In the upcoming movie Real Steel, Anthony Mackie plays Robot Boxing bookie Finn. Although his role in the movie is small, his stage presence is huge. We’ve written a blog about Mackie in the past when he costarred in Adjustment Bureau because he is so talented he actually stole the scenes from Matt Damon. This time he is scene stealing from Hugh Jackman.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with him at a press junket for Real Steel and he was polite enough to give me and 20 other bloggers some of his time. He was the best interview of the day, so personable and unaffected. He chatted us up about doing the movie Real Steel. He complimented my friend Sara from BudgetSavvyDiva on her beautiful eyes,and told us about the hot guy working at his local McDonalds.
Blogger: So, it looks like you had so much fun, like your character. How, how much fun was it, you know, in the movie?
AM: It’s a lot of fun. I mean I enjoy — I love what I do. Um, I wanted to be an actor just because it’s like — it’s the best of worlds, you know. You get a real job, and you can pay your rent, and you get to meet celebrities. So, it’s like I got to hang out with Hugh Jackman [LAUGHS] like three months, you know. So, it was, um, it was a lot of fun. I mean gr– I’m a boy, so [LAUGHS] – – when it comes to like, you know, toys and shit. [LAUGHS] So, you know, growing up I was a huge Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robot fan, stuff like that. So, when you show up on set and it’s like a eight foot tall robot [CHUCKLES], we’re gonna have fun, you know.
FEMALE: Speaking of having fun, that scene on the steps in the last fight. How many takes did it take you to do that scene, because you two look like you were just laughing [LAUGHS] at each other all along?
AM:This is the problem. So, you have extras in movies right? So, the extras always try to become featured stars in the movie. So, it comes to the point where you just start making fun of the extras. [LAUGHS] That takes a long time. We won’t — I mean, you know, it was about two or three takes and that’s when Shawn was like, come on, guys. Get serious. So, [CHUCKLES] and there were people on boats, because we were on a river. And people were riding up on boats like barbequing [LAUGHS], you know, taking pictures. It was crazy. I mean Detroit’s another world. You know, it was like a boat with [Makes engine sound], and it was blasting, uh, what’s that group, Nirvana? You know. And then it was like blasting, uh, uh — it was weird. Just I mean just playing music. So, you know, we ran them off. [LAUGHS] And, uh, yeah, Kevin’s a funny dude, ‘cause he’s so big and country. [LAUGHS] You know, I wasn’t making fun of him, you know. [LAUGHS] Alright, thank you guys for coming. [LAUGHS]
Blogger: Can I ask were you told it was a family movie when, when you were given the script?
AM: Uh, of course. I, um — yes, I, um, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to swear [CHUCKLES], which I don’t do a lot of. Um, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to be seen on camera with a beverage, which I only drink smoothies. Um, um, no, it was fun. I mean we all knew what we were getting into. Um, and I have a two year old son. He’s a pretty self-sufficient kid. You know, he’s like — he’s a great k– he’s a — he makes you want more. It’s just now he’s getting to the point where he has his own thoughts.
Blogger: What did he ever — sorry. Did he come on set at all? Did he get to see the robots?
AM: No, I don’t, I don’t like the whole circus of presenting my family as a — I don’t, I don’t like that, because that’s my…
Blogger: But you’ve worked with Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman and your wife now hates you.
AM: Nah, you know, because that’s mine. You know what if you want we can hang out later and eat dinner at the house and, you know, play some Madden, chill out, you know, but I don’t like the whole hey, this is — I mean she know where I work. [LAUGHS] You know. I just don’t — I don’t like that. You know, it just — it makes me feel weird like I’m — they’re on display. Like who’s that? That’s my family. Oh. You know, throw ‘em a cookie or something. [LAUGHS] It’s just weird. Like if you worked at — if I worked at McDonalds you wouldn’t wanna come to my job right?
Blogger: At McDonalds you don’t work with Hugh Jackman and Matt Damon.
