It’s been a breakthrough year for actor Anthony Mackie. After a star turn as Falcon in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” the actor recently announced that he’s producing a biopic of Jesse Owens in which he’ll play the legendary 1930s-era track star himself.
“Jesse Owens has been a passion of mine since I was a child,” Mackie said last night on the red carpet of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award Ceremony in Manhattan last night. The actor recalled hearing his grandfather and uncles talk about the four gold medals Owens won during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which took place at the height of Hitler’s power. “I think as Americans we have to tell that story. If we don’t teach our kids about our actual superheroes then our fake superheroes don’t matter,” he said. “And I can say that being a fake superhero.”
As for how he’s going to get into sprinting shape for the role, Mackie says that he hopes to enlist some help from people who’ve been in those shoes before. “I’m hoping to get somebody like Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, get somebody like that who I admired as a kid, as a sprinter, to mentor me and guide me,” said Mackie.
“Because if you look at Michael Johnson and people like that- they base their entire running style off of Jesse Owens,” he continued. “So I’m going to try to reach out to those people and get them to, once I get down to sprinter weight, which is really small, get them to help me and guide me through the transition of being a runner to being a sprinter.”
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter at @LakshmiGandhi.