Anthony Mackie: “When you hit that 50% tax bracket, a lot of sh-t becomes real”

Our friend and official tabloid-scanner Stacie alerted us to this wonderful Anthony Mackie interview in the last issue of Elle Magazine. Mackie has steadily joined the A/B-list cusp over the past few years, especially since his ballsy, amazing performance in the 2010 Best Picture Oscar-winner, The Hurt Locker. Jeremy Renner got a lot of attention from that, but please remember that Mackie gave an incredible performance too. Mackie’s IMDB is diverse, and he’s been working constantly for a decade. But before today, I never realized that he was A) Only 32 years old, B) A true Southern boy from New Orleans and C) A graduate of Julliard. He’s also a really good interview, and he gets high fives for his sexual performance. So he says! Here are some highlights from his Elle piece:

On if a woman has made him cry
When I first got out of college, I met this girl, and I was like, ‘I’m getting married. This is the one.’ We’d been dating for two years. She was in graduate school at Northwestern – an amazing girl from a well-to-do background. And, you know, I was me: a poor kid from New Orleans. I go to talk to her dad [to ask permission to marry her] and he said ‘I would never let my daughter marry one of your people.’ Whoa to the whoa! I got back to Chicago and told her, ‘You need to stand up to your dad and tell him what’s up.’ She said… ‘No.’

On if women slip him their numbers at his bar in Brooklyn (he often mixes drinks)
I have buffers to take care of that. I’m not there to meet kids.

On if he’s ever had a problem with a woman and her weave (the interviewer asked)
Yeah. I’m a certified scuba diver, right? I dated a girl once, and I wanted to go on vacation and take her scuba diving, to dive these shipwrecks off the Dominican Republic. But she didn’t want to get her weave wet.

On if love scenes are awkward for him
Not everybody is good in bed. Even simulating sex – if you simulate it in a bad way, it’s really bad.

On if he’s saying he’s a good lover
In my present relationship, I get high fives for my performance.

The best advice he’s received about women
My uncle said, “Listen more, talk less.”

On if he compares women to his mom, who passed when he was young
I try not to, but it’s inevitable. I was a mama’s boy. You grow up being taken care of, and you expect someone to take care of you like that. Not like burping you and wiping your ass, but if I have a bad day, listen to me talk about my bad day. It’s the yin and the yang. When you come home from work, I’ll rub your feet and listen to how the women in your office are all out to get you. But people are so selfish now. There’s a whole lot of yin and no yang.

On the difference between women in New York and New Orleans
Women in New York are always looking for something better. No matter the real estate I owned, the movies I did, in New York there was always the possibility that Puffy might walk in the room – and suddenly I didn’t have a girlfriend anymore. In New Orleans, women are willing to take you as you are and grow with you.

On meeting his girlfriend in third grade and reconnecting
She used to beat me up for my lunch money. When we met again, I said, ‘You’re buying dinner because you took my lunch money for two years.’

On what turns him on about his girlfriend
She’s profound. She’s creative. And she has a credit score over 700. When I first meet a girl, I’m like, ‘When was the last time you had your credit run? What was that score? Oh, 582? Good luck, good luck.’

On how his girlfriend supports him when he’s doing theater
To close out the subject, I’m dating my third grade girlfriend because every time I do one of those plays for 400 bucks a week, she supports me 100 percent. A lot of athletes and actors are starting to come up broke because they don’t know the difference between net and gross. When you hit that 50 percent tax bracket, a whole lot of sh-t becomes real.

On if he’s going to marry his girlfriend, with whom he has a three year-old son
That’s the million dollar question. Marriage, it’s an interesting beast. All my friends who are married are desperately unhappy. Every single one of them. If they’re not getting divorced, they’re on the doorstep of getting divorced. And I’m as happy as a gay dude in the West Village. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

[From Elle Magazine, July 2012 print edition, thanks Stacie!]

Sigh… CB and I are now in love with him. He seems smart and classy and interesting. And I can’t imagine how ANY father would say, “I would never let my daughter marry one of your people.” For the love of GOD. Do people still say crap like that? I also love the statement: “A lot of athletes and actors are starting to come up broke because they don’t know the difference between net and gross. When you hit that 50 percent tax bracket, a whole lot of sh-t becomes real.” I love a man who talks about money realistically. Ladies, get yo’ credit score.

