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Anthony Mackie Opens up About the Emotional Impact of Being Captain America

Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) gets ready for battle in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson is taking on Steve Rogers’ mantle, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy task for Anthony Mackie. In the world of the comics, both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have taken on the shield at different times, but with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it makes the most sense that Steve would pass the shield down to Sam for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that Sam Wilson is a “good man.”

But, again, taking on that mantle isn’t going to be easy for Sam as a character, and it isn’t something that Anthony Mackie is taking lightly, either. Talking with Deadline, Mackie opened up about what it means to him, specifically, to represent the shield:

You know what, to be honest, it’s very emotional. I’ve been in the business for 20 years and I’ve been fortunate to do some amazing stuff and work with amazing people. For me, to be a black man in 2019 and be given the helm of Captain America with the history of black men in this country is a monumental step, not only in entertainment, but also in my life. It’s been extremely emotional.

Mackie went on to talk about his own history (his grandfather was a sharecropper) and how now, in 2019, he’s taking on Captain America. It’s a powerful message not just to Mackie, but to audiences, as he pointed out that it isn’t just about having a black man as Captain America, but rather, that it opens the door for fathers to talk about it with their children and for fans to start to talk about what it means.

I think the great thing about this project, and the reason I feel this is like winning a lifetime achievement award, is because now as fathers we can sit down with our sons and have a different conversation.

While the interview is a beautiful look at how seriously Mackie is taking the title of Captain America now, as he’s heading into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it did bring light to an aspect of Marvel I never knew about before. Apparently, throughout the process of working on these characters, those in charge at Marvel actually let the actors have input into their characters and their motives.

What gets emotional about it is that they clearly trust those they have cast in a way that not many studios would.

We meet, we read the different scenes, go over it, rewrite it, tweak it to where it works. We’ve always done that. Marvel has always been very open-minded about letting us hone the scripts to our character.

The idea that Marvel lets their actors have a say in their characters is a new development and also very interesting. With how secretive everything is, to know that the actors bringing these iconic characters to life have any kind of say shows that, as much as Marvel wants to make money, they also care about the story that they’re telling.

Seeing Anthony Mackie take on Captain America is going to be an emotional moment, just as his getting the shield was, and it has me even more excited for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s arrival on Disney+ knowing that he’s going full Cap mode.

(via Syfy Wire, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!