‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Star Anthony Mackie Feels He Has a Responsibility To Keep Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy Alive

Anthony Mackie’s name has been in many headlines thanks to his starring role in Marvel’s new TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. On the show, he plays Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon, a superhero who works alongside Sebastian Stan, better known as the Winter Soldier, to fight crime.

Mackie joined an exclusive group when he became one of just a handful of Black actors to land a leading role as a superhero in a Marvel production. One of the only other people to accomplish the feat was Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther

Due to this fact, Mackie feels he has an added responsibility of upholding Boseman’s legacy as both an actor and a philanthropist.

Anthony Mackie feels responsible for upholding the legacy of Chadwick Boseman

Anthony Mackie attends "Seberg" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande
Anthony Mackie attends “Seberg” photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: Anthony Mackie Compares Marvel to ‘Winning an Oscar’

Mackie shared his thoughts on Boseman during a recent interview with Jemele Hill.

“I knew Chad for a very long time, we met in 1998, 1999, when he was at Howard,” Mackie said. “And I knew him for a long time, and I’m proud to say, in his legacy he left a generational turn of acceptance, of understanding.”

In the same interview, Mackie noted how 2020 was a pivotal year, full of many important conversations about race, equality, and justice. Boseman’s life work largely revolved around the same issues, which is why he feels a responsibility to continue Boseman’s legacy. 

“I think that’s why 2020 was so profound in so many different ways,” Mackie said. “And I think that’s why when you saw most of the protests, a vast majority of those people protesting were white. When you look around the world, a vast majority of those people protesting were white. So the responsibility for me would just be keeping his legacy, and his traditions that we’ve talked about—keep that going and keep it alive. Chad was a phenomenal human being and he was a beautiful brother. And he did everything the right way.”

He has a lot of respect for the community service Chadwick Boseman did

Later in the conversation, Mackie explained how Boseman’s personality and work inspired his performance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  

“Even down to him passing, nobody knew he was sick,” Mackie said. “His private life was private, his circle was tight, and people will never know the amount of philanthropic work, the amount of charity work, the amount of support that Chad gave people because he didn’t do it for press. He didn’t do it to be acknowledged, he did it because he was a good human being. And that’s something that with The Falcon, I definitely try to lean towards and carry on, that part of his legacy.”

He doesn’t think Chadwick Boseman’s role in ‘Black Panther’ should be recast

Because of Boseman’s incredible performance in Black Panther, Mackie doesn’t feel like his role should be recast to anyone else.

“No, you can’t recast it,” Mackie said. “I mean, he did that role in a way it’ll never be done again. And I would hate for an actor to have to pick up the baton that he left behind, because there’s no question he was a dynamic figure and an amazing actor. And just looking at the reaction to Black Panther, there’s nobody that could bring the grace to that role that he did. So I wouldn’t want to see Anthony Mackie as Black Panther, that would be awful.”

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is available for streaming on Disney+.