Update by Kaiser Anthony was talking his entire tax situation – income tax, plus the self-employment tax, plus Social Security (not really a tax, but it’s still money you don’t have in your pocket right now), plus state and local taxes (for properties in NOLA and NYC), plus he’s part owner in a New York bar, all of which would take his tax situation close to 50% if not higher.

PS… the photos of Anthony in that green & black thing are from the set of ‘Pain & Gain’ – he’s in character as a bodybuilder.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

68 Responses to “Anthony Mackie: “When you hit that 50% tax bracket, a lot of sh-t becomes real””

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Eve says:

    Sigh… CB and I are now in love with him.

    Now??? I’ve been crushing on him ever since I watched The Hurt Locker — it’s a shame he wasn’t nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He deserved a nomination just as much as Renner did for his role.

    • Sisi says:

      agree, he and Renner both gave incredible performances and I could not have chosen between them if I had to appoint the nomination

      he is fiiiiiine

      • Eve says:

        But both could have been nominated — that’s what pisses me off!

        Renner for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Mackie as Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

      • Mia 4S says:

        The video of Jeremy hearing about his nomination on the Today Show, followed by Mackie giving him a big hug remains one of the cutest and most genuine Hollywood moments I’ve seen. Google it, it’s so great.

    • Mina says:

      Eh, The Hurt Locker was an incredibly poor depiction of the war in Iraq. One of my vet friends gets Hulk mad when he watches lol.

      • Vicky says:

        I thought the movie was only ok until I talked to my husband and stepson. Both of them are marines who hated this movie and could’t believe it won anything. To many inaccuracies to count.

      • notsoanonymous says:

        I’m close to someone who has a very similar job to the one depicted in Hurt Locker – and the #1 way to piss him off is to be like, “Hey, you’re like that movie, Hurt Locker!” The characters were painted in a very bad light, one that isn’t deserved for most. So yeah, not accurate. That being said, when you take it for what it truly was – an incredibly well made FICTIONAL movie? It was awesome 🙂

        <3 Mackie. He has smarts and wit in this interview; it's one of those moments where you can almost hear him answer the questions in your mind. I like it!

    • the original bellaluna says:

      It’s his eyes and his lips…

  2. atlantapug says:

    He sounds great! (except not marrying the mother of his child)

    I love when a celebrity can be realistic about money problems. It’s not all roses out there, as he points out. Your attitude with money, and how you handle it, makes a big difference on how successful you will be.

    It’s great to see a self-proclaimed poor kid grow up to know how to handle money and not blow it all on frivolous garbage.

    I do take issue with the “50%” tax bracket though. There is no such thing in the US. Though i’m sure it hurts him to see the final $ value of the taxes he pays each year.

    • Samantha says:

      My guess is that he’s counting self-employment tax along with regular income tax. I pay close to 50% of my income in taxes, or would if I didn’t have a good accountant who deducts every possible thing she can.

      • Carol says:

        My husband pays near 50% in taxes and he brings in under 100k a year. We don’t drive a car newer than 18 years old, we rent a small apartment and are frugal. But we get to watch half our money go to people like his sister; who got pregnant and swung her baby lasso by way of Medicaid to get free doctor visits, food, even gastric bypass surgery because she is too lazy to exercise. Meanwhile we cannot afford the steak she eats or the fees for in-vitro to be able to have a baby if our own. Oh yes, it bothers me when “rich” people complain about the same taxes us lowly middle-class must pay. We don’t get free hotels, nice clothing, nice meals. Grrrr!

      • the original bellaluna says:

        Oh Carol, I’m sorry! That’s awful. It’s really shitty when people on “assistance” get free (or subsidized) child care, job training, and gastric bypass (I’ve known more than one, personally); etc…

        I feel you on that though. Before hubs & I lost our jobs and relocated somewhere less expensive, we “rose” to the middle class (by both of us working our asses off full-time+). It’s really shitty, because you make just enough not to qualify for any “assistance” but not enough to truly “make it.”

        You’d think someone earning $60K a year (for example) should be able to live with a little more ease and comfort, but no. I don’t know here you live, but our rent was a ridiculous $1400 for an apartment that wasn’t even 1100 sqft when we moved up here. (And it wasn’t even a NICE apartment in a GOOD neighbourhood!)

        I hope things get easier for you.

      • stellax2 says:

        Carol, I’m very sorry to hear of your circumstance. I treat a woman who lives off her brother and sister in law and it’s ridiculous. She also owns an umder the table cleaning business that brings in upward of 3 grand a month, giving none to the family that supports her. She drives a very expensive car, well dressed. She could easily take care of herself. I’ve told her that…we are examining some issues.
        However, it doesn’t quite seem fair to all of us who work hard, whether It’s being w kids and keeping the home running smoothly or those who do both.

