Anthony Mackie used to get mistaken for Don Cheadle: ‘that’s the other black guy’

In Anthony Mackie’s “What I do in a day” video for Vanity Fair he said he runs four miles to the gym every morning to lift weights. (I still want to know how he gets home, does he run back or get a ride?) In the afternoon he does manual labor fixing up houses, which is his side job when he’s not acting. And he eats so healthy too, apart from his cheat day where he goes around New Orleans drinking signature cocktails at bars, but I digress. So Anthony is a natural fit to cover Men’s Health. Look at his biceps! The photos of him working out were fun to resize, I’ll say that. The interview is so good too. Anthony admits that being snubbed for an Oscar for The Hurt Locker was painful and lead him to take a year off. He also explains his approach to fame, which is smart and grounded. He’s confident but not an a-hole. (You may disagree, I’m ok with that.) Men’s Health sent us the pull quotes, and they’re good, but the article is well worth reading too. Mackie lost his mom in the late 90s and his dad after Hurricane Katrina. He’s also good friends with both Eminem and 50 Cent.

On getting mistaken for Marvel actor Don Cheadle earlier in his career:
“I’d be like, ‘That’s the other black guy.’ Now they know exactly who I am.”

On his passion of building and selling homes:
“It’s kind of like acting. You get a piece of paper with words on it, and you build that character. Then, when you watch, it’s 100 percent your creation.”

On going to VIP clubs in the early aughts with his entourage, including then-unknown rapper 50 Cent:
“He was a chubby dude! I was like, ‘This dude’s never going to make it!’”

On learning the unpredictable demands of celebrity following Spike Lee’s 2004 She Hate Me, which was dinged by critics:
“It was humbling. But it informed the way I’ve dealt with my career since: When you buy into celebrity, it can be taken away in an instant.”

On being stunned when his name wasn’t listed among The Hurt Locker’s nine Oscar nominations:
“That little f*ucker matters. We try to protect ourselves and say, ‘I’m doing the work for the work.’ But when that happened with Hurt Locker, it hurt. I had to take a year off of work.”

On lobbying Marvel, the studio where he’d always aspired to play a superhero:
“My line was, ‘Yo, I’m the black dude from The Hurt Locker. I would love to work with you guys.”

On being cast as Falcon in Winter Solider:
“Growing up, I’d always loved Falcon, because he was a comic-book hero who was black who didn’t have ‘Black’ in the title. He stood on his morals. He stood on who he was.”

On his 2013 arrest for driving under the influence in Harlem:
“It happened on 125th Street and Lenox – the epicenter of Harlem – with six white cops. I was like, Nah. This ain’t my city. It’s not my Harlem anymore. So I took the lesson: You’re not allowed to be a human being anymore. You’re not looked at or thought of as a citizen anymore.”

On deciding to return to his hometown of New Orleans:
“The thing about New Orleans that I love is that no matter who you are, you’re just as important as the guy next to you at the bar.”

On the recent seismic shift in casting superheroes:
“I knew the magnitude of Black Panther, just like I knew the magnitude of Wonder Woman. I’ve been saying for years: If you’re going to make any movie, you make those two movies, because they’re going to make a trillion dollars. They represent a whole different sector of our society that’s underrepresented and underappreciated.”

[From Men’s Health]

That’s crazy that people mistook Anthony for Don Cheadle! Cheadle is a much older guy at 54, but he says something similar, that people recognize him but usually don’t know his name or where they’ve seen him. I’ve been crushing on Anthony since 2010, and I told Kaiser that this interview was MINE to cover. I was so impressed by his approach to his career and how deliberate he is. He’s not top-level famous yet, but he’s on the cusp. Give Falcon a standalone movie and that will definitely change.

Men’s Health also has a video interview with Anthony where he has to either answer a tough question or eat some gross but healthy food. He does a Christopher Walken impression, he says whom Thanos should have killed for good, he ranks his Marvel costars’ acting and he said he’s not sure if he’s getting his own Captain America movie. Make it happen, Marvel people. We will watch it. Oooh and I saw Anthony’s episode of Black Mirror, it’s the first in this new season, five. It’s quite good actually and not as tough to watch as other Black Mirror episodes.




Photos credit: Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health received via promotional email

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

28 Responses to “Anthony Mackie used to get mistaken for Don Cheadle: ‘that’s the other black guy’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Rapunzel says:

    He’ll always be Papa Doc to me.

  2. Incredulous says:

    …Finger chin ups? *doffs cap nervously* That’s impressive as hell.

  3. elimaeby says:

    Anthony Mackie is on my forever crush list. I love that he lives a fairly normal life outside of his acting career. Also, the pictures of his workouts were definitely a nice pick-me-up for a Thursday morning. Thank you, Celebitchy!

  4. Zee says:

    I wish I could just take an entire year off whenever I face a disappointment in my life. Actors really live on another planet.

    • Harpersghost says:

      You did notice he has a second job building houses, right? When you have two jobs, you can take a break on one for a bit.

      • Zee says:

        I know plenty of people who work 2 or even 3 jobs and they definitely can’t take a break whenever they feel like it. They have to work their asses off just to support their families. The scenario you describe is far from being the norm.

    • Amaryis says:

      I assumed from his comment that he took a year off ACTING to reevaluate, not a year off from any work at all.
      I’m guessing he continued his construction work during that time.

    • Seán says:

      Agreed with Zee. I hate when actors bitch about not being nominated for an Oscar! It’s just an awards ceremony and sometimes you just don’t make the cut.

