New Orleans Actor Anthony Mackie: The Next Captain America (And Audition Tips for Local Actors)


Trey Guillotine, Entertainment Editor

Takeshi Kovacs, the Last Envoy, a highly skilled freedom fighter from a bygone era, continues his search for his lost love, Quellcrest Falconer. Taking place 30 years after the events of the first season of Netflix’s sci-fi film noir action series, “Altered Carbon,” season two sees Kovacs returning to Harlan’s World, his home planet and the richest mining operation of Elder technology, a species long dead. Following a clue to Falconer’s whereabouts puts him in the crosshairs of bounty hunters, the universe’s governing body called the Protectorate and a conspiracy dating back over three hundred years. 


Taking over the role from Joel Kinneman as Takeshi Kovacs inhabits a new “sleeve” (human consciousness is now held on small data drives than can be interchangeable from one body to the next), popular New Orleans actor Anthony Mackie picks up where the last season left off, plus some 30 years. Following Kovacs investigation, as he digs deeper to the source of the dark secrets of Harlan’s World, season two throws a lot of complicated world-building at the audience. Mackie doesn’t miss a beat as the anti-social investigator with a heart of gold introduced in the first season. This role is made even more difficult when having to mimic the acting styles of other actors who have played Kovacs, like Kinnaman and Will Yun Lee, who plays Kovacs’ “birth sleeve.” But just like the others, Mackie delivers on the familiar character of Kovacs while making the role his own. If Lee is the young soldier and Kinnaman is the brooding detective, then Mackie succeeds in combining the two previous incarnations into the warrior fighting for love, but still with a lot of brooding. 


This, of course, isn’t Mackie’s first role in science fiction or action. While the NOLA actor has plenty of dramatic performances under his belt, like playing Martin Luther King Jr. in “All the Way” (2016) and Tupac Shakur in “Notorious” (2009), Mackie’s breakout and most popular performance was as Sam Wilson aka the Falcon in Marvel’s “Captain America: Winter Soldier” (2014). But Wilson was no simple sidekick. Mackie portrays the ride or die best friend to Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers aka Captain America and was responsible for gathering compatriots to Caption America’s side in the divisive “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and crucial to helping Cap’ avoid authorities during his nomadic missions before “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018). He’s reprised the role in a number of other Marvel films, most recently, though only briefly, in Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” (2019). While Mackie was only involved at the end of the three-hour film encompassing 10 years of Avengers movies, it’s in “Endgame” that Mackie was passed a new role as Sam Wilson accepted the title and shield of Caption America from the elderly Steve Rogers. While he will still fly on Falcon’s wings, Mackie will add the iconic vibranium shield to his arsenal when he first takes the stage in the upcoming Disney+ series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (2020). Little is known about the upcoming series aside from Sam Wilson will be teaming up with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier, another past friend of Steve Rogers, as they go up against “Captain America: Civil War’s” manipulative villain Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl. 


It’s inspiring to see such a talented actor from New Orleans now portraying Captain America (NOLA REPRESENT!). But despite his rising fame, Mackie has never forgotten his home town and even returned to take up the role of the King of Bacchus’ Mardi Gras parade and attended Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con in 2016. A New Orleans native, Mackie grew up among his family’s roofing business, Mackie Roofing. As a teenager with an early love for acting, he attended both Warren Eastern Sr. High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), graduating in 1997. From there, Mackie went on to study at New York’s performing arts conservatory, Juilliard School’s Drama Division, and graduated in 2001. Many are looking forward to what Anthony Mackie’s future career will have in store, and are excited to see his return to the character of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon aka Captain America.


Casting director KeShuna Jones Lee (a UNO grad with an MA in Arts Administration), who has cast music videos for Solange Knowles and has worked in the casting departments of David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and Taylor Hackford’s “Ray” says in order to achieve success like Mackie’s, you must hone your craft. The entertainment industry veteran states: “To become the performer you want to be in the city of New Orleans means being authentic.  It also means investing in yourself – always hone your craft. One should take workshops. For instance, taking workshops on improv will improve your ability to cold read. Keep your headshots up to date. If you change your hair color have several shots that display that change. Keep your hands manicured. Take a voiceover workshop. Never pay someone or an agency to represent you – it’s a scam. Have thick shoulders when auditioning. Auditioning and getting rejected is part of the process. Remember it just leads you to your next break. Don’t be afraid to take small rolls that will lead to big ones. Come prepared!  Learn to take direction well. Be consistent and be on time. Treat each audition like your life depends on it.”