Imagine you’re a successful actor whose appeared in Oscar nominated films and worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and people barely know your name. Such has been the case with New Orleans thespian Anthony Mackie. Despite a star turn in the critically acclaimed 2009 war film “The Hurt Locker,” when people see Mackie on the street, they still shout, “Hey, Papa Doc!” Papa Doc was Mackie’s breakthrough role in Eminem‘s 2002 film “8 Mile.”
Since playing Eminem’s nemesis, Anthony Mackie has made a name for himself starring in films with heart and substance. Next on his plate is the action crime dramedy “Pain & Gain” alongside Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson due out April 26th. The film tells the true story of a trio of witless bodybuilders who are tired of struggling to make ends meet and kidnap, extort, torture, and murder several unsuspecting victims in brutal fashion. Mackie plays one of the three bodybuilders named Adrian Doorbal. Directed by Michael Bay, “Pain & Gain” is based on a series of articles printed in the “Miami New Times” newspaper.
With the story portrayed in the film being true, “Pain & Gain” has seen its fair share of opposition from the victims’ families. The Urban Daily got a chance to speak with Anthony Mackie about the concerns surrounding the film, what it feels like to be the first black superhero, and why he’ll never play another rapper on the big screen again.
TUD: Could you give me a synopsis on the film “Pain & Gain”?
AM: It’s plain and simple. The movie’s about three body builders who, in a very convoluted way, try to achieve the American dream. They kidnap, extort, and murder wealthy guys they are training in Miami.
What attracted you to the role?
I really wanted to work with Mark and Dwayne. I’ve been fans of theirs for a while. Also, I’ve always wanted to work with Michael Bay. I was hoping it would be “Bad Boys 3,” but this is a fair compromise. I loved the script. When I read the script I was really intrigued by the idea of this being a true story.
What was it like working with Rebel Wilson and having her play your wife?
It was great! Rebel is a giver. She’s always easy to work with and is just fun and supportive. As soon as she came onto set we clicked. She hasn’t been in the States long so I’m glad to say I was one of the first people to have a crack at her as a love interest.