Anthony Mackie initially wanted to play Black Panther, but this actor is destined to rule the skies despite his fear of heights.
Disney plus' latest hit series 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' continue to take the world by storm, taking Anthony Mackie's career even higher with its momentum.
Anthony stars as Sam Wilson / Falcon, the Avenger, and pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using special wing gear.
But while Anthony may have been destined for the role, portraying the flying superhero is not always so easy for the actor.
Here are interesting facts you probably didn't know about Anthony Mackie, including his journey to MCU and the challenges he faced as the Falcon.
Anthony Mackie communicated with Marvel for five years asking about 'Black Panther', and if there is any way he could be part of the MCU.
"I enjoy their movies, respect the kind of films they make, and I thought it would be a good fit for me as well as them," Anthony told Vulture.
About five years since his initial contact with the studio, Marvel invited him to L.A. to have lunch with directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and a producer on 'Captain America'. By that time, Anthony had zero clues about what movie they were making, and they wouldn't tell him about the character he is going to play.
"But they wanted to know, 'If we had a movie, would you be interested?' And I was like, 'Hell yeah!' So a month later, I got an official offer to be in a Marvel movie."
Of course, that desire to become Black Panther eventually faded, especially with Chadwick Boseman's legacy.
Following Boseman's untimely and heartbreaking death, Anthony says he doesn't want the T'Challa role to be recast, adding it would be awful to see himself as Black Panther.
"No, you can't recast it. I mean, he did that role in a way it'll never be done again. And I would hate for an actor to have to pick up the baton that he left behind because there's no question he was a dynamic figure and an amazing actor. And just looking at the reaction to Black Panther, there’s nobody that could bring the grace to that role that he did. So I wouldn't want to see Anthony Mackie as Black Panther; that would be awful," Anthony said in a podcast as quoted by Screenrant.
Anthony worked out for months to get in shape for his role as Falcon in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'. He thought that a Spandex costume would be a great way to show that hard-earned physique.
"I told them I wanted Spandex! I was in the gym like a monster working out for that movie, and I said, “If Chris gets to wear tight shirts, I want tight shirts! I want Spandex, everything Spandex!” My choice would have been red Spandex, head to toe. They shot me down," Anthony said in the same interview.
Nonetheless, he had no qualms about his military get-up admitting his "gear looks dope".
"They decided that they wanted Falcon to be more of a military character, which I'm not complaining about because my gear looks dope and I get to kick a lot of ass," Anthony said via Movieweb in 2013.
It's safe to say that Anthony Mackie is destined to play Falcon.
MCU big boss Kevin Feige reveals that Anthony is the unanimous first choice to play Sam Wilson / Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"The first experience was him being the unanimous first choice to play the character. We just offered him the role, in my memory, he did not audition. That’s only happened a handful of times at Marvel. Mr. Mackie was one of those times. I thought he would be great as this character. As we often do, when we’re casting, you cast for the immediate role at hand — which was Sam Wilson in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but if it all goes well, that can grow and evolve into numerous things. You want an actor who can do it all, which of course, Anthony can," Feige told Variety.
Anthony Mackie was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is an ardent supporter of his hometown football team, the New Orleans Saints.
Anthony got into the acting profession because he was inspired by fellow MCU star Don Cheadle, who portrayed James Rhodes/War Machine. Anthony considers him as his mentor. Anthony was Don's understudy in the off-Broadway show 'Topdog/Underdog'.
Anthony says that he gets mistaken as Don Cheadle at least once a day.
When asked what fans typically tell him whenever they see him in the streets, he answered: "Literally, once a day someone comes up to me and ask me if I am Don Cheadle."
Anthony has been serving us with serious flying stunts on screen, but he is extremely afraid of heights in reality.
“It’s a lot of me on wires screaming and them saying ‘Action’ and me flying around. …I’m deathly afraid of heights, they always say, ‘Oh, we’re just gonna take you this high.’ Then they take me and swing me,” the actor said in an interview via comicbookmovie.com.
In the same interview, Anthony recalls the agonizing experience when flying as The Falcon for a practical scene in Cleveland.
"The Russos called me and said, ‘Alright, we’re gonna put you up on a bridge and we want you to jump down. You see you’re about to hit a car, so we want you to stop before you hit the car.’ I’m like, ‘Well, the cable guy is supposed to stop me because these aren’t real wings.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no. Just hit the ground and go to the car.’ So they pull me up and they let me go. In midair, I realized, ‘I’ve never flown before. So I have no idea how to stop.’ I see the concrete coming towards me, and I realize the rope is gonna catch and I’m gonna swing head first into this car. So I put my feet down and I roll into this cab, hard, and everybody runs over to me and says, ‘Are you okay?’ I’m like, ‘I think I know how to land. Let’s do it again.’”
If you're one of those who find Anthony so familiar, you've probably seen him in the 2009 thriller 'The Hurt Locker' and 2004 sports drama film 'Million Dollar Baby'. Both films have been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Before Anthony became an actor, his initial career plan was to become a Mechanical Engineer. Anthony went to engineering school at Mobil Oil and studied thermodynamic fluid propulsion.
Anthony and his cousin used to manage their own music label called Take Four Records.
"We didn't have enough money so we only provided four takes," he jokingly revealed to James Corden. They put out local rap called “bounce music.”