Anthony Mackie Loves His Anonymity, for Now

The Gangster Squad star has stayed under the radar; playing a superhero in two new films may change that.

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TR: What happened during the deleted Gangster Squad scene?

AM: It was very close to what happened in Colorado. We set up a sting on a guy, and he walks into a movie theater. We follow him and he comes from behind the screen, shooting at us. But not only is he shooting at us; he's also mowing down people in the theater trying to get to us. As artists, we have a social responsibility to our audience, and it would've been a huge travesty to leave that scene in without being sympathetic to what people experienced in Colorado.

TR: As a cast member of director Kathryn Bigelow's 2008 film, The Hurt Locker, what are your thoughts on her new film about capturing Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty?

AM: I think it was a travesty that she wasn't nominated for best director by the Academy Awards. She took a story that we all knew and followed every day and made it compelling and interesting, while putting all of her actors in a place to give their best performances. If that's not good directing, I don't know what is. Her movie was definitely better than eight of the nine films nominated for best film.

TR: In the upcoming The Avengers 2 and Captain America sequel, you'll play the Falcon. How are you preparing? One fan board said you'd have to bulk up and be sure to look exceptionally mean.

AM: That's funny! That's probably some fat dude in Connecticut saying, "You need to go to the gym!" I've actually become a gym rat again. But instead of getting bigger -- because the Falcon was written as a man who was 6 foot 4 and 230 pounds; he was massive -- mine is a different take on who he is, as opposed to being specific to the comic book, like all of the Marvel movies. You'll definitely get your Falcon fix, and I will look amazing!

TR: Will we ever see you on a TV show like Scandal with your former Night Catches Us co-star Kerry Washington?

AM: Scandal is a great show. I love to see my friends on TV and working, but doing TV takes a lot of time and takes you out of a lot of great film opportunities. But I'm looking forward to turning 55, getting on Law & Order: New Orleans and chilling out, but not yet. As for returning to Broadway, I'm looking for plays, but it's very difficult right now because I'm working on so many film projects.

TR: Like the Sundance entry The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. What's that film about?

AM: That's an amazing project, and one that I'm most proud to be a part of. It's about two little kids in Brooklyn trying to figure out how to grow up and be men in a society that does not support them in that challenge.