Anthony Mackie Talks ‘Civil War,’ Didn’t Know He Was An Avenger Until He Saw ‘Age of Ultron’

Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie is one of the most prolific actors this side of James Franco and since joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Sam Wilson / The Falcon just two years ago, has appeared in four Marvel films already with the biggest, Captain America: Civil War, set to blow the summer season’s door off its hinges on May 6.

As part of a deluge of set reports and interviews today as embargoes lift, Mackie sat down with IGN to discuss Falcon’s growing role in the MCU, when he found out he was officially an Avenger and much else.

According to Mackie, the Falcon’s role in Civil War is that of an audience surrogate and Sam’s as excited if not more that he gets to be an Avenger.

“I think the Russos and everybody are very specific about The Falcon’s storyline and how he feels about Steve and the rest of The Avengers. The idea of him becoming an Avenger is pretty cool. He’s pretty excited about it. We definitely get an element of that in the film.”

He also enthused about both Marvel’s and director Anthony & Joe Russo’s emphasizing the team aspect of the film by giving every character an arc.

“With being an Avenger there’s not really a hierarchy. Everybody gets to make decisions, everybody’s put in a position to save the day as opposed to standing there while one person flies in and saves the day and you’re like, “Good job!” Avengers is really a team effort.

I feel like if you watch the first one, it wasn’t about Tony saving the day by flying up into the hole with the nuke, but it was more so about everybody doing their own thing to make that happen. I feel like that theme carries on into a lot of Marvel movies, where it’s a team effort as opposed to one guy’s effort.

In this movie I get to interact with everybody as opposed to just interacting with Cap. I get to continue my un-dying love affair with Black Widow, which is good. [Laughs] I think more so in this one that I didn’t get to do before is become my own person. Now everyone knows who I am, so it’s not “Who’s the flying guy?” It’s more, “Hey, Falcon’s here.” You get to see my relationship with everyone else has grown as opposed to being the new guy on the team.”

Marvel is infamous for its secrecy and playing things close to the chest and that includes sharing scripts with its performers. For example, Mackie only ever read the two scenes his character from the Avengers: Age of Ultron script. It wasn’t until he was at the premiere with his son that he saw the final scene of that film with Falcon lined up alongside War Machine, Vision and Scarlet Witch as the New Avengers recruits.

“It’s weird. You never know. They never send you the whole script. Like when they asked me to do [Age of Ultron], they sent me two scenes. There are two hours and seven minutes around those two scenes, but I never got to read it. When we were at the premiere I was like “Cool.” I’m with my son and he gets to see his daddy in two scenes in The Avengers. By the end of the movie I turn around and they’re like “Avengers Assemble!” I’m like, “Holy s**t! I’m an Avenger!!” So I turn around to everybody with me and they were like, “Dude! You’re a f**kin’ Avenger!” “This is f**kin’ amazing.” So, that’s the story of my Marvel life.

I had no idea. I flew in, Chris and Scarlett are up top and the rest of us are standing there. It was like “Cut. Anthony fly in. Action. Hm-hm-hm. Cut. Alright, thanks!” That was pretty much it. Six months later you go to a premiere and you s**t yourself.

Everybody was like “Why are you so excited?” I’m like, “Arrhhhahhh… I just found out I’m an Avenger!” That’s pretty much how it happened over and over. That’s how Cap 2 happened, over and over and over again. So, I’m used to it. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen with this movie.”

The whole interview is well worth a read, if only because Mackie utters the words “balls hot.”

Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6. Here’s Marvel’s official synopsis.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.


Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn

Sam is a writer and journalist whose passion for pop culture burns with the fire of a thousand suns and at least three LED lamps.