Anthony Mackie Talks Repentance

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Anthony Mackie Talks Repentance
by Wilson Morales

February 27, 2014

Repentance posterComing out this week is the psychological thriller Repentance,’ starring Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Mike Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker, and Ariana Neal.

Years after a drunken car crash that almost took his life, Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie) has reinvented himself as a therapist/spiritual advisor who advocates a synthesis of world religions and positivity. He’s parlayed this vocation into a successful book release that one day draws the attention of Angel Sanchez (Forest Whitaker), a profoundly troubled man fixated on the “untimely” death of his mother. When Carter takes on Sanchez as a personal client in an effort to raise funds for his indebted brother Ben (Mike Epps), things quickly take a turn for the worse. Angel needs much more than a simple life coach.

Anthony Mackie 2For Mackie, who been in numerous star-studded films, such as 8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker, The Adjustment Bureau, Pain and Gain, and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, ‘Repentance’ offers him the rare opportunity to be in a lead role.

Even with indie films such as Brother to Brother, Half Nelson, American Violet, Night Catches Us, and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete to his credit, his role in this film gives him the chance to show what he can do when he’s the center of the storyline.

In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Mackie talks about his lead role in the film, working with the cast, and his upcoming films.

Anthony Mackie RepentanceHow are excited you to be in a film where you’re in the lead role?

Anthony Mackie: It’s great. I was a lot of fun. Working with someone like Forest (Whitaker) is a dream come true. I feel like most people are just statured and they don’t do film unless they are the lead or the focal point of the movie and for Forest to give me this opportunity is huge and i just tried to take full advantage of it.

How would you best describe your character Tommy?

Repentance poster - Anthony MackieAM: He’s a mentalist and a psychologist. He’s the guy that cares about the people he works with and believes in the stuff that he says. I feel that if you look at these well known book-writing, positively spouting, spiritual people, that world, for me, is a lot in question. If you can’t see what they see, think what they think, or do what they do, it’s always in question and comes with a level of skepticism with it; but I feel Tommy believes in what he’s saying and giving to people. He’s the guy that tries to write your wrong.

Would you say that it’s nice to a black cast in a different film genre other than romantic comedy or biopics?

Repentance 17AM: I feel it’s very smart on Forest’s part to produce and develop something like this. We are a starved market and that’s why the last two films (Ride Along and About Last Night) have done so well. We are an important market and a market and a market that should be recognized. Looking at ‘Repentance’ as a black film is looking at Misery as a white film or looking at Seinfeld as the Jewish TV show. At some point in time, we shouldn’t look at it as a black film and we just should look at it as a quality film. When you put a name like Forest Whitaker and Sanaa Lathan in a movie, it shows that you have a quality movie, not just a black movie.

Repentance - Sanaa Lathan and Anthony MackieHow was shooting the film in New Orleans?

AM: It was great. Shooting in New Orleans is a dream. It’s the best city in the country and that’s why I live here. It gives you a little bit of everything you want and a lot of stuff you don’t need. It works. A lot of times you can see a movie and tell where it’s at because the climate is so drastic neighborhood to neighborhood.

How was working with this cast?

Repentance 4AM: Everyone had a good time, worked hard, and did what they was supposed to do. It wasn’t a lot of partying, and it wasn’t a lot of playing. We had a tight window to shoot the movie and Philippe Caland, the director, was a very good leader of men. He knew exactly the movie he wanted to make and very supportive of the actors bringing those characters to life.

What’s the selling point to this film? Is it the talent behind it or the story?

Repentance cast

AM: It’s a little bit of both. People like thrillers. They like psychological thrillers and if you look at the cast in this movie, if you put this type of film with this cast and whatever comes out from it is going to be golden. You can be rest assured that Forest, all the way back from ‘Ghost Dog,’ and Sanaa, all the way back from ‘Love and Basketball,’ are giving us quality films and I try to do the same. If you look at the storyline behind the film, it’s a good movie to take the day, chill out, get some popcorn and have a good time.

Toy-Fair-2014-Hasbro-Captain-America-Winter-Soldier-Super-Soldier-Gear-Falcon-Action-FigureMost recently, the Toy Fair was held in New York City and one of the many items on displays was an action figure modeled after your character The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Have you had a chance to see it?

AM: I haven’t seen it or the other models in person, but I’ve seen them. They look more like Billy Dee Williams than me but I’m happy with it. It’s huge to have an action figure modeled after me. It’s monumental. I always felt that there was something coming my way and I just had to be ready for it. I never knew what it was. I always thought it would be the lead of some big movie or some combination of something; but I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised, overwhelmed and emotionally moved at the fact that it wasn’t any of that. It was the role of a lifetime working with the studio that would give me the opportunity to step out to the forefront of a franchise to say I’m a part of this, and I’ve worked for this and earned this. It wasn’t given to me. I’ve earned it. I’m very proud that little boys will be able to buy The Falcon action figure.

falconpostersmallAccording to your IMDB page as of this date, it lists you being in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Is that true?

AM: I have no idea. Marvel hasn’t told me that I’m an Avenger, so until I hear from Marvel, I’m definitely not going to believe IMDB. Last time I check, IMDB doesn’t cast movies, they just write about them.

Do you think The Falcon can have his own film, maybe a stand alone?

AM: I think so and I think he deserves it. If you look at his relationship with Captain America, he’s prime for his own stand alone film. There’s a huge market of little boys would love The Falcon and not because the way he looks like but because of what he’s doing. He’s a flying action figure and there’s not too many of them. If there’s one thing every little boy wishes he could do and that’s to fly. It would be dope. I hope it happens. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be heartbroken at all.

Anthony Mackie Jennifer ConnellyYou also have the indie film Shelter starring yourself and Jennifer Connelly, with her husband Paul Bettany directing. What’s the story about?

AM: It’s about two people living in the streets of New York looking for the love that they deserve but haven’t been able to find. The climate of the world that we live in now, with the Jason Collins and others, we live in a society where everyone deserves to be loved; and it’s not my job to dictate who you should or shouldn’t allow to love you. Shelter is two homeless people trying to find their love and their affection. It works out. It’s a beautiful story and Paul did a great job. Jennifer Connelly ain’t too shabby to work with. I’m excited about it.

Repentance hits theaters on February 28.

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