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Interview with Anthony Mackie – “Falcon” from Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Antony Mackie Falcon

Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? If not, what are you waiting for? LOL! The movie just opened this past Friday (April 4, 2014) and grossed a whopping $96 million making it the biggest April opening of a film in history. That’s awesome! The movie was predicted to do exceptionally well. It even surpassed what was anticipated.

In case you missed it here is my review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

In addition you might like to read the interviews with Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha / Black Widow) and the President of Marvel, Kevin Feige.

The blogger group I was with also had the opportunity to interview Anthony Mackie who plays the part of Sam Wilson / Falcon in the film.

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Anthony a few years ago at the press junket for the film Real Steal. He was HYSTERICAL! He had us all laughing so hard in that interview that my sides were hurting from laughing so much. I had a feeling he wouldn’t disappoint us with this interview either. He is hands down one of the funniest people I have ever had the opportunity to interview.

Here are some highlights from our interview with Anthony Mackie, aka “Falcon”.

Anthony shared with us that when he first started acting he wanted to do two things – be a superhero and act in a Western. When he got the call about getting the role of Sam Wilson/Falcon that really put things into perspective for him.

Q: When you found out you got the role and that you’ve worked with somebody like Hugh Jackman (they worked together in Real Steal), who’s been a Marvel film (Wolverine), did  you call him and ask for any pointers? 

Anthony: No. I did not want to mess up my experience. I completely wanted to come into this naïve, ignorant and like my virginal eyes not knowing anything.  Sam (Samuel L. Jackson) has done like fifteen Marvel movies. And Chris (Evans) and Scarlett (Johansson) have done like six each. And you know, Sebastian (Stan) has done three. So I was like, don’t kill my vibe. I’m having a, a good time, we’re doing a Marvel movie, we get the best craft services.  You know, we’re in California.

You know, we basically shut down the city of Cleveland. You know, so it’s like, wow, I know how Denzel feels. I was soakin’ it up.

Chris and I have a very good relationship. And it literally got to the point where we would show up on set and we were like seven-year-olds.  I mean, we had that first day where it’s like, deal with 35-year-old men in costume. We’re losers [LAUGHS]. And then the next day we started making fun of each other. And then it just turned into this thing where it became infectious.

It’s fun when you go to work knowing you’re going to make a quality product. Because as actors there’s so many people with, you know, daddy issues that mess up movies. It’s like “Oh I’m going to edit it this way” or “I didn’t have a girlfriend in high school so I’m going do this.” Dude, just make a movie!  Working with Marvel is one of those studios where you go to work and you know everybody leaves their stuff at the door. They just want to make a good project. Once we got over our suits, we had a good time.

Q: What did you do to train and prepare for this film?

Anthony: Salmon, chicken, tuna fish, asparagus and a cup of brown rice at noon. Every day for three months.

When I played high school football we used to do these things called “two a days”. Basically at 6:00 AM you wake up and you get ready and go to the gym for a hour to do cardio. Then you come home and you just rest and eat every three hours. At 7:00 PM you go to the gym and literally lift whatever you can find for about a hour and a half. Then you go home and go to sleep. Then you wake up and do it again, for three months. It’s a lifestyle. Fitness is a lifestyle. You have to eat a certain way. You have to do a certain thing. You have to live a certain way. Me and my homeboy Jack Daniels stopped talking. No more pizza and all the things I love. Me and my girlfriend Haagen Dazs broke up.  She’s French, it was crazy.

I just had to contain myself. Then I show up and Chris looks like a Greek god. I’m feeling good about myself. I’m Spandex ready and I show up and he’s like, Captain, you know, with a tiny butt. And I’m like, “Dude, how’d you get your butt that small?”  Then I put my costume on and everybody was like, “Damn, we got to let out the air.” But I made it through it. [LAUGHS].

So yeah, it was a grueling three months.

Q: How do you feel about not being the first African-American superhero? 

Anthony: It’s funny you should ask that.  When I was a kid I really didn’t have that person I could look at, other than my dad, and be like, “Hey, I want to be that guy and fly through the window.”  You couldn’t be like seven years old and say, “Who do you want to be for Halloween?” Shaft,” you know. So it’s really exciting.

Looking at it, it always makes me emotional.  I mean, when I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, “Wow, next Halloween, I’m going to open the door and there’s going to be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.” And that’s the thing that always gets me.  I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino super hero. I feel like Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls.

There should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make $20.00, if there’s a movie you’re going to lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. Do you know what I mean? Because little girls deserve that. There’s so many of these little people out here doing awful things for money, in the world of being famous. And little girls see that. They should have the opposite spectrum of that to look up to.

#CaptainAmericaEvent

Q: How was the whole Falcon costume experience?

