Mustafa Shakir may not be a household name, but his appearance in Marvel’s Luke Cage season 2 a John “Bushmaster” McIver may change that. He was asked during the red carper world premiere of the new season how he prepared for both the physicality of his role as well as for the character’s Jamaican accent. Shakir explains that he is already a very physical person, working out six and even seven days a week normally. So he would learn the fight choreography then go home and practice it until the muscle memory was there.
As for the accent, he talks about having watched a lot of classic movies including The Harder They Come over and over again. The 1972 film shows the story of a young Jamaican Reggae singer getting pulled into the world of corrupt record producers and drug pushers. He also talks about listening to Nyabinghi music which he called Jamaican gospel. He talks about how letting that rhythm into your system allows you to feel what Jamaica represents. And to use music to get into character on a show that uses music as the driving force of the story seems very appropriate.
Marvel’s Luke Cage season 2 is available now on Netflix.