When we spoke with Anthony Mackie on the set of Captain America: Civil War, our group conversation with the actor who plays Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon, was essentially out of control in the best way possible. As for our chat with Sebastian Stan at the time, he wasn't allowed to say anything about his character's story.
Fast forward to June 2017 and as we visited the set of Avengers: Infinity War at the same Pinewood Atlanta Studios location where Civil War, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming were shot, and not too much has changed. Marvel Studios set visits are notoriously secretive, so much so that actors cannot even speak to some of the basic information to be revealed in marketing materials, but for Stan - he's even more secretive than most.
And Mackie, well, just take a peek at how he started our group interview for us below. This conversation took place after we observed filming of the sequence where Captain America's team lands in Wakanda to meet T'Challa/Black Panther and his envoy.
Anthony Mackie: Hello everyone. Welcome to Avenger's 3. My name is Anthony Mackie. This is Sebastian Stan. If you have many questions direct towards us. We will answer them in a timely fashion. Do not ask anything about the movie because we will not answer. This will go extremely well and you will enjoy.
What'd you think about Wonder Woman?
Sebastian Stan: I haven't seen it.
Anthony Mackie: Loved it. It's great. Ladies, great job all of you. Great job. I'm very proud of you.
We noticed Bucky isn't frozen. You're walking around here. So what can we say.
Sebastian Stan: This is where he's not frozen. That's good for someone.
What's he doing in Wakanda?
Sebastian Stan: The Same thing he was doing in Wakanda the last time you saw him in Wakanda.
Anthony Mackie: Hanging out. Eating Wakandanese food.
Sebastian Stan: Dreaming in his little space craft. Well, that's the last time you saw him, right? So, he's here taking in the scenery, I guess. And the scenery ain't great?
Will he be in Black Panther? Because that'll have come out by the time we run this.
Anthony Mackie: We've already told you, we can't say. I congratulated your people and everything. You're messing it up.
In between Civil War and Infinity War has Falcon been with Cap and Widow?
Anthony Mackie: No. We all kind of went on our separate ways after Civil War. We all kind of went on our separate ways and we were in hiding because of everything that happened in Civil War. So now, we get the call to rally, and here we are: Avengers 3.
What are you rallying for?
Anthony Mackie: Freedom. Truth. Social liberties and peace with all men and women.
Sebastian Stan: And Mel Gibson.
So the villain in this one is Thanos. What can you tell us about Thanos? What does Winter Solider think about him? What does Falcon think about him?
Sebastian Stan: Winter Soldier is just enjoying his new arm. And that's really where he's at.
Anthony Mackie: It's a nice arm. All lubed up and ready to go.
Sebastian Stan: And he's learning new information as he goes along.
Your character is a very realistic kind of guy, so what does he think when he hears about this all-powerful being whose going to kill everyone?
Anthony Mackie: One thing about Falcon I've always loved since the beginning of discovering this character is his Military background, his belief that his job in life to fight for his fellow man. So when he hears about those in his overall idea of world destruction, he's very disheartened and shaken by it. He's eager to get into the fight against this super evil, this diabolical demon known as Thanos. Y'all know who's playing Thanos?
Anthony Mackie: Right! Right? I mean when you think of Thanos--
Sebastian Stan: You think of W. He was so great in that movie.
Anthony Mackie: Brolin.
Sebastian Stan: He's a great actor.
The Winter Soldier's been through a lot of emotional trauma. Has he had some therapy since Civil War?
Sebastian Stan: Absolutely. Yes. Definitely. Much more.
So he's more peppy and perky?
Sebastian Stan: I'll tell you, in the ten pages that I was allowed to read, I didn't see that.
Anthony Mackie: No perk.
Sebastian Stan: For the other - I don't know - 90 to 100 pages that are in this film, that I did not read, I have no idea.
How do your characters feel getting back together again, since we know you were best buds?
Sebastian Stan: This was our first scene reuniting, and I thought it was warm -
Anthony Mackie: It was. A warm greeting. I realized he's had a rough few years. He's been frozen. I'm black so I haven't aged. We're just surprised to see each other again. On a new mission.
Is it another car seat moment?
Anthony Mackie: No no.
Sebastian Stan: No, but I think we kind of found a good sequel to that -
Anthony Mackie: -a good compromise.
What can you say about the reunion with Cap? How'd that go?
Sebastian Stan: It went by fast. It felt pretty natural. We weren't milking the moment or anything. It is what it is. I think the urgency of the circumstance that we find ourselves in kind of makes things go a little bit quicker.
What about bringing the other characters of the Marvel Universe together? You said you've only read ten pages so far but are you looking forward to interacting with any characters or groups?
Sebastian Stan: I don't know. I'm sure it's going to be challenging for sure because there's so many different tones to these films and that all of these characters carry. So I think it'll be interesting to see how tonally everybody fits into the same world. You've shot already some, right?