Anthony: It was no fun. The hardest working actors in Hollywood are flying superheroes. I said it, I don’t care what Thor says with his hammer. I don’t care what Wolverine says. If you fly, it sucks.

I loved my costume, I loved everything about it. I love doing stunts. I have the best stuntman in the business. We’ve done like five movies together. And literally it’s like that Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny cartoon, where like the missile is coming and Bugs Bunny’s like paused and then puts Daffy in. And he just takes the brunt of every hit for me. And I love it. [LAUGHS] There’s nothing natural about flying to humans. There’s nothing we do that’s like flying.

On my first day on set I get on a 60 foot platform. And I’m like, “All right, let’s do this.” And they said, “All right, stand on the edge of the platform, there’s a jet coming at you. We want you to stand up, turn around, shoot your guns and jump back backwards head first, into this mat.” From 60 feet in the air. And I’m like, “Whoa!” The first day is usually like walking down a hallway, or eating or something. You know, just to break you in. Not jumping off the platform to your death.

So once we did that, in the scalding heat of the day, I kind of knew what I was in for. And it just got worse from there. It was really painful and exhausting. But Aaron Toney, my stuntman, literally, he fell out of a car at 40 miles an hour. He got messed up on this movie. So kudos to him. [LAUGHS].

Q: What was it like the first time you put the costume on?

Anthony: It was great. The first time I put that costume on, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was running around the room. It’s one of those moments where you just have to allow yourself to enjoy it.

My costume was 45 minutes to get in it and it was like five minutes to get out. But it was fun. I really took every moment to enjoy being a super hero. It was a good time.

Q: There must have been lots of guy talk on the set. What was it like to have Scarlett Johansson around?

Anthony: You know, Scarlett is just a regular chick. Like it’s weird, you expect her to be a diva or high maintenance or catty. Or just so — an actress. But she’s a regular chick and she’s really low maintenance and cool and fun to be around. She just goes with the flow. I guess that comes with being extremely talented. I feel like a lot of people compensate for not being talented with being bitchy. But she’s really talented. She’s a very really down to earth, fun, cool, just regular chick.

Q: The Falcon goes back to the ‘60s. Which versions of the Falcon did you go back to for the character to draw on?

Anthony: I commend Marvel for putting the Falcon in this movie because the Falcon’s history is something very unique to the comic book world. Usually in comic books they’ll introduce a character, if it doesn’t hit they’ll just let him fall off into the sunset. But with the Falcon, Marvel made a unique choice to get him right. So he had about three or four different incarnations in the life of the comic book.

I tried to stay away from the source material because I felt what the writers gave me with this was the introduction to the Falcon. So I just took what I had in the script, and worked primarily on that. I felt like the military history he had, and the relationship he has with Steve in this movie, is much more important than who he was in the comic books. Because I felt like if that relationship was grounded in truth and it worked, the rest of the movie would work.

I really just focused on, what exactly are the side effects and repercussions of PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder]? How exactly do you overcome that? And when it’s overcome, is it like drugs, is it a work in progress everyday? Or is it like something, once you’re over it you’re over it and I’m good. Or is it person to person stuff like that?

I just asked a bunch of different questions along those lines. A lot of my research came from soldiers I’ve met during Hurt Locker and from doing charitable work with the Navy and stuff. So I just emailed a bunch of guys and got a lot of stuff online, a lot of videos. Lot of depositions with soldiers coming back and just talking about their experiences and where they are now. I just used that stuff and tried to ground him in the history that was him, as opposed to the history that was the comic book.

This was a super fun interview. Anthony cracked a lot of jokes and had us all laughing hysterically. He even took the time to pose for smaller group photos instead of just one big group photo.

Anthony Mackie Falcon #CaptainAmericaEvent

Anthony also shared a funny story with us about the time his sister saw Falcon posters in her local Michael’s craft store and how Anthony thought it would be great to autograph them as a freebie bonus for whomever purchased one. The manager was not too pleased that he did that (he didn’t believe that he was really “Falcon” for the film) so Anthony ended up purchasing about sixty posters from the store. LOL!

Anthony is a lot of fun but at the same time you can tell that he’s really down to Earth. He also “brings is’ to his role of Falcon. I think Anthony was correct in saying that this Halloween there is going to be a lot of little kids dressed as Falcon knocking on people’s doors. I have to agree with him on that one. I’m sure Falcon is going to be a super popular Marvel character thanks to the huge success of this film.

You can check out the film’s official Facebook page as well as the Twitter page. The official hashtag is #CaptainAmerica. To  hear what other bloggers have to say about the film check out the hashtag  #CaptainAmericaEvent.

Check out this cool action clip that gives you a little glimpse inside the character of the Falcon.

 

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. My travel expenses for the press junket were covered.