Anthony Mackie plays the role of Sam Wilson in the MCU, a former member of the US Air Force, who operates as The Falcon, a superhero, largely thanks to a pair of mechanical wings he uses to fly. During an interview, Mackie recalled the difficulties he had in pulling off the Falcon's flight patterns effectively, all because he went full-on method acting and tried to fly like an actual bird.
"The Marvel movies were the first time I had to an action thing. My character's the Falcon, so I show up, I sit with the graphics team and the directors, and they're like, 'We want you to land like a bird.' Because you have wings... you have to pull your legs in, swoop your core in, let your wings slow you down, and then land on your feet. Being the weird actor that I am and going back to my mime and clown days, I went and started studying all these birds and the way they land, the way they took off, they way they flew, and all this stuff."
Unfortunately, studying the flying and landing patterns of actual birds proved to be of little use when trying to work with the wires and pulleys that go into making the character of the Falcon appear to be flying. Mackie found this out the hard way after having a brutal and hilarious accident on the sets of Captain America: Civil War.
"The first day - I think we were doing Civil War, and there's the scene where [Vision] shoots Rhodey out of the sky and I land to see if he's okay - I'm supposed to land, so they pull me up like 30 feet off the ground and I'm on a pendulum, so I'm supposed to pull my legs under me and land to a stop. I didn't realize how much my lower body weighed, so I pull on the ropes to try and bring my legs under but I can't get my core in, and I literally land face-first in the dirt and bounce for about 10 feet. I have grass and mud all in my face. The crew is just dying laughing. Everybody is dying laughing."
Mackie's account of his first Falcon stunt is another reminder of the hard work and planning that goes into creating the fancy special effects that audiences pay money to see on the big screen, and how actually making a superhero movie is a lot less cool and dignified than the scenes that eventually make it into the movie make it seem.
The actor will next be seen reprising his role as Falcon in the upcoming Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will see Sam and Bucky dealing with the exit of Steve Rogers from the role of Captain America, and the passing of his legacy to Sam. The show was scheduled to arrive in August but may have been delayed for the time being. This news comes from Entertainment Weekly.