  3. Mina says:

    There is no 50% tax bracket. Unless he lives somewhere in Europe, or in 1988.

    • Melissa says:

      I am surprised/disappointed CB would post this much misinformation. Actors working professionally in Hollywood do NOT pay self-employment tax. They are not self employed. They are hired by a production company, who is responsible for the employer share of payroll taxes.

      • michkabibbles says:

        CB didn’t post any misinformation, they posted a direct quote. jeez.

      • Tiffany says:

        I agree with Melissa. They did post incorrect information (not the quote, the part about self-employment tax).

        Production companies use services like Entertainment Partners and Cast and Crew…which are like the ADP of the entertainment business. Actors who are unionized and working in professional productions have their employers pay the employer share of payroll taxes.

      • Tiffany says:

        Oh, and most actors set up name hiding corporations or single member LLCs to handle their business income.

      • anne_000 says:

        @ Tiffany says: “Oh, and most actors set up name hiding corporations or single member LLCs to handle their business income.”

        Good catch! If one is incorporated, one pays a different tax rate than personal income tax. Also one gets business deductions that individuals don’t get.

      • Sweettart says:

        Good catch! If one is incorporated, one pays a different tax rate than personal income tax. Also one gets business deductions that individuals don’t get.

        And an LLC or corporation also gets to pay additional taxes that individuals don’t have to pay.

        Also, when you get to higher income brackets, a lot of the deductions and exemptions that are available to lower income phase out. The stated tax rate and effective tax rate are usually *much* different in the lower income brackets.

  4. ahoyhoy says:

    There is no federal ‘50% bracket’…not for decades. Unless he’s including state sales tax & property tax & auto excise tax, etc.

    edit: I see you all said the same thing/same time. ha!

    • Crazy Charlize says:

      If you add his Federal, California state income tax, SS, and property and sales taxes together, I’d say he’s approaching 60%. And yet gubmint spending far exceeds that.

  5. Amelia says:

    Awww, he’s got such a cheeky little smile! I just want to give him a hug!
    ….and quite possibly a bit more than that 😉

  6. Bite me aka aniston says:

    Am in love… Good credit is a must
    As some men will tell u just cuz they mad u baby with u doesn’t men u are wife material

  7. lucy2 says:

    I was going to say the same thing – he needs to get a better accountant then, because the highest bracket is 35%!

    He seems like a pretty great guy and a very talented actor. That is so sweet he’s with his third grade girlfriend now! As for not getting married – to each their own. Personally I don’t see how a ring and certificate makes any difference, and having a child together is a way bigger commitment, but if it works for them and they’re both in the same place with it, great.

    • ahoyhoy says:

      He needs to find one of those corporate accountants…They somehow figure out how to make billion-dollar companies pay NOTHING! ZERO!

  8. Susan says:

    To my knowledge, the current maximum tax bracket in the US is 35%.

    He’s a refreshing character.

  9. chris says:

    Ive been in love with him since the Hurt Locker too.

  10. mia girl says:

    I really love him too. Hurt Locker (he was so good), Adjustment Bureau (he looks good in a hat) and now Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I am going to see that campy movie the first day its out!

  11. Zelda says:

    Poor thing. Wanna know what real shit is?

    My dinner has come out of a can almost every night for a month.

    Shit’s a bit realer for the rest of us, Love.

    • johnnybadboytapia says:

      excatly… please shits been real for a while now, my friends and are all have college degrees( some with masters) but most of work jobs that barley offer health ins or put food on table.

      • corny says:

        big money, big problems, my heart goes out to him, hope he can make it thru
        poor baby

      • Zelda says:

        It’s all very Marie Antoinette:
        “The people have no money!”
        “Then let them enjoy lower income tax brackets!”

        Get a clue, Hollywood.

      • anon says:

        Zelda says:
        June 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

        “It’s all very Marie Antoinette:
        “The people have no money!”
        “Then let them enjoy lower income tax brackets!”

        Get a clue, Hollywood.”

        good one Zelda 🙂

  12. Lipsy says:

    Never seen him in any movies and I never read long articles about any celebrity (I just read Kaiser’s summary/take at the end) but this interview was so fun to read! This guy sounds very smart and intriguing. Thanks for this article, Kaiser.

