‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: Anthony Mackie Really Got Punched in the Face By Georges St-Pierre

It’s safe to say Anthony Mackie has been enjoying life lately. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star recently made headlines when it was revealed that he’d be the new Captain America, replacing Chris Evans

However, even though Mackie’s had a lot of fun watching and reacting to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with fans, filming the show wasn’t always a joyful experience. 

Believe it or not, the talented actor took a real punch to the face from MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre, who plays the mercenary Batroc, while filming their intense fight scene. 

Anthony Mackie took a real punch from MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre while filming ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

Anthony Mackie attends the UK Film Premiere of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" at Westfield London
Anthony Mackie attends the UK Film Premiere of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” at Westfield London | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

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Mackie talked about his painful experience shooting the fight scene during a recent interview with USA Today

“We were doing our fight sequence and he actually punched me in the face,” Mackie said. “And I have to say, I took a full punch from Georges St-Pierre and I did not go down. Everybody saw it, they have it on tape. And then I took a full kick to the chest and I went down, but it didn’t knock me out.”

Just for a little perspective, Georges St-Pierre is a highly respected retired MMA fighter. Over the course of his career, he won 26 of his 28 matches, winning 8 by knockout. Fight Matrix lists him as the top MMA welterweight of all time and the most accomplished fighter in MMA history.

St-Pierre plays Batroc, one of Captain America’s most enduring enemies, in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and is clearly not someone Mackie wants punching him in the face. 

He initially felt like playing Captain America was the worst job 

After getting socked in the face, Mackie had a hard time feeling excitement about becoming the new Captain America. 

“It was a long day. So by the time I got to the ‘I’m Captain America’ moment, I was like, ‘Dude, this is the worst job. I want to go back to being the Falcon. Just leave me alone.’”

Anthony Mackie and Georges St-Pierre’s fight scene was very complicated 

A big reason why St-Pierre botched his fight scene with Mackie is because executing fight choreography is very difficult on screen. 

“It is complicated, but Disney and Marvel are the best at putting it all together,” St-Pierre told Global News. Director Kari Skoglund gave me great guidance points, like the Russo brothers did in Winter Soldier. They knew it’s a new thing for me.”

According to St-Pierre, he has a hard time faking punches on TV because of the exaggerated motions fight choreography requires. 

“When you fight for real, everything stays sharp and short, but when you fight for the camera, you need to do everything big, which you cannot do if you fight for real because by telegraphing your punches and kicks, your opponent will see it coming and adapt. But for the camera, it looks good, so that’s the major difference.”

Georges St-Pierre loves Anthony Mackie

Even though St-Pierre’s punch really hit Mackie, there’s no bad blood between them. St-Pierre told Global News that he loves Mackie and has great respect for him as an actor. 

“Also, to play with Anthony Mackie was a great learning experience because he’s an amazing actor and I’m someone that likes to learn by observing. Anthony is someone that makes everybody laugh on set. He’s an extremely charismatic person with a great sense of humour. I think he could be a comedian if he wanted to. He’s just that good.”