“Avengers: Endgame” Star Anthony Mackie for “Men’s Health” Magazine

Posted on June 26, 2019

“Avengers: Endgame” star Anthony Mackie covers the July/August 2019 issue of Men’s Health magazine photographed by Ture Lillegraven.

 

 

 

On his outlook after graduating from New York City’s Julliard School in the early ‘00s: “I thought I was going to have a Morgan Freeman career, doing great work until, all of a sudden, I get one big job at 50 and everyone’s like, ‘Who is this guy?’” Instead, Mackie’s been accruing a filmography full of “little flag moments, with Endgame being the pinnacle.”

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 his role in Spike Lee’s 2004 social satire 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 Soldier: “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.”

On the future of Marvel resting largely on the shoulders of Mackie and his peers: “It’s funny, because I feel like my friends are way more excited than I am, because I know the amount of work that has to go into it. They’re just excited to say that I have to buy drinks now. I but I definitely wouldn’t call it a burden. I would more so call it an opportunity.”

 

 

[Photo Credit: Ture Lillegraven/Men’s Health Magazine]

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