Marvel Star Anthony Mackie Hasn’t Been Able to Watch Chadwick Boseman in his Final Role

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) star Anthony Mackie is currently making the press rounds for his new Netflix original film, Outside the Wire. Speaking with Extra TV, the actor — best known for playing Sam Wilson/Falcon in the MCU — touched on the tragic passing of his Avengers: Infinity War co-star, Chadwick Boseman.

In particular, Mackie discussed Boseman’s final live-action role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, for which the late actor is expected to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Mackie previously appeared in a stage production of the film’s source material early in his career.

Mackie and Boseman appeared in a handful of ‘Avengers’ films together

Chadwick Boseman attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.
Chadwick Boseman attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar. | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

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In Ma Rainey, despite not being the title character, Boseman plays the lead role of Levee Green, an ambitious and cocksure trumpeter in Ma Rainey’s studio band. Over the course of the film, Green clashes with his fellow musicians and becomes increasingly desperate to achieve his dreams.

Mackie told Extra TV that he has yet to actually watch the film. The actor said that the experience of watching his friend and co-star’s last appearance onscreen would be too emotional for him, at least for now.

“I haven’t seen it yet,” Mackie said. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom holds a very special place, with the relationship to that… and my relationship to Chad, I haven’t been able to pull myself to the point, emotionally, to be able to sit and take that experience in, because I wouldn’t be able to watch it for the performance and the art. It would just be too emotional of a process for me.”

Mackie previously appeared in a 2003 Broadway production of August Wilson’s original play. In it, he played Sylvester, Ma Rainey’s meek nephew who struggles to overcome a stutter while contributing to her recording process. With this past connection to the source material, it’s understandable why the adaptation would be an emotional experience for him.

The two actors had bonds beyond Marvel

(L-R) Marvel stars Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in front of a white background
Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Beyond their Marvel roles, Mackie spoke about the common country background that bonded himself and Boseman.

“You know, Chad and I, we were country boys,” Mackie explained. “You come home and, you know, your mama make them collard greens and cornbread, ya know? She makes them smothered turkey wings, some potato salad. That’s home.”

Mackie also said that he shared Boseman’s commitment to keeping work separate from home life and the desire to keep his personal life private. Boseman was so private that he was able to keep his years-long battle with colon cancer a secret until after his passing in Aug. 2020.

Mackie will next appear in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. The series is set to premiere on March 19.

Boseman had been planning to stick with Marvel prior to his death, believing that he could beat his illness and get back into shape in time for shooting on Black Panther II. Deadline reports that Marvel and director Ryan Coogler have decided to not recast Boseman’s role as King T’Challa in the highly-anticipated sequel.