CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Sam Wilson is an ex-military paratrooper who works with veterans in Washington, D.C. Secretly trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack, Falcon becomes an indispensable ally when he teams up with Captain America and Black Widow to run a danger-filled race to halt an impending threat in its tracks.
Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / The Falcon
Hands down, the interview with Anthony Mackie was the funniest interview EVER! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. There are some things that aren’t appropriate to share on my website, but suffice it to say he’s HILARIOUS!! I’m going to give you a glimpse of some of my favorite questions and answers from his interview.
Did you go see the film over the weekend? If you did you know that Anthony Mackie is absolutely amazing as The Falcon. He’s funny, headstrong, smart, and hard not to love. If you haven’t seen it yet…what are you waiting for?!? Check out my review of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Last week, I also posted my interviews with Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and Producer Kevin Feige. I’ll be posting my interview with Sebastian Stan, THE WINTER SOLIDER himself, later this week.
Some of my favorite moments from the Anthony Mackie interview.
How is it [being The Falcon]?
When I first started acting I was like, there are two things I want to do. I want to be a superhero. And I want to do a Western, preferably with Clint Eastwood. Then Morgan Freeman took my role in UNFORGIVEN. (He laughs) When I got this call, I kinda put things in perspective. I feel like a lot of people are famous for different reasons. Some people are famous because they’re handsome. Some people are famous because they’re British. I’m very happy that I’m famous because I can act. And I feel like this is a job I got because I deserved it.
When you found out you got the role…did you call anyone [who has worked on a Marvel movie] to give you any pointers?
No. I, I did not want to mess up my experience. I completely wanted to come into this naïve, ignorant and like my virginal eyes not knowing anything. So when I showed up — you know, it’s funny ’cause Sam [Samuel L. Jackson] has done like 15 Marvel movies. And Chris and Scarlett have done like 6 each. And you know, Sebastian has done 3.
So I was like don’t kill my vibe. Like I’m having a good time, we’re doing a Marvel movie, we get the best craft services. We’re in California. We basically shut down the city of Cleveland. So it’s like, wow, I know how Denzel feels. I was soakin’ it up. I was really, I — Chris and I have a very good relationship. And literally got to the point where we would show up on set. And we were like seven-year-olds. I mean, we had that first day where it’s like, deal with 35-year-old men in costume.
We’re losers. (He laughs) And then the next day we started making fun of each other. Done it next week, done the next month. And then it just turned into this thing, where it became infectious. It’s fun when you go to work knowing you’re gonna make a quality product. Because as actors there’s so many people with, you know, daddy issues that mess up movies. You know, it’s like, oh, I’m gonna edit it this way. Or, I didn’t have a girlfriend in high school so I’m gonna do this. And it’s like, Dude, just make a movie! I feel like this, working with Marvel is one of those studios where you go to work and you know everybody leaves their stuff at the door. And they just want to make a good project. So you know, once we got over our suits, we had a good time.
How was [The Falcon] costume? Was it wire work?
It was no fun. The hardest working actors in Hollywood are flying superheroes. I said it, I don’t care what Thor says with his hammer. I don’t care what Wolverine — I don’t — if you fly, it sucks. It’s just the simple stuff.
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 the missile is coming and Daffy’s — Bugs Bunny’s like paused — and puts Daffy in. And he just takes every — the brunt of every hit for me. And I love it. My first day on set, — there’s nothing natural about flying, to humans. There’s nothing we do that’s like flying. So my first day on set I walk in, I’m like, “What’s up, yo. Falcon in the building, what’s up?” Right.
So I get up on like a 60 foot platform. And I’m like, all right, let’s do this. 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, once we did that, in a [scorching] heat of the day, I knew what I was in for. It just got worse from there. It was really painful and exhausting. But Aaron Toney, my stuntman, literally, he fell out of a car at 40 miles an hour. He got messed up on this movie. So kudos to him.
What did you do to train and prepare for this film?
Salmon, chicken, tuna fish, asparagus. And a cup of brown rice at noon. Every day. For three months. I did in high school — high school football?
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 get ready, go to the gym for a hour and you do cardio.
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 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. 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’. No more pizza, like all the things I love.
Me and my girlfriend Haagen Dazs broke up. She French, it was crazy. I had to contain myself. And then I show up and you know, Chris looks like a Greek god.
…I put my costume on, everybody was like, “Damn, we got to let out the air.” But I made it through it. I got back together with my girlfriend Haagen Dazs. Yeah, it was a grueling three months.
How do you feel about being the first African-American superhero?
It’s funny you should ask that. It’s cool. I feel like when I was a kid, I really didn’t have that 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 seven years old and say, “Who do you want to be for Halloween?” “Shaft,” you know.
So it’s really exciting. 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. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino super hero, there should be…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. 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.
The Falcon goes back to the ‘60s. Which versions of the Falcon did you go back to for the character to draw on?
The Falcon is interesting because if you look at the Falcon, the reason I commend Marvel for putting the Falcon in this movie is, the Falcon’s history is something very unique to the comic book world. Because usually in comic books they’ll introduce a character, if it doesn’t hit they’ll just let ‘em fall off into the sunset. But with the Falcon, Marvel made a unique choice to get him right. So he had about three or four different incarnations in the life of the comic book. If you read like in the ‘60s, he was a hustler from Harlem, that moved to California and became a pimp.
You know, keepin’ it real. And (he laughs) flew to Brazil to pick up some drugs. Crashed and was drug into a lab and made the Falcon. Then, the second incarnation, then the third incarnation where he became a military technician and a military expert. And then the Falcon that we know now. So as African-American culture evolved in America, so did the Falcon. And that’s very unusual, not only for the Falcon but for anybody or any character in any movie or anything.
So I tried to stay away from the source material because I felt like what the writers gave me with this was the introduction of the Falcon. So whatever I give you, that’s who he is. For all the time in all the Marvel movies. So I just took what I had in the script, and worked primarily on that. I felt like the military history he had, and the relationship he has with Steve in this movie, is much more important than who he was in the comic books. Because I felt like if that relationship was grounded in truth and it worked, the rest of the movie would work. So I really just focused on, you know what exactly are the side effects and repercussions of PTSD?
How exactly do you overcome that? And when it’s overcome is it like drugs, is it a work in progress everyday? Or is it like something, once you’re over it you’re over it and I’m good. Or is it person to person stuff like that? I just asked a bunch of different questions along those lines. So a lot of my research came from soldiers I’ve met during HURT LOCKER. And doing charitable work with the Navy. So I emailed a bunch of guys and got a lot of stuff online, a lot of videos. Lot of depositions with soldiers coming back and just talking about their experiences and where they are now. I just used that stuff and just tried to ground him in the history that was him, as opposed to the history that was the comic book.
Clips and Featurettes
Good Guys vs. Bad Guys
TV Spot 1
The Falcon Featurette
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Activity Book
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