  13. Samantha says:

    Re: the 50% tax bracket, actors pay self-employment tax as well as income tax. If you’re in the highest tax bracket, that’s 35% + 13.3%=48.3%. (Though only the first 100K, or something like that, is subject to social security.)

    • Melissa says:

      Actors don’t pay self-employment tax. They are hired by production companies and paid by services like Entertainment Partners. The production company pays the employer share of payroll taxes.

  14. Yoyobaby says:

    New York state where he lives – especially NYC . 50 percent paycheck gone. We have city, state and federal. One of the highest in the nation if not the highest. I cut my salary in half – that is what I really make.

  15. Julie says:

    the story of his gf beating him up as a child and then him asking her to pay for dinner is so cute.

  16. Really? says:

    What? No pics of the baby mama?

    I loved and laughed to most of what he said, but have to say that i find it profoundly sad that he is campaigning, however softly, against marriage. If every single one of his friends are desperately unhappy in their marriages, maybe he needs to look at his friends as the problem, and not “marriage.” I think that’s his defense and apparently it works well for him. But there are plenty of holes in that theory, and he obviously isn’t willing to put in the extra effort and commitment that not only his child might benefit from, but he just might as well.

    Oh well, i’m divorced, so what do i know. I do have children however, and to think of any pain or suffering i have caused them is something i probably will never get over. I’ve gotten older now, so i’m more prepared to commit, ie., give up the cheap thrills and fantasy roller coasters. Maybe with age, he’ll be more up for it. Or maybe not, look at George.

    Nah, i’d rather look at him, what an adorable man, i’d like to see a picture of his baby, too!

  17. highroad says:

    he’s awesome! love his acting and his intelligence.

  18. rachel says:

    oh and he is complaining? out of the $63 dollars that i earn everyday, i get to take home $36 and the government takes $27- and i can’t get a second job, because there are none. that is my reality

  19. Paige says:

    I think he came off lovable at first and then he became a jackass! I think the girlfriend story in the beginning was a mess…code for I’m not letting my daughter marry a black person. And asking a date what her credit score is is just plain rude!

    • johnnybadboytapia says:

      Paige I agree he sounds so full of himself …” he has buffers for that” and the whole credit thing. Im happy u got it like that bro!!!

    • Kellie says:

      He totally became a jackass. The credit and money comments just threw me. You can fix credit and distance yourself from bad credit but more often than not an adult with a bad attitude and messed up perception is doomed for life.

    • Zelda says:

      If someone asked me that on a date–or anywhere, for that matter–the answer would be “Not good enough to pick up this tab. It’s a shame” and I’d walk out leaving them with the bill. And wregret not having ordered something really, really expensive.


      • jesstar says:

        In real life, I’d agree with you, but he is in a different world than you, I, and anyone we would normally date. He has probably been dealing with groupies & gold diggers for years and that’s his way of letting them know he’s not out to become a sugar daddy in exchange for some cheap thrills. Especially if he has a bar, you can bet there are chicks that go there specifically to target him.

  20. mia says:

    Clone him!

  21. anne_000 says:

    So his accountant doesn’t know to file deductions on his tax forms including any mortgages from his multiple properties and anything else? The top tax rate isn’t 50%. It’s far less.

    “Self-employment tax” IS Social Security Tax/Medicare Tax. So it’s not “self-employment tax PLUS Social Security, because they’re the same thing.,,id=98846,00.html

    Regarding his bar business, if he’s incorporated, he pays a far lower tax% than regular personal income tax.

    • Sweettart says:

      No. Other people have said that actors’ wages are paid through some sort of payroll company.

      But for SS, what is deducted from your paycheck is half of the total. Your employer pays the other half.

      For someone who is truly self employed, they have to pay both sides, although it is a slight discount. I think it is 13% . I just let Turbotax calculate it for me.

  22. Meanchick says:

    He was okay until I read this article. His heart was broken by a woman he WANTED to marry and now he’s with a woman (they have a kid) and in man code, he says he’s not thinking about marriage. WHO is waiting for something better to come along? And WHO asks what your credit score is? Is he providing his? That’s a bit too much. I’m thinking he’s a jackass.

    • Gene Parmesan says:

      Well maybe he changed? is it hard to believe that people’s sensibilities and convictions change? At college age, he probably felt that marrying was the natural end product. But nowadays he is more jaded and experienced. There is nothing wrong with that!

