The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was slated to be Marvel Studios’ first series out of the gate, ushering in a new, serialized phase of the MCU on Disney+ with the continued adventures of Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier. But it turns out, even superheroes are not invulnerable to a global pandemic.
When production was put on hold due to the coronavirus, the series was postponed to 2021. (Instead, WandaVision will now introduce Marvel’s small screen universe.) But the Falcon and Winter Soldier cast and crew have returned to set under COVID-19 safety precautions to finish their shoot, and Mackie says it’s, well, “awful.”
“Everybody’s afraid of each other. The food is bad, because they have to pack it up somewhere else and bring it to us in ziplock bags,” he told ET over Zoom from the Czech Republic, where Mackie laments, “There’s no football. I missed LeBron winning the championship. It’s crawfish season. I got all kinds of problems going on!”
“It’s literally you’re living in quarantine,” he explained. “It’s not like the NBA bubble, where they had, like, a barber shop and friends to hang out with. No, if you get within six feet of somebody, there’s some little Czech dude coming, poking you with a stick and saying you have to move. So, it’s rough.”
Friends. Social distancing since November ’19.
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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier marks Mackie’s return to the MCU following 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. That film, among its many achievements, also offered Mackie the chance to work with Chadwick Boseman one final time. (Boseman died in August after a private battle with colon cancer.)
“I have a lot of memories of Chad. I cared about him dearly as a friend,” Mackie shared. “The first time I met him was in 1998, I went down to Howard and he was directing a play there.”
Mackie remembers Boseman was spinning around the university’s black box theater in an office chair. Mackie’s then-girlfriend introduced the two, “Like, ‘Hey, Chad, I want you to meet my classmate at Juilliard, Anthony,’ and he goes, ‘Wait, I’m concentrating. Don’t break my vibe.’ He just spins around the room and I was like, ‘It’s nice to meet you, man,'” Mackie said. “And he was like, ‘I’m almost there!'”
Years later, the two would be working side by side in the biggest franchise in movie history. “When I first saw him once everything took off for him, I was like, ‘Remember the first time we met?'” Mackie laughed. “He was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to talk about it. I was going through a lot in my young age.'”
ET’s Nischelle Turner sat down with Mackie and co-star Jamie Dornan to discuss their upcoming film, Synchronic, a psychedelic thriller about drug-induced time travel. Synchronic is in theaters and drive-ins Oct. 23. Watch an exclusive clip below.
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