The new show debuted on March 19 and is the second series to be part of the MCU’s Phase 4, after the critically lauded Wandavision. While that show featured an existential mystery and focused on the magic and mysticism of the shared universe, Falcon and the Winter Soldier focuses on grittier military action
Falcon has had a wide arc since debuting in comics in 1969, rising from minor character to full-fledged Avenger and Defender before eventually donning the weighty shield himself as Captain America in 2014. Mackie himself is no stranger to hustle. The 42-year-old actor has nearly two decades of credits in theater, television and film and has risen, like his character, from understudy to leading man.
Just a few years into his film career, Mackie landed a lead role in Spike Lee’s 2004 film, She Hate Me.His character, the third wheel in a bisexual threesome, wasn’t the most popular lead in a Lee film and despite the film not being a particular hit, Mackie returned to work with the director later that year in the Showtime film, Sucker Free City.
While Mackie plays a supporting role to one of Marvel’s most upright superheroes in the MCU, his cinematic debut was backing up a character much shadier. In 2002, just a year after graduating from Julliard, the actor performed in the Eminem vehicle 8 Mile.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is home to dozens of A-list and legendary actors. With fan-favorite characters being added to the universe with the addition of each film and series, competition for the roles is as brutal as it gets. Still, when chief creative officer and producer Kevin Feige spoke to Variety about their newest show, he made a point of mentioning that Anthony Mackie never had to audition.
The Marvel producer went on to point out that Mackie had the kind of versatility needed to tackle a character who evolves from a supporting role to his own independent hero status.