Anthony Mackie is a true blue MCU superhero. In the role of the Falcon, Anthony Mackie has taken on a variety of bad guys, from aliens to insurgents. In real life, however, the actor is a pretty chill guy. So is Hollywood icon Will Smith. That is why Mackie vividly remembers the surprise he felt after getting socked in the jaw by Smith on the latter’s birthday. Mackie relayed the incident at the Jess Cagle show, which took place a couple of years ago.
“So, funny story. Will Smith shot, what’s the movie. He had a movie come out last year, Gemini Man, and he shot it in Budapest. So, it was his 50th birthday. And my publicist called me and she’s like: “Yo, Will Smith is having a birthday party in Budapest. Do you want to present his birthday cake to him?” So, I’m like: “Holy s–t yes. It’s Will Smith! Of course.” So, we’re all on stage. Will Smith does like a whole concert. I’m on stage with Will Smith doing a concert. I’m losing my mind, right? So, the cake comes out, we bring the cake out.”
“Will Smith sees me and he goes, “Hey, Anthony Mackie!” I’m like, “Will Smith knows my name!” Right? So, I go to like high five. I don’t know what I was trying to do, but like, I was trying to hug him and he thought I was coming in for like a high five. So, he like tried to grab my arm and he punched me in the jaw so hard. He hit me with a right cross so hard.”
“Then he grabbed me and he’s like, “you good?” I was like, “I think so. I think we’re in a fight, are we in a fight?” He’s like, “no, no, I’m sorry.” He punched me in the jaw. Will Smith punched me the jaw. He’s an angry human being [laughs]. I know he meant to do it, there is no way you mess up a hug with a punch in the jaw. Yo, he has a right cross man. Protect yourself. Because dude came in. I mean, woo! It was a punch, but I took a punch from Mohammad Ali. I can say it.”
It says much about Will Smith’s impact on pop culture that Mackie considered it an honor to take a punch to the jaw from him. For now, Mackie is gearing up for the release of his upcoming Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will see enemies-turned-allies Falcon and Bucky team up to take on some of America’s worst enemies. The show has got fans hyped because it promises to bring back the sort of gritty, grounded action last seen in the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. The series premieres on March 19 on Disney+.