Weight: 180 lbs
Body of Work: Pain & Gain, Gangster Squad, The Hurt Locker, We Are Marshall, Million Dollar Baby, 8 Mile
Anthony Mackie hasn’t done a lot of drinking lately. The actor has been too busy trying to attain a superhero physique. “Every now and then you take a role where you can eat po’boys and drink all day,” says Mackie, 34. “I’m at that age now, mid-30s, where, if you put [weight] on, it’s most likely going to stay with you forever.”
Mackie, who came to prominence after note-worthy performances in 8 Mile and The Hurt Locker, has recently taken on several physically demanding roles that require him to intensify his workout regimen and pack on up to 20 pounds of muscle.
First, Mackie stars alongside Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Pain & Gain, the true tale of three workout buddies who botch a kidnapping and extortion caper. Mackie plays Wahlberg’s best friend and co-conspirator, Adrian Doorbal. Like their big-screen characters, the cast of Pain & Gain bonded over barbells.
“Dwayne was working out for Wrestlemania, so he was in the gym at, like, 5 a.m. but Mark, his crew, and I would work out every morning at 7 a.m.,” Mackie says. “It’s a different mind-set when you go into a gym with a group of guys. You work out all week to be able to max out at the end of the week, so everybody wanted to prove he was better than the next guy.”
Next year, Mackie will tackle the role of the falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the next installment in the Marvel cinematic universe series. Like his part in Pain & Gain, playing the falcon also required bulking up; but the focus of Mackie’s preparation has been more mental. “The falcon was massive—6’4″ and 240 pounds—so for me it’s about the story and his relationship with Captain America,” says Mackie, who stands 5’10” and weighs about 180 pounds. “I’ve been breathing life into this guy that most people don’t know about unless [they’re into] the world of comic books.”
Mackie has also signed on for Hands in the Sky, the story of legendary track-and- field athlete Jesse Owens and his triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. It’s a role he’s more than excited about. “It’s my passion,” he says.
Between blockbusters, Mackie spends time at the bar he owns in Brooklyn, NY, where he likes to watch football, and at home in New Orleans, where he builds houses to rent them out. “I’ve got a bunch of hobbies—people close to me will tell you I’ve got too many,” he says. “When I’m not doing movies, I’m in New Orleans, building. That’s my thing.”