AM: You’d be surprised. There’s some pretty beautiful people [LAUGHS]. I’m telling you. I went through the drive-thru. My little boy loves french fries, and, uh, every time he do something good I get him french fries. [CHUCKLES] So, you know, we were cutting the grass and he decided — okay, I had my son cutting grass, alright. [LAUGHS] He’s gonna learn. He’s gonna — he’s gonna learn. You gone earn your keep around here. So, you know, I’m like yay, we cut grass. I was like yay, you know, good job. Let’s go, uh, get some french fries. He’s like yay. So, we take a shower, get in the car, and go to McDonalds, and the most effectively beautiful man I’ve ever seen [LAUGHS] in my life was working the drive-thru. And he’s like hi, welcome to McDonalds. Can I take your order? I’m like, yeah, give me a caramel frappe and a small fry. Okaaaay. [CHUCKLES] Drive up to window two. I drive up to the window and I’m like, fuck, you’re beautiful. [LAUGHS] Fuck.
Blogger: So did you audition for this movie or did they call you?
AM: I had a, um, I had a conversation with Shawn about the film, and, uh, he was — well, I was just so captivated by the world he was trying to capture. I was, um, just blown away by the idea, because everybody’s so fascinated with the apocalypse. [CHUCKLES] Ever since the Matrix everybody wanna see, you know, the post apocalypse. And I’m — and, you know, I’m like we’re living in Bushonomics now. [CHUCKLES] You know, it’s like we in the apocalypse. So, the, uh [LAUGHS] — I thought it was really interesting that he wanted to show the world.[LAUGHS] He wanted to show the world in a way of the working man. Umm. You know, it’s like sometimes financials don’t work. Sometimes it’s not so much oh, the bomb’s gonna end the world. You know, maybe it’s just like we’re not in the generation of creation. You know, and I think when you look at this movie it’s like wow, you know, our, you know, apocalypse is economics. You know? Yeah. So, when I, when I talked to him and I saw that and I read the script that was something I wanted to put into fend. You know, the idea of, you know, I’m a betting man. I take bets. I respect every bet from a dollar to a thousand dollars, but don’t come throwing a hundred thousand dollars in my face. You know, you got people out here can’t feed they kids. You know what I mean? So, you gone give me my hundred thousand dollars. And you gone take a whoopin’ for it. [LAUGHS] You know? So, that was something I felt was very, uh, important about the film is something that I don’t really s– I had never seen in another film, you know.
Blogger: Did you have to research that (being a bookie)? Go place bets somewhere?
AM: No. Like yeah [LAUGHS], being, being, being poor. No research here. [LAUGHS] No, I, uh — I’ve always been a better. I don’t have a problem, but it’s, you know, it’s a problem, you know. [LAUGHS] Like when I was a kid, you know. When I was a kid I’m like I’m on the playground, I bet you can’t beat me to the fence. You know, and like — you know, so even like when, when Hurt Locker was up for Best Picture against Avatar, like I’m putting 1500 on Avatar. [LAUGHS] You know? Like, you know, I just — all I — just friend bets. You know, nothing crazy. You know, I’m not, you know, Michael Jordan or nothing, but –
Blogger: What type of character do you most enjoy playing? In Adjustment Bureau your character was so soft and emotional, and, you know, you were so wonderful, and then in this year like more bad ass. What do you like?
AM: Um, I like play– I like playing characters that I can have fun with. I feel like as actors we get paid a King’s ransom to do a boy’s job. So, it don’t make sense to come to set with all that ahhh, where’s my smoothie? Ahhhh, my driver was late. [CHUCKLES] Ahhh, I — my seat wasn’t in first class. Beep. You know what I mean? That’s a real problem ain’t it? [LAUGHS] Oh, shit, you know. But it’s like I just always look for a really good director and a interesting story. I feel like there’s so many great stories that are not being told. I feel like the Hollywood that we all grew up and loved and kind of appreciated has kinda gone away. And I bet if each person in this room could list their favorite movie today that movie will not be made. And that’s kinda sad, you know. It’s, um, it’s, it’s a dark time in filmmaking. So, I just try to look for projects that kinda hark– and characters that harken back to the movies I love, you know.
Huge thanks goes out to Disney Dream Works and Anthony Mackie for this exceptional interview! Don’t forget to check out Real Steel in Theaters October 7th!
*I attended a full paid press trip hosted by Disney Dream Works for the movie Real Steel.