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SYFY WIRE The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Anthony Mackie proves Falcon's ‘bird-like’ landing much harder than three-point superhero stance

By Vanessa Armstrong
anthony mackie falcon ant-man

Those who know and love the Marvel Cinematic Universe are very familiar with Anthony Mackie, the actor who plays Falcon, aka the mechanically winged best friend of Captain America (Chris Evans).

What MCU fans might not know, however, is that Mackie had a rough start nailing the landing requirement of playing a superhero. Unlike the classic “three-point” superhero stance that Iron Man, Black Widow, and, according to the internet, certain squirrels love, Mackie was directed to adopt a more “bird-like” stance for his Falcon landing.

Black Widow Iron Man 2

"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,’” Mackie revealed to Entertainment Weekly during a panel promoting a documentary about his Juilliard teacher, Moni Yakim. “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, the way they flew, and all this stuff."

Mackie admits that he might have misjudged what it would take to land that way, given that he is, in fact, not actually a bird. "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," he explained to EW. "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 ten feet. I have grass and mud all in my face. The crew is just dying laughing. Everybody is dying laughing."

The good news is that Mackie became at least somewhat better at figuring out the most majestic, superhero-ish way to land — which you can see the final results of at the 50-second mark in the clip above. The bad news (for Mackie, at least) is that the circumstances and scenarios in which he had to land varied widely, making his past lessons effectively useless. “It became a comedy of errors of every day when I had to land and how they were going to kill me," he recounted. "To this day: 'How do we crash him into something?'"

We’ll have to wait and see (sadly even later than originally planned) if Mackie has any more dramatic landings when we see him as Falcon again in The Falcon and Winter Soldier series on Disney+. Those who want to see Mackie’s past Falcon landings, however, can head over to Disney+ now to catch him in several MCU films, including Captain America: Civil War and Captain America: Winter Soldier.

(via Entertainment Weekly)