‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Star Anthony Mackie Says Playing Sam Wilson ‘Has Been His Oscar’

Anthony Mackie is no stranger to the Marvel universe, as he’s been starring in Captain America and Avengers films since 2014. However, until recently, he’s never had a leading role in a Marvel project. That all changed when Marvel released the limited TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, in mid March.

The hit series has been getting Mackie a ton of praise, and working on the show has clearly been a fun experience for him. 

In fact, Mackie has enjoyed playing the character so much that he once compared the experience to winning an Academy Award. 

Anthony Mackie didn’t like comic books growing up

Anthony Mackie attends the European premiere of 'Captain America: Civil War'
Anthony Mackie attends the European premiere of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

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Surprisingly, even though Mackie has had such a great time playing the Falcon, he was never a comic book reader growing up. He revealed the shocking truth during an interview with Vanity Fair

“I had no experience with comics, whatsoever,” Mackie said. “I didn’t read comic books, comic books weren’t my thing.”

Even though Mackie didn’t care much about comic books, his brother was an avid reader and owned a huge collection. Unfortunately, instead of reading them, Mackie spent a lot of his time destroying his brother’s comic books as a kid. 

“My brother had crates and crates of comic books, and he used to beat me up because I would rip his comic books up, and that was it,” Mackie said. “So when I found out about the Falcon, when I got the opportunity to meet with Joe and Anthony Russo and Nate Moore…”

He always wanted to play a superhero in movies

Even though he never read comic books, Mackie still had the desire to play one in a movie. Later in the interview, he revealed that playing a superhero was one of two major goals he had when his career started. 

“When I started in this business, I told my agent at the time [that] I wanted to do a Western, because I grew up loving Clint Eastwood and all of his Westerns, and Gunsmoke and Silverado,” Mackie said. “And I wanted to be a superhero. Those were my two things. Other than that, it’s free game.” 

Anthony Mackie feels honored to play the Falcon for a few reasons

For many of Marvel’s actors, landing a role with the franchise is a dream come true. Mackie is one of those people. 

“It was monumental, the Falcon has been my Oscar,” Mackie said. “I feel like there are few rewards that could justify a career, a body of work, the way Marvel has entrusted with me this character.”

While other actors may have their own reasons for appreciating their roles in the MCU, Mackie’s have nothing to do with him. 

“Not just for the African American community, but just the veteran community in general. I think what that represents, not only to Marvel but to America, is very important,” Mackie said. “And I’m very honored to play that role.”