  23. Gabby says:

    His bar is down the street from me, I’ve been there a few times and it’s okay–expensive (especially for the area, Crown Heights is like a slowly-gentrifying Bed Stuy) but good happy hour prices. He hasn’t been there on the days I’ve gone but based on this interview, he sounds like a douche I wouldn’t want to meet anyway.

  24. Tamiko says:

    Yep, he reveals himself to be a bit of a jackass in this one. *Le sigh.* The internet is slowly killing ALL of my crushes.

  25. bluhare says:

    What he didn’t say was the “high fives” he gets for his performance are out of a possible 10.

  26. Aubra says:

    HA!! Good luck with him sister! That’s all I’ll say…

  27. Kristen says:

    Notice how, when talking about sexual performance, he said “my present relationship”? That’s a big verbal cue that he plans on having future relationships. I feel bad for his baby momma, if she’s waiting for him to put a ring on it.

    • Sakota says:

      Why are women so stupid these days? I am old fashioned in that I think in a lot of ways, marriage does protect you a lot more if you have kids in wedlock, mainly because it creates a more binding child support agreement and obligates the man (or woman) to face more liabilities if they want to leave.

  28. Maxine says:

    Watch Half Nelson with him and Gosling…..that’s when I knew he was the real deal….

    • Amy says:

      That was when I knew Gosling was the real deal. I honestly didn’t even notice Mackie in that movie and didn’t think his performance was anything noteworthy, but that’s just me…

  29. Jayna says:

    I love this guy. That’s the best interview I’ve read in years.

    Wanting to marry in college and how you feel about marriage later is different. Everyone I knew for a while got divorced or it came out aren’t happy. Everyone I know is on a second marriage or divorced or single or unhappily married except two friends who have solid marriages.

    Maybe they didn’t plan the pregnancy.

  30. hatsumomo says:

    Really, you have to look at someone’s credit score for dating eligibility?! Its lines like that really get me down. I admit, I still come from a time where you date someone based on mutual attraction. Just because one partner doesnt/cant make as much as you do shouldn’t detract from the person they are. Im going through this patch right now with my man. And it hurts. We got together when he was in his last year at university and I worked a small job bringing in a bit under17k a year, but we were happy. Now fast forward 6 years and he’s bringing in the bulk of our income(as a software developer) and Im still pulling in only 11k a year. I know we are blessed in comparison to other people, no kids, two cars under ten years old paid off, a nice home, and both of us still in our 20s but we are starting to fight. He snipes at me sometimes about not paying as many bills as he does, about not having as much education as he does and not having a career yet. And though its true, still! Im still the same good woman I was when we got together! I clean our home, cook the bulk of our meals, get the house together when we entertain, give him good company, and Im faithful. Why is finances so important to a man?? Why the F#*k does my credit score and income have to do with the woman I am?!?!? Gah!

    • Shaishai says:

      @Hatsumomo: I’m really sorry to hear about your situation; it isn’t fair.
      However, I think he is coming at this from a different angle. He’s a famous dude now and he’s got to look out for potential golddiggers. I think that’s what he’s getting at.

      I remember quite clearly the years I lived and worked in New Jersey/New York, SO many of the women I worked with were all about what a man could buy them and not who he was as a person. It was all “how nice is his ride” or “he paid for me to get my hair done and bought me a new purse”.

      One colleague who made twice as much as I did (and we worked for a Fortune 500 and made decent money) was perenially behind on her rent, yet had every designer handbag you could imagine. It was more important to her to be “cute” than to set a good example for her kids and pay her bills. There was always some boyfriend on the sidelines paying her bills or giving her money towards rent. And she saw nothing wrong with that. And she’s not a minority, sadly.
      I was so repulsed by it.

      And so many of them ended up with losers. Either these guys were cheats or doing something illegal. And the women never seemed to see the connection between HOW they decided on who to date and the quality of man they ended up with. It would end terribly and the violins would come out about how hard it was to find a “good man” out there! Such BS! If they wanted a good man, they wouldn’t be checking the content of his wallet instead of the contents of his character.

      To cut a long story short, I think it’s THOSE type of women I just described that he’s warning off in advance with his answers. As well he should. Why should he work hard and make smart choices just to fund some irresponsible other person who should be contributing their share?

    • Jayna says:

      I think he said the credit score bit to see if she’s fiscally responsiible and not somebody who doesn’t pay their bills or lives above their means using tons of credit cards. A good credit score doesn’t mean you necessarily make a lot of money.