Anthony Mackie: ‘Being the title character in a Marvel movie, Black actors don’t get that’

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Spoilers for past episodes of Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Disney and Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale was last week. We sort-of find out who will take up the mantle as the next Captain America. We are assuming that Sam Wilson is stepping into the Marvel Universe as the next Cap which means that Anthony Mackie will presumably be headlining the next Captain America movie. Despite news about the fourth installment of the Captain America franchise, we didn’t get confirmation on who would be headlining the movie. Marvel has left everyone in the dark including Anthony. In a conversation with USA Today, Mackie stated that he found out that there will be another Captain America movie from a guy at the grocery store. Below are a few highlights from that interview.

On if it ever occurred to him that he would be Captain America
Literally not once did I think they would bring that [comic storyline] into the film universe. Marvel doesn’t follow the comic books point-for-point. I never considered the idea of becoming Captain America. Chris, Sebastian and I we’ve always had fun together. The three of us being together is way cooler and way more fun than me sitting in the bushes trying to get Chris Evans’ job.

America struggles with acknowledgement for Black Americans and their contributions for what this country has become. It meant a lot to Sam simply for Bucky to say ‘I never considered what it would mean to a Black man to become Captain America.’

The idea of being the title character in a Marvel movie, there’s no words to describe it, especially as a Black actor. Black actors don’t get that opportunity. To have the opportunity, for all the stuff that I had to do to get here, it would be a monumental feat.

On if he’s cooler to his kids now
With my boys, I’m very frank and blunt with them about what it means to sacrifice. A lot of people don’t realize as actors how much we give up in order to be successful in our field. The five of us were watching it together. The two little ones [he has four boys ages 4, 5, 8 and 11] looked at the tv and they go ‘dad, that guy looks just like you.’ The other one goes ‘he sounds just like you too.’ They look at me, ‘dad, you could be Captain America.’ The other two started laughing. And they’re like ‘can we have some more popcorn?’

The 11 and 8 year-old get it. To them it’s really cool. The little ones they just don’t get how you could be on TV and on the couch at the same time.

On rumors of a Captain America 4 movie
I love working with Marvel because you literally find out stuff from people at the grocery store. I had no idea. They didn’t call me or tell me. Literally the dude at the grocery store takes off his mask and goes ‘are you really starting part 4?’

‘What are you talking about?’ He takes out his phone ‘look that’s you!’

Nobody told me! I found out in the grocery store buying red beans and rice.

[From video on USA Today]

Kevin Feige runs a tight damn ship. How do you NOT tell the people working on the shows and movies the plot? I am sure they do that to keep cast and crew from leaking because some of them have very loose lips. But I would be nutty as an actor if I didn’t get the script for each episode until the week before the shoot. I have to see all of the pieces so that I know how to maneuver. But the fact that Anthony STILL doesn’t know if he’ll actually be Captain America says a lot.

I am already married to Sam taking up the mantle and being the first Black Captain America in the cinematic universe. I am also looking forward to the exploration of Isaiah Bradley’s story and to see Bucky as Sam’s sidekick. The FATWS series set us up for the next Captain America movie.

Anyways, Mackie has really grown on me these last few years. I love how Mackie’s younger children don’t care about him being Captain America. It was wonderful to hear Mackie talk about the sacrifices that actors have to make in order to be a leading man or woman. I think many people don’t realize how straining pursuing a creative career can be on relationships. I really believe that Mackie can carry the future Captain America franchise, especially if the writing is as good as episodes five and six of FATWS.

Full interview here:

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19 Responses to “Anthony Mackie: ‘Being the title character in a Marvel movie, Black actors don’t get that’”

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  1. Lauren says:

    I have really enjoyed the Captain America movies (except the first one, that one was just cringy), Anthony Mackie is a good actor, and I liked him as Falcon. I will be looking forward to him as Captain America.

  2. Heidi Davis says:

    I am really enjoying Oya’s article! More Oya!!

  3. Lanagen says:

    Well more black men than women of any color so far…

    I’ve found mackie gross since his comments on how a woman’s job should be to “make daddy a sandwich”

    • North of Boston says:

      Captain Marvel?

    • FF says:

      Their definitely are more Black male superpowered characters than Black women (there’s Monica Rambeau, Storm, and Shuri, like that’s it pretty much outside of one or two mutant characters). I wish there were more. Marvel’s been adding more and more WoC to the MCU, though.

      There were plenty in just FATWS. I honestly hope they get more WoC in the writers room to write these characters (and more women on the crew in general), and not one or two but four or five. WandaVision fell down for me because the writing for Monica Rambeau.

