If you went out to see Captain America The Winter Soldier over the weekend, you saw Anthony Mackie as The Falcon on the big screen. During our press trip to Los Angeles, I have to admit the Anthony Mackie interview was one to remember! Anthony uses his funny humor to share stories we are interested in, and easily provides the interviewers with something to relate to.
What was The Falcon’s costume like?
Anthony Mackie: 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 Daffy’s — Bugs Bunny’s like paused – puts Daffy in. And he just takes the brunt of every hit for me. And I love it. There’s nothing natural about flying, to humans. Like, there’s nothing we do that’s like flying. You know, so my first day on set I walk in, I’m like, “What’s up, yo. Falcon in the building, what’s up?”
And uh, so I get up on like a 60 foot platform. And I’m like, all right, let’s do this. You know, brother in the building. 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, Ohhhhhhh! Whoa! The first day is usually like walking down a hallway, or like eating or something. You know, just to break you in. Not jumping off the platform to your death.
So you know, once we did that, in a scolding heat of the day, uh, I kinda knew what I was in for. Iit just got worse from there. It was, it was really painful and exhausting. But Aaron Toney, my stuntman, literally, I mean, he fell out of a car at 40 miles an hour. He, he got messed up on this movie. So kudos to him.
What did you do to train for this film?
Salmon, chickens, tuna fish, asparagus. And a cup of brown rice at noon. Every day, for three months. I did in high school — high school football? High school, I’m like — I ain’t a sexist, come on. Sh*t, man. Yeah. They, uh, when we play — [LAUGHS] when we play high school football we used to do these things called 2 a days. And basically six a.m. you wake up and you, you know, get ready, go to the gym for a hour. And you do cardio, just like Jane Fonda.
And then you come home, and you just rest and eat every three hours. Knowing at 7 p.m. you go to the gym, and literally lift that — whatever you can find, you lift it. For about a hour and a half. And then you go home and go to sleep. And then you wake up and do it again. For three months. And it was by far the most — I mean, it’s a lifestyle. You know, uh, 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. So you know, me and my homeboy Jack Daniels stopped talkin’. Uh, you know, no more, uh, pizza, like all the things I love.
Me and my girlfriend Haagen Dazs broke up. She French, it was crazy. So we, uh, you know, I just, I had to contain myself. And then I show up and you know, Chris looks like a Greek god. And I’m feeling good about myself, I’m like Spandex ready, you know. And I show up and he’s like, Captain, you know, tiny a*s. And I’m like, “Dude, how’d you get your a*s that small?” Like this way, it’s that big. You know. And I’m like, man size. Like, errrrrrrrrrrrrrr I can lift the whole building.
And I, I put my costume on, everybody was like, “Damn, we got to let out the air.” So then aghhhhhhhh! Uhhhhhhh. But I made it through it.I got together with my girlfriend Haagen Dazs. So yes, so yeah, it was a grueling three months. And then you come and — how do you do that?
How do you feel about being the first African-American Super Hero?
Uh, you know, it’s, it’s funny you should ask that. Uh, [LAUGHS] it’s, it’s cool. I feel like, you know, when I was a kid, I really didn’t have that, you know, 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 know, you couldn’t be like seven years old and say, “Who do you want to be for Halloween?” “Shaft,” you know.
So, you know, it’s really exciting. Uh, looking at — the biggest thing — and 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 gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.” You know, and that’s the thing that always gets me. It’s always, so I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino super hero, there should be, you know, I feel like Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls.But there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that. They ne– 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. You know what, I’m just trying to go with the flow with it. You know, like funny story. This is, there’s this craft store called Michael’s.I don’t know where y’all came — No, no, no. Look, my sister knits. So she goes to Michael’s. Uh, and every now and then I’ll go there for something. So I went — my sister called me and she’s like, “Oh my god, I’m at Michael’s, picking up yarn.” And, uh, “You have a poster at Michael’s.” I’m like, what? She’s like, “There’s a poster, there’s a Falcon poster at Michael’s. I’m like, holy shit. She like, “I’m gonna come and pick you up, and we’re gonna see your poster in this store.” So I’m like, “Man, this is my oldest sister,” all right. So she picks me up. We get in the car, we go to Michael’s, we hurry up.
We get to Michael’s. We go in, and I see the poster and I’m like, “Oh, this is….” She’s like, “I know, I know.” I said, “I’m gonna sign these posters.” I was like, “That would be amazing, you buy a poster and it’s like, actually signed by the Falcon.” Like, it would blow my mind. So I go to the front, I buy a Sharpie, I run back to the back of the store. And she’s like, “I’m gonna take a picture of you signing it.” So I mean, we’re — so I’m in this store and I’m signing all the posters. The manager comes out, he’s like, “Hey, whatcha doing?” I was like, “Oh man, I’m signing these posters so when people buy ‘em, they’re signed.” He’s like, “Well, people are not gonna buy ‘em if they’re signed.”
And I was like, “No no no, it’s cool, I’m pretty sure there won’t be a problem.” And he goes, “Yeah, but it is gonna be a problem, you’re messin’ up my inventory.” And I’m like, “No, my man, trust me, I mean, I’m the — that, that’s me!” And he goes, “Yeah, right. You’re gonna buy those posters.” I said, “What?” He’s like, “You’re gonna buy all those posters or I’m gonna call the police.” So… I’m trying to get the posters for people to buy, and trust me, it’s goin’, he’s like, “Let’s go to the front, you’re buying the posters.” He rolls up all the posters and goes to the front of the store. And I had to buy like 60 Falcon posters that I signed in my Michael’s!
So that’s kinda how — I’m just enjoying it. Man, I mean, there’s so many, you know, bad things that happen to us at entertainers and actors, that I feel like, when something good happen, you should take full advantage of it.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is now playing in a theater near you!