Anthony Mackie: The snub at the Oscars made me approach Marvel for superhero role in MCU
Despite the critical acclaim for his performance in Hurt Locker, Mackie was passed over for an Academy Award nomination, while the film eventually won six awards out of the nine nods it received
Actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Sam Wilson aka Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, says he decided to approach Marvel Studios for a role in its superhero films after he was snubbed of an Oscar nomination for The Hurt Locker.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the 2008 war drama was a major critical success for the 40-year-old actor, who prior to that played small roles in films such as Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, Half Nelson, and Eagle Eye.
But despite the critical acclaim for his performance, Mackie was passed over for an Academy Award nomination, while the film eventually won six awards out of the nine nods it received.
"I put everything in that movie. That kind of thing (Oscars) matters. We try to protect ourselves and say, 'I'm doing the work for the work.' But when that happened with Hurt Locker, it hurt. I had to take a year off of work," the actor said, in a recent interview.
After the year break, which he called was "very therapeutic", Mackie apparently decided to approach Marvel Studios.
"My line was 'Yo, I'm the black dude from Hurt Locker. I would love to work with you guys'," the actor recalled.
At first, Mackie auditioned for the role of Mandarin in Iron Man 3, a part which went to Ben Kingsley but his screen test impressed director Joe Russo and producer Nate Moore, who were looking for an actor to play Sam Wilson aka Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Mackie said he loved the character since his childhood, particularly because he did not have 'Black' title before him.
"Growing up, I'd always loved Falcon, because he was a comic-book hero who was black who didn't have 'Black' in the title. He stood on his morals. He stood on who he was," he said.
Mackie has since played the part in a total of six MCU films. He is set to reprise the role in the upcoming Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.