  4. Asking for a friend says:

    Representation is so important! Hopefully a new generation of Black/Brown/Asian/ Indigenous kids will grow up seeing themselves as heroes instead of trite caricatures.

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    Mackey is definitely going to headline Captain America 4. Marvel has been sitting on this since Falcon & Winter Soldier wrapped. They snuck in an untitled movie for release in May 2022. People have been going crazy trying to figure out what it was going to be. I’m thrilled for Anthony. I’m thrilled black kids will have another hero to look up to. As Sam says…he had to take up the mantle for those that came before him and fought for this country, who helped build it. It’s a proud moment for the black community.

  6. nicegirl says:

    Great great great

  7. nicegirl says:

    I’m in! Love this so much

  8. SarahCS says:

    Captain America was never one of my favourites in the series of films but I’ve absolutely loved TFATWS, way more than I expected to so I am absolutely here for this if they can continue with the same quality and social commentary.

  9. jferber says:

    An amazing actor (and hot, too). I saw Anthony Mackie in a movie on Criterion (I forgot the name) based on the Harlem Renaissance and modern times as well. He looked exactly the same 16 years ago as he does now. I’d like to see him in a lot more movie roles because he is so versatile and so talented.

  10. Cessily says:

    Deleted

  11. IMARA219 says:

    As long as you are not toxic and contributing to toxic stereotypes…. “I’m rooting for everybody Black”. I’m glad he’s getting his own movie and what that represents for the next phase and for diversity. From looking at the promotional material for Falcon and Winter Solider they heavily feature non-ambiguous Black women in fun roles so I’m here for it.

    • Courtney B says:

      Not really? There’s Sam’s sister Sarah who is in a few episodes and Ayo of the ass kicking Dora Milaje and that’s it. Sarah is okay but hers is basically’the sister’ role but the actress makes the most out of it and has a good rapport with mackie. Florence ‘move or be moved’ Kasumba is the bomb and she’s not in it near enough. She had great chemistry with Sebastian Stan and, along with my gripes about how his character was short changed, I would’ve loved to have seen more of the two of them in wakanda. But the episode where she puts the hurt on John Walker is a must watch.

      • Veronika says:

        Several other BIPOC & biracial actresses were in the series: the actress who played Karli, the actress who played Walker’s wife/girlfriend, some of the Flag Smashers, an older actress that played a politician in the last episode….

  12. Cessily says:

    He is fun to watch! Love the depth they are bringing to his “Captain America” storyline. So glad he followed this character to the small screen. They need to keep him and the originally winter soldier together in the next movie.

  13. Courtney B says:

    I don’t want Bucky to be the sidekick to Captain America again. He got done dirty in the show and I want him on his own. Sam as cap is great and I had multiple arguments when endgame came out about not just why Bucky shouldn’t get the shield (he also takes it up in the comics) but why Sam should. But the show could’ve just been Falcon. They needed two more episodes and tighter structure. There were great episodes particularly the Isaiah Bradley ones and some that were meh. But there was way too much going on and seemed a lot of ‘let’s set up future shows and movies’. And too many scenes which were exposition dumps because they had cut corners. And that includes Sam’s four minute long speech that was that long because they’d shortchanged the story and needed to have him explain what the flag smashers were about in the first place. The finale almost ruined the whole series for me because it was super clunky just like the finale of WandaVision. The best part was Sam fully taking up the mantle and the end with Isaiah Bradley. Bucky had a great story to tell, one CA fans have been watching build up since 2011 and now it was half assed and is done. But I’ll be in line, as always, for CA4 because the MCU owns me and I’ve always liked mackie in the role from the minute he said ‘on your left’.

    And if you haven’t read it, you should check out Mackie’s story of how he found out he’d be getting the shield. More MCU secrecy—he didn’t find out until he was at Evans’s house to watch a game and Chris brought it up. When Mackie was like ‘huh, what’re talking about?’ Chris, who had the full thing, ran down and got his script. Then they cried manful tears over it. :) It’s better when Mackie tells it. Lol

    • FF says:

      I don’t think Bucky is going to be Capt. Sam’s sidekick, they already set up Torres for that.

      They’re clearly doing something else with Bucky, there were way too many Wakanda references, and they didn’t even exile him proper in the end.

  14. BothSidesNow says:

    Now let’s have a Black James Bond. It’s time and is beyond time and Daniel Craig has stated that he is done with the Bond movies, no Broccoli kids, get a damn black Bond!!!