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I know Anthony Mackie doesn’t elicit a lot of feelings from people, but I’ve liked him for years and am glad we’re getting a chance to talk about him. I appreciated that so many of you commented on the story about how he’s personally repairing hurricane-damaged homes in his native New Orleans. Also I’m sure his neutral public-facing image is cultivated. He hustles for his job when it’s required, but he’s focused more on the day-to-day in his life and isn’t caught up in fame. Mackie emphasized that in a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment. He said he doesn’t think that much about being Captain America and that he turns his phone off and does things like fishing, landscaping and building. He’s more stressed about whether his kids will text him back and what they’ll say. He also spoke quite a bit about how much he gets from giving back to his community. The quote in the title is actually a paraphrase because he said he gives someone the opportunity to make their home whole. (The full quote wouldn’t fit in our format.) Notice the distinction and how he’s not personally taking credit. Here’s more from Yahoo!:
On the pressure of fame
“I don’t care about that,” Mackie, who will soon star in a new Captain America film. “The pressure that comes along with being Captain America or being Falcon really is something I never think about or pay attention to. That’s why I live in New Orleans — the only thing I’ve got to worry about is where I’m getting my red beans on Monday.”
According to the father of four, the only feedback he truly cares about comes from his kids.
“Trying to get my kids to like me, that is the most stressful thing on earth,” he says with a smile. “I always said I didn’t want to be the cool parent, but now just … when I send my kids something and they send something back, that is the most stressful [process]. Like, you sit there and wait to see if they’re gonna text you back; you call and you see if they’re gonna call you back. It’s one of those things where I never realized how you go through the whole scope of your life not caring about recognition or acceptance from anybody. And this one 3-year-old can break your heart in 30 seconds.”
On his volunteer work
“A lot of times you drive past people and you never know what their experience is in day-to-day life,” he says. “So when I give back, it’s really an opportunity to see what other people are going through and how other people live, so I can know how fortunate I am and so I can know how fortunate my kids are.
“After [Hurricane] Katrina, I learned very quickly that there’s nothing more important than home,” he adds. “So to give somebody the opportunity to make their home whole, holistically that helps me mind, body and soul because it makes me feel good. And I learn a little bit more about myself. It’s not so much I need a pat on the back or not so much I want the recognition, but the idea of seeing someone smile — seeing someone being transformed by the idea of social work and aid — if I can give that little bit of joy, that makes me feel good as well.”
On his passions in life
“I’m a really big outdoor person,” Mackie, 44, says. “I always say I’m not a cellphone person. I love taking my cell phone and leaving it somewhere and not looking at it all day. As long as I know my kids are good, I’m good. I love to go fishing. I love to be out in the woods. I love to be out in the backyard, doing some landscaping in my yard or just building stuff.
“I’ll build anything — I don’t care if it’s Popsicle sticks,” the father of four adds with a laugh. “Just something to take my mind off the outside world, because we’re faced with so much ridicule and judgment and so many questions. At what point do you step away from that and just take care of yourself? So I use those things to kind of take care of my mental [health].”
I like how he explains his volunteer work as benefitting him too and how he’s able to turn his phone off when he needs a break. I wish I was able to disconnect like that, but I worry that I’ll miss something if I leave my phone home. Yahoo! has clips from their video interview with Mackie and these quotes mean more when you see him say them. There’s something unsaid in his comments about his kids though. I know what he means about kids being brutal but these are very much the concerns of a divorced dad. We know that he split with his first wife a few years ago and that they have four sons. I thought his youngest son was at least five though. Maybe he’s talking about his youngest when he first started talking to him on the phone. I’m here for the new Captain America so honk if you want more stories about Mackie.