When it comes to their villains, the Marvel films tend to get a lot of flack as their villains are often viewed as one-dimensional characters, existing solely to cause conflict. While I believe that argument isn’t true for all of their villains – Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki, Robert Redford‘s Alexander Pierce, and Daniel Brühl‘s Zemo being exceptions – there’s no denying that most of the time, the movie villains are underdeveloped. Thankfully, this hasn’t been an issue for the Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From the get go, the Netflix shows set a high bar with the introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio‘s Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, an excellent turn that was followed up shortly thereafter by David Tennant‘s terrifying Kilgrave in Jessica Jones.

And with the debut of Luke Cage now a little over two weeks away, we’re close to adding yet another multi-layered villain with the addition of the excellent Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes, aka Cottonmouth. During a recent interview with Architectural Digest, Ali took some time to briefly discuss his character and explain what it is that causes the tension between him and Luke Cage.

Tell us about your Luke Cage character.

He’s a crime boss cloaked in the clothing of a businessman. You could be sitting next to him on the subway and not necessarily know what he does or how he operates. He’s full of both the positives and all the negatives of normal people. I think that his ambition and drive for power motivates him—and it’s also what causes the dramatic tension with Luke Cage.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the latest clip from the series that puts Ali’s Stokes front and center.

The entire first season of Luke Cage will hit Netflix on September 30th. Until then, you can catch Mike Colter as the bulletproof hero on the first season of Jessica Jones, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

Source: Architectural Digest.