  5. Lucy says:

    The other day I watched 8 Mile after many, many years and only then did I realize he played Papa Doc!!! I felt so dumb, and still do. He’s a great actor. So is Don!

  6. Amaryis says:

    What the hell is wrong with people?
    He looks NOTHING like Don Cheadle.

    • entine says:

      I am not African American, and I notice the age difference. I do think they have a long thin face and similar dreamy eyes. In fact in movies, I think Don Cheadle and Mackie could play relatives or father-son. It’s my non African eye. I mistaken a gentleman for a coworker husband (he’s from Nigeria), the guy was Cuban, and they did look a bit similar, but I had seen my friend’s husband only once, so my eye is not well trained.

    • eto says:

      I know! I even pulled up a side by side pic, and the only feature they have in common is that they’re both black.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Agreed. And I could never mistake him for Cheadle, who is a FAR superior actor.

  7. Rapunzel says:

    Gotta say, I don’t like his answer on the drunk driving arrest. It sounds like he’s focusing on the cops rather than the fact he was stupidly driving drunk? Did anyone else feel that vibe? I get the whole “black people aren’t human to some white cops” fear, but he was being over and arrested for an actual reason. Or was he really innocent? I don’t know enough about the story, but he comes off as unapologetic about his dangerous behavior.

    • Lightpurple says:

      That bothered me as well. He was pulled over for erratic driving; refused to take the breathalyzer and coordination tests; was arrested, as is the norm when you refuse the tests; challenged it in court, claiming his eyes were red due to antihistamines; lost and had to take safe driving course, pay fines, and had his license suspended for 3 months

    • Kate says:

      Yes that was a TERRIBLE response, wtf

    • Mia4s says:

      I 100% got that vibe. But then I’ve 100% got that vibe from him for years. Do a little googling of his past interviews and it will pretty much kill any semblance of a crush…or like. Shame, because I like the character of Sam Wilson a lot.

    • eto says:

      Maybe it had to do with him being arrested by 6 cops for it.

      • Rapunzel says:

        eto- true story: one day, I was sick, and nobody could drive me to get medicine so I went to the store alone. As I was sick, I made the mistake of cutting off a woman on the freeway. She called the sheriff’s dept. (she had a friend there), not the highway patrol, and told them I was drunk. Gave them my license/location and followed me (apparently while talking to her sheriff dept. buddy). By the time I arrived at my house (I was too sick to realize I was being followed), 4 cop cars from the sheriff’s dept. and CHP (I’m in CA) pulled up behind me and demanded to test my breath for alcohol. As I was not drinking, I said, ok. It came back zero. They still arrested me, took me and demanded a drug test, all while not having actually seen me do anything wrong while driving. By the time they showed up I was parked and they were simply taking the other woman’s word I was swerving (which I wasn’t- I had just cut her off once). I sat in jail for hours before they let me go, and it was only because the drug test came back negative that I didn’t get charged with DUI. They still demanded to charge me with reckless driving. I fought it and it got dismissed so nothing happened. My point: That was 8 officers when I got arrested, and I am whiter than white in a little podunk CA central valley town. So 6 cops to get someone in NYC who is actually drunk? Not that strange. Even if it’s overkill, which it is (in both my case and Mackie’s) it doesn’t change the fact that unless you’re innocent, you have no right to complain about police as long as they don’t harrass or brutalize you (which Mackie doesn’t seem to be complaining of. )

  8. margedbarge says:

    I hate when people make excuses for driving under the influence.

  9. Original Jenns says:

    “So I took the lesson: You’re not allowed to be a human being anymore. You’re not looked at or thought of as a citizen anymore.” That’s the lesson you take from a DUI? Not that you may have a drinking problem, or you make bad choices? But that you’re the victim because you are black and/or famous and Harlem now has white cops? I’ll be sure to tell the victims of drunk drivers (I am currently working on a criminal vehicular homicide because of this) that this is the lesson we should all learn.

    Sorry, he teeters the line of confident and arrogant, but that statement shoves him over for me.

  10. Moco says:

    He was incredible in The Hurt Locker. Renner got a nomination but he should’ve won, he got robbed. The two of them are the whole movie and it’s so good… really holds up over the years, too.

  11. Tara says:

    I get the point he’s trying to make but he’s definitely not “one of the few” anymore or a trailblazer (Morgan Freeman, Lawrence Fishburn, Danny Glover, Samuel L Jackson are). Looks like he wants to diminish the history of black artists accomplishments to turn attention to himself. It’s probably so difficult to be straight attractive dude in multibillion franchise! Also, people get confused for each other all the time, especially Marvel’s Chrises

  12. eto says:

    I’ve only seen Mackie in Marvel films, but I thought he was really good in his Black Mirror episode! All 3 of the main actors performed really well, actually.

  13. Grant says:

    Sorry, but I think he’s an @$$hole. That answer to the drunk driving question REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe having six officers there to arrest him was overkill but that’s not the issue–the issue is that he was driving drunk. Also, was he really that great in the Hurt Locker? I remember thinking the movie was good but I don’t remember being blown away by his acting in particular. What I found most exciting about that movie was that it was directed by a woman.

  14. Wow2 says:

    On going to VIP clubs in the early aughts with his entourage, including then-unknown rapper 50 Cent:
    “He was a chubby dude! I was like, ‘This dude’s never going to make it!’”

    Awful but, it’s nice that the pressure to not be chubby doesnt all fall on the ladies