Tuesday, June 18, 2013

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2: Sam Wilson / Falcon Actor Anthony Mackie Talks About Portraying the First African-American Superhero

As Captain America: The Winter Soldier finishes its last few days of filming in Cleveland, it will move back to Los Angeles for production at the end of June. It will officially wrap in L.A. as well.

One of the most talked about characters in the sequel is Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. Entertainment Weekly had a chance to speak with the actor about his role in the new Captain America film and about portraying the comic book world's very first African-American superhero—he debuted in 1969 in Captain America No. 117—on the big screen. (Side note: some are emailing saying Black Panther is the first but do not forget he is just the first African superhero, not African-American superhero which is Falcon.)

"Over the decades in comics, the back story of the Falcon has been revised and retooled but in the Marvel Studios universe he is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., making him a professional peer of Black Widow and Hawkeye although his sense of duty makes him less cynical and closer to the salute-the-flag sensibility of Rogers. Mackie said the film version of the Falcon is “a really smart guy who went through major military training and becomes a tactical leader, he’s not some guy that fell into this.”

Mackie continued to talk about how much integrity and righteousness he had to give the character in the sequel.

“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.”

Finally, he commented on how excited he is for Halloween and to be a superhero role model for African-American youth.

“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.”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014.