You can always rely on Anthony Mackie to come up with the best compliments for his male co-stars (Ryan Gosling, you may remember, is "a delicious little petit four"), so when we caught up with Mackie yesterday at the 10 Years brunch thrown by Grey Goose, we invited him to wax rhapsodic about his 10 Years co-star Channing Tatum. He delivered: "Channing has the ass of a 25-year-old black woman." Has Mackie actually told him this? "Every day," he laughed. "And I have a posterior, too. We make jokes about it."
Mackie won't have much time to rest on that posterior: He's about to embark on an 11,000-calorie-a-day diet to play the Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. "He's known for his physique. He's described as 6'3", 245 pounds, so starting Monday, for the next five months until we start shooting, I'm going back to high-school workouts and start doing two-a-days, so I get up to 230 pounds." Sounds major! "I'm going to try not to get a job between now and then, so I can really focus on this. Because Chris Evans is in such good shape! I'm just a dude he dragged into the lab that he injected with some shit, but I got to stand next to him. So we shall see!"
The character, an ally to Captain America, was a groundbreaking addition to the Marvel comic-book canon as the company's first black superhero, a fact that wasn't lost on Mackie's family. "When I got the part, I called my brother, and I told him, 'Guess what I'm doing.' And I told him the movie and who I was playing, and he literally just gave me a litany of history about this character. He went in his closet, and he dug out a copy of the very first Captain America with the Falcon in it. So I said to him, 'Holy shit, you're an Über-nerd!'"
Is Mackie up to the challenge of taking on such a pivotal character? "I feel like every kid deserves a hero, you know?" he said. "And now that Spider-Man is Latino, I'm happy that little black kids are going to have the opportunity to say, 'Hey, I want to be the Falcon.' You know? So it's cool."