in the comics team up as Daughters of the Dragon, she simply says, “If you tweet it, it will come.
“Does Misty Knight get her arm from Iron Man? Does she crossover with Sam Smith? Does she spend any time with Captain America? Everyday I’m tagged on a post about a crossover so it’s not our own rumination. It’s the fans who want to see it.”
Audiences will next see the actress, who counts Sir Ben Kingsley among her instructors, in writer/director Nijla Mu’min’s feature film debut, “Jinn.” The semi-autographical coming-of-age story of a teen affected by her mother’s conversion to Islam has been the darling of film festivals across the country.
She wouldn’t share her most desirable biographical role for fear of the idea being stolen, but did reveal whose story many think she should tackle: Coretta Scott King.
“That would be an absolute gift to be able to play her life,” Missick said. “She was a musician. She was an intellect. She was beautiful. She supported and stood by and pushed forward one of the most influential people in the history of the world.”
SO FRESH, SO CLEAN: Critically acclaimed Mind of a Genius/Warner Bros. Records “grunge-n-b” duo THEY – Dante Jones and Drew Love (“Nu Religion: Hyena”) – host the first-ever “POPS” Day in partnership with Barbershopconnect and BaBylissPRO June 15. Fathers and their sons can enjoy free haircuts, as well as laughs, smiles and tunes in six major cities with The Parlor Room (7374 1/2 Melrose Ave.) serving as the L.A. outpost.
CLIPPETTES: Soul Slam — the original Prince & Michael Jackson party — returns to the Echoplex June 15 with sets by DJ Spinna and Monalisa …
Keyboardist David Garfield is joined by George Benson and David Sanborn on the next single previewing his “Jammin’ Outside the Box” album. “Stay” features the Rufus hit’s co-writer and former drummer, Moon Calhoun, on lead vocals …
Smokin’ Grooves docks on the Queen Mary in Long Beach with Erykah Badu, Miguel, Jhené Aiko, NxWorries (Anderson Paak + Knxwledge), the Roots & Busta Rhymes, Thundercat, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Les Nubians, Omarion and more June 16 …
Also that evening, The Grown & Sexy Tour Summer Edition featuring Eric Benet and DW3 is staged at the M3 Live Anaheim Event Center …
FX has renewed “Atlanta” for a third season mainly because it’s a no brainer to be in business with Donald Glover these days …
KCRW’s World Festival convenes at the Hollywood Bowl June 17 with Flying Lotus, Little Dragon and Georgia Anne Muldrow …
The BET Experience kicks off June 21 at the Staples Center with LL Cool J, featuring DJ Z-Trip, Ludacris and Ne-Yo.
TC ON TV: June 15 – “Lust Stories” (Netflix): In the sequel to 2013’s “Bombay Talkies,” four short films by India’s biggest directors (Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar) explore love, sex and relationships in modern India. “Set It Up” (Netflix): Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu are two overwhelming bosses who get hooked up by their assistants desperate for relief.
June 17 – “Autopsy: The Last Hours of …” (Reelz): David Bowie. “Shades of Blue” (NBC): The Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta police drama ends with these final 10 episodes. “Drop The Mic” (TBS): Luis Guzman vs. Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and Charli XCX vs. Tove Lo.
June 18 – “2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards” (MTV): “The Chi” creator Lena Waithe will get the Trailblazer Award at the ceremony hosted by Tiffany Haddish. “Stranger Fruit” (Netflix): The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is the focus of this documentary. “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (NBC): Don Cheadle
June 19 – “The Love Connection” (Fox): Porsha Williams of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” goes on three blind dates. “The Zimmern List” (Travel): Washington, D.C. “Love Is_“ (OWN): Michele Weaver, Will Catlett, Kadeem Hardison, Clarke Peters, Loretta Devine, Tammy Townsend, Tim Reid and Vanessa Bell Calloway form a fine ensemble cast for this new one-hour romantic drama set in the backdrop of 1990s black Hollywood. It’s based on experiences of the show’s creators: award-winning producers Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Salim Akil (“Black Lightning”).
June 20 – “Yellowstone” (Paramount): Kevin Costner stars in this series from Taylor Sheridan (“Wind River,” “Sicario”). Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Danny Huston and Golden Brooks round out the cast with Ruth E. Carter (“Black Panther”) handling the costume design.
June 21 – “Queen of the South” (USA): The casting on this fact-based drug trafficking series returning for its third season continues to surprise. Look for guest spots from Remy Ma, MC Lyte and Jamie Hector.
TASTY QUIP: “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch. Move.” – ANTHONY BOURDAIN [R.I.P.]
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.