Black Lightning's Cress Williams Is Electric In These Exclusive Photos

This stud plays a kick-ass crime fighter on Black Lightning, but Cress Williams' guard wasn't up on the Watch! set. When the actor isn't living out his childhood dream of being a dual identity superhero, he brings electricity and energy to a fashion photo shoot. Photographer Derek Blanks captured the star for our July/August 2018 issue (on newsstands 7/24). See these striking photos—including web-exclusive bonus images—plus learn fun facts and interview tidbits about Cress Williams.

Black Lightning star Cress Williams is the superhero we've been waiting for.

Black Lightning star Cress Williams is the superhero we've been waiting for.

This stud may play a kick-ass crime fighter on Black Lightning, but Cress Williams' guard wasn't up on the Watch! set. When the 48 year-old actor isn't busy living out his childhood dream of being a dual identity superhero, he brings electricity and energy to a fashion photo shoot. 

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Photographer Derek Blanks captured The CW star for our July/August 2018 issue (on newsstands 7/24). See these hot new photos—including web-exclusive bonus images—plus learn fun facts and interview tidbits about Cress Williams. 

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Never stop dreaming

Never stop dreaming

For Williams, his childhood dream became a reality when he got the lead role on Black Lightning. "It was always more of a kid fantasy than a career goal," he says. 

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Lessons learned

Lessons learned

The actor takes to heart lessons from the past and recognizes how wisdom comes with age and experience.

"Everything feels like a second chance. Not to say I completely blew my first chance, but I made some mistakes both career-wise and personally. I feel like it's almost a second act now," the star shares about this new life chapter.

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Gotta have faith

Gotta have faith

"I was just really open to the idea of hearing God, following God, and listening to God. Even in my darkest times, I never lost that awareness." — Cress Williams

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Match made in heaven

Match made in heaven

Fun fact: Williams met his wife Kristen Torrianni at a church group.

Photography by Derek Blanks. Exclusive to CBS.com.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Reality check

Reality check

"I figured I would just be this really big character actor and hope that I don't die." — Cress Williams

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Move-it motivation

Move-it motivation

Fun fact: Williams has worked hard to foster healthy habits. He exercises two to three hours a day five days a week, has cut sugar from his diet, and successfully kicked a 20-year marijuana habit.

Photography by Derek Blanks. Exclusive to CBS.com.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
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Social impact

Social impact

Black Lightning isn't just your typical superhero show, and grapples directly with social justice issues—including race, education, drug use, and disparities in law enforcement—that are going on in the world today.

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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Make a difference

Make a difference

"I'm not a politician and I'm not an activist in any way. I see this as my form of making a difference. I try to do it with my art. The opportunity to do something like that, to tell a story that is not just fluff and that's not just entertainment, was really something I wanted and needed at this point in my life." — Cress Williams

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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Modern hero

Modern hero

"There are just not that many black superheroes out there, and at that point Black Panther was already taken." — Cress Williams

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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Mister Independent

Mister Independent

Williams admits that he has always been self-reliant, rarely asking for help from others. "I'm getting better about that, but my natural inclination is to just do it myself," he says. 

Photography by Derek Blanks. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2018.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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In the public eye

In the public eye

"You hear people calling you by character names on the street. Recently, when people see me, I've heard them go, 'Black Lightning!' And I'm like, 'Hey,' and then I'm like, 'I could do that, I'm OK with that.' That sounds pretty good to me." — Cress Williams

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Photography by Derek Blanks. Exclusive to CBS.com.

Watch Black Lightning on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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