Anthony Mackie Talks Playing The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

We’ve heard Pain & Gain star Anthony Mackie talk about playing The Falcon in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, even going as far as to say that he plays “an integral role” in the film. Now, speaking with EW, Mackie had a little more to say about his experience on the film and playing the iconic character.

“It’s a cool story and brings in some amazing characters and the Falcon is one of the things that fans are already excited about,” Mackie said. “It’s a movie that has kind of turned into a bigger-than-life opportunity for me. I’ve had these little milestones along the way and now to play a superhero and to work with people like Robert Redford, Sam Jackson, and Chris? It’s just turned into this amazing moment.”

Mackie says the character won’t just “fall into” his position like so many other heroes, saying that he’s “a really smart guy who went through major military training and becomes a tactical leader,  he’s not some guy that fell into this.”

The Falcon is a character that is most well known for the tradition of being one of the first African American superheroes, and Mackie isn’t taking the character’s ideals or traditions lightly.

 “The most important thing I got from everybody at Marvel about the Falcon was the need to show that he’s a very righteous, man-forward kind of guy. He would do anything to protect the man next to him and to protect his country. That’s the integrity of the character and the integrity of the man and that that’s what I have focused on.”

“The biggest thing for me, the most exciting thing for me, is to come out on Halloween and see all the little black kids dressed up like the Falcon. There are so many parts of our society that are not catered to or represented fully and this will give a new generation of our society someone to look up to and identify with. That’s why I am so intensely focused on bringing the character to life in a special way.”

Set to also star Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Maximiliano Hernández, Robert Redford and Georges St-Pierre, the story picks up where Marvel’s The Avengers left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014.