Anthony Mackie: Yeah. The great thing is that tonally, how the movie's working now everyone, it's not like you see one person who is the lead of the movie. It's truly and ensemble movie. I would say if anybody is the lead of the movie it's Thanos. And it's all of us working around, orbiting Thanos because he's such a big bad guy. He's the uber bad guy. He's the worst bad guy of all bad guys of all time. So you can't like put them in three scenes down, then a fight scene at the end. You really have to give them just due. So, our relationship and our scenes are more ensemble based. Everybody playing with a relationship with each other.
What are you character's reactions to seeing something like a talking raccoon?
Sebastian Stan: As usual I question my own stability, mentally and wonder whether or not I should have just stayed asleep. Things clearly did not get better.
Anthony Mackie: They did not work out well!
They've told us that for secrecy sake you've been getting script pages day of. What's it like building the arc of a character when you don't necessarily know what the scenes are going to be?
Anthony Mackie: We have an outline. We have an overall idea of what the movie is. The Russos come to us and tell us where we are in the movie. You know for an actor, the most important thing is where you're coming from and where you're going, to explain what you're doing in that scene. So, they always give us that information.
Sebastian Stan: There's also trust. We've been with these characters so long, I feel like they trust us. It's not like you're showing up to all new material. You come to it with a history, and that's part of it also.
How does the Russo brothers set differ?
Anthony Mackie: Anthony Russo's got health. Dropped a few pounds. Started riding motorcycles, mid-life crisis.
Sebastian Stan: Is he really riding motorcycles now?
Anthony Mackie: Yeah, he's riding bikes. It's crazy. I don't know. But. You know the great thing about their style of directing is that it's really actor-first. It's really supportive of your craft and your process, and what you bring to the characters. The best thing about working with Marvel is they know what everyone does well, and what you don't do well. They put you around people who do well, what you don't do well. So they put us in a position to win, every single time with every single scene. And Markus and McFeely work in that same vein. They know how to get the beats between the two of us. They know how to get to be between him and Cap. They know how to work Black Panther into it, and all our newfound surprise, arriving here in Wakanda. So, all of that works in there.
Thanos is the main character with all you guys circling around him. The Russos said that every character has to have an arc, their own journey to go on. How do you feel about your character's journey's throughout this film?
Sebastian Stan: It feels good. It's certainly been a lot more of a stable situation for my guy, from what we've been used to and stuff. It's interesting, I'm really still discovering him. You can't just turn a hard right and everything's great. I'm still finding it to be honest.
Anthony Mackie: The thing for me is that continuous line, being a supporter of Cap and where he is in his journey. I kind of enjoy being along for the ride, step-by-step. You know when I first met the Avengers I was like, 'Holy shit. If the Avengers need me, I'm there!' You know it's just been ridiculous moment after ridiculous moment for me. So,0 you know when I walk up and see a talking raccoon, it's just a ridiculous moment leading to the next ridiculous thing. You know, so it's always just a fun journey.
What's it been like tackling so many new locations?
Sebastian Stan: We're right back where the tarmac was from. Yes. So it's like real strange. The heat is still here. Same old faces, some new ones. I like Atlanta. I mean I didn't got to Scotland. I heard you guys--
Anthony Mackie: Tore it up. Scotland will never be the same.
Sebastian Stan: Two weeks of night shoots.
Anthony Mackie: It was murder. We blew it up.
Can you talk about filming in Scotland?
Anthony Mackie: It was great. People in Scotland liked to drink a lot. It was great. It was actually a lot of fun. People were very supportive, very helpful and really left us alone. I found that so surprising even in Atlanta if you try to shoot this movie downtown, there's going to be someone who's going to bother you. The people of Scotland are just like just don't [mess up] my pub, and we're good. It was dope. We had a very good time.
Is that where Falcon was hiding out?
Anthony Mackie: (Laughs) Nope.
I feel like Falcon might stick out in Scotland.
Anthony Mackie: A little bit. Believe me everywhere I went, everybody knew where I was. Everywhere I went… Just like Where's Waldo. With me it's 'Where's Brother'.
Can you talk about how the team of the Avengers is seen? How do people feel about the Avengers when they take on this global threat?
Sebastian Stan: I don't think they feel too bad, considering what they're seeing. Maybe for some people, you pick the least worse situation… Avengers are always going to stand for more good than something negative.
Anthony Mackie: And where we were in Civil War, we didn't have the best morale support from the people because we were dropping cities on their babies. But now, people are starting to rally around this again.
Is there a lot of destruction on Earth is that what people are scared of?
Anthony Mackie: Dude, did you see Civil War? I didn't see it. I heard it's pretty good. The black dude is great.
Sebastian Stan: Chadwick was pretty fantastic.
Anthony Mackie: That's what I heard. That's what I heard! I heard he was pretty good.
Sebastian Stan: This is also planets and universes and stuff, so it's more than just this planet.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019