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SYFY WIRE Anthony Mackie

Why we have Busta Rhymes to thank for 'Twisted Metal' star Anthony Mackie becoming an actor

"Mom, I wanna be that guy," Mackie said about Busta Rhymes as a kid.

By Gina Salamone
Busta Rhymes; Anthony Mackie

You can thank rapper Busta Rhymes — and his giant, reversible The Cat in the Hat-style headgear — for actor Anthony Mackie pursuing a life in the spotlight. Mackie, who's appeared as Sam Wilson/Falcon in several Marvel films and will star in Peacock's upcoming post-apocalyptic series, Twisted Metal, says that he was inspired by the performer while watching The Arsenio Hall Show as a kid.

"Busta has had a long influence," Mackie explained on a recent episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. "So, when I was 12 years old, there was one of the best shows ever on TV, The Arsenio Hall Show. So, me and my mom, we would always sit on the floor and watch, cause we had a floor model TV." Rhymes appeared on Arsenio with his hip-hop group Leaders of the New School, who were featured on A Tribe Called Quest's single "Scenario," which the two acts performed on the show.

RELATED: Anthony Mackie has one major goal in mind for 'Captain America: New World Order'

“Busta comes out to do his verse and he has on a Dr. Seuss hat," Mackie told Clarkson of Rhymes' red-and-white striped top hat, which resembles the one worn by the title character in Dr. Seuss's children's book, The Cat in the Hat. "And he goes, ‘Powerful impact, boom goes the cannon,’ and his hat goes [Mackie motions Busta flipping his hat inside out] ... And literally the entire audience goes crazy. Like Arsenio runs off the stage. The cameras are shaking. Like, we’re in our living room like, 'Holy s***!’ And my mom’s standing in the back. I was like, ‘Mom, I wanna be that guy. ... And then I met him and I was like, ‘You’re that guy.'"

Watch Anthony Mackie tell Kelly Clarkson how Busta Rhymes inspired him:

Clarkson — whose syndicated daytime talk show can be seen weekdays on NBC-owned stations across the country, as well as on Peacock — said she was also inspired into action by a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, Mariah Carey. "And I was sitting there going, 'I wanna do that!,'" Clarkson said of Carey's performance on the show. "She sang Vision of Love and I was like, ‘Whoa.’"

Fans of Mackie — who's portrayed Sam Wilson/Falcon in films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame — will star in the title role of Captain America: New World Order, which is due out next year and is a continuation of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

He'll also play the main role in Twisted Metal, an upcoming action comedy based on the video game series of the same name. It's expected to debut on Peacock later this year.

You can catch The Kelly Clarkson Show weekdays on NBC or streaming on Peacock.