Simone Missick Says ‘All Rise’ Is for Fans of ‘Serial’ and Shonda Rhimes

When Simon Missick was on Marvel’s Luke Cage, she knew she was representing all the fans of Misty Knight from the comic books. On her new show, All Rise, Missick plays Lola Carmichael, a new judge recently promoted from deputy district attorney. It’s a new take on a legal drama, from the judges’ perspectives. 

Simone Missick on All Rise
Simone Missick on All Rise | Michael Yarish/CBS

Missick spoke with reporters of the Television Critics Association in August. She said All Rise follows in the tradition of Shonda Rhimes’ legal dramas and the Serial podcast. Find out how, and see Missick in All Rise Monday nights at 9 pm. on CBS.

What ‘All Rise’ and ‘Serial’ have in common

The Serial podcast captivated listeners with its expose on a miscarriage of justice. While All Rise is fictional, Simone Missick hopes it can also illuminate the forces pulling judges and everyone in the legal system in all directions.

“I did a lot of research in getting ready for this role,” Missick said. “I was able to listen to this amazing podcast called Serial. You hear these stories, you read these stories and yet you don’t really recognize the pull that comes from all angles, all of these people who are involved in this go home with something on themselves.”

L-R: Simone Missick and Jessica Camacho on All Rise | Michael Yarish/2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Missick is only playing a judge on TV, but she says it’s going to impact her real life.

“This role makes me much more aware every time we dip out on jury duty because we have to go to work,” Missick said. “You’re like, ‘Oh my God, I might have been a person to make a difference in someone’s life. How much am I not taking my citizenship, my personal responsibility, to the highest level?’ I’ll definitely answer the call next time.”

How Shonda Rhimes empowered Simone Missick on ‘All Rise’

Simone Missick gives credit to Shonda Rhimes for pioneering the legal drama with a black female lead, like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Without those shows, there may be no All Rise.

“We’ve seen it on the Shonda Rhimes train and we’ve been able to know that yes, people do like to see these stories told,” Missick said. “So it’s exciting to be at the forefront of that for this.”

Simone Missick
Simone Missick | Monty Brinton/CBS

Missick also hopes All Rise inspires real-life women in the legal world.

“I think what we’re seeing now, even just politically, women are stepping up to the forefront. In local government and our judges, in Congress, our Senate, we’re seeing this wave of women recognizing that we are 51% of the population but we are not equal when it comes to our representation in the legal field. So I think that it is going to be a beautiful thing for people to see their political and judicial representatives on screen in a different way than we’ve seen before, that it doesn’t all have to be just old and male.”

Simone Missick, Television Critics Association interview, 8/1/19

‘All Rise’ will deal with legal issues facing people of color

All Rise isn’t only about seeing a woman of color sitting on the bench. The cases she hears will address issues facing people of color in the legal system too. 

Simone Missick in All Rise
Simone Missick in All Rise | Monty Brinton/CBS

“The first case that we see is a young woman of color who is not from a wealthy family, not even from a middle class family, from a working class family who is being prompted to plead out to something that from the outside it looks like she did not do. Even though this is an assembly line that we have to get through case and case and case, Lola says, ‘No, we’re stopping this train because this one person is important, her life is important and I cannot take that for granted.’ So this show definitely deals with the economic and the racial disparity within the justice system and tackles it head on.”

Simone Missick, Television Critics Association interview 8/1/19