Sitting outside of a barber shop in North Hollywood on a Saturday afternoon, actor Mike Colter gets temporarily sidetracked while talking about his huge, breakout role in Netflix’s highly anticipated upcoming series Luke Cage and how it’s set to change his life. Instead, he’s drifted into conspiracy theories. Colter’s big on them. “Man on the moon? That wasn’t real. JFK? There was so much going on there that was mob-related—ties to Jimmy Hoffa, unions,” he trails off.

This is definitely unexpected, but you can’t exactly blame a guy who is all of the sudden about to be one of the biggest stars on TV for thinking that there are larger forces at work. After all, only a year ago, Colter was just a supporting player on CBS’ The Good Wife; one fateful casting later and he’s in the role of a lifetime, perfectly embodying the Harlem superhero Luke Cage and leading the hip-hop-ification of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

One of the most anticipated series to debut this fall (episodes are available on Sept. 30), Luke Cage is built on the beloved but malleable legacy of that namesake character. With his invincible skin, astonishing strength, stoic humility and proto-rap, Muhammad Ali-influenced exhortations, Luke Cage—originally known as Power Man—has always been superhero shorthand for “badass.” (It’s not for nothing that when then-aspiring actor Nicolas Coppola decided to change his last name to avoid charges of nepotism, he looked to Luke Cage.)

As the center of Luke Cage, and the bedrock of a spectacular cast—which also includes acclaimed film/theater OG Alfre Woodard (Primal Fear, The Practice) and relative new jack Mahershala Ali, (the surprise breakout from another Netflix hit, House of Cards, and star of this year’s Moonlight)—Colter is shouldering all of the show’s immensely high expectations. Not that anyone’s worried he won’t be able to deliver. “He’s just perfect,” Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Coker says. “It’s like, ‘Holy shit—this guy is Luke Cage.’ Honestly, I consider this the best casting since Sean Connery was James Bond.”