Anthony Mackie Says He Took a 1-Year Acting Break After Getting Snubbed for an Oscar: 'It Hurt'

The New Orleans native opened up to Men's Health about being disappointed his turn in The Hurt Locker didn't earn him an Academy Award nod

Anthony Mackie
Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Anthony Mackie graduated Juilliard, earned a SAG Award nomination and plays a Marvel superhero. But he admits that one setback in his life caused him to put his acting career on hold: not receiving an Oscar nomination for 2008’s The Hurt Locker, which got nine other nods from the Academy.

“That little f—er matters,” Mackie, 40, said told Men’s Health in the July/August issue of the Oscar nomination. “We try to protect ourselves and say, ‘I’m doing the work for the work.’ But when that happened with Hurt Locker, it hurt. I had to take a year off of work.”

During that year — which also included Mackie becoming a dad for the first time and losing his father — the actor turned his efforts to restoring a 1964 Mustang convertible. “I sat in my garage and I built a car,” Mackie said. “It was very, very therapeutic.”

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Mackie eventually dove back into work and joined the Marvel Universe as Falcon, thanks to one to-the-point email he sent to the studio asking for any role they’d give him.

“My line was ‘Yo, I’m the black dude from The Hurt Locker. I would love to work with you guys,’” he revealed.

Anthony Mackie at Sergeant JT Sanborn in The Hurt Locker. Summit Entertainment

It worked, and Mackie has gone on to appear in Ant-Man, the last two Captain America films and the three latest Avengers blockbusters.

“Growing up, I’d always loved Falcon, because he was a comic book hero who was black who didn’t have ‘Black’ in the title,” the New Orleans native said. “He stood on his morals. He stood on who he was.”

Mackie’s come a long way from feeling defeated by his Oscars snub, and in his own way, believes he received a comparable experience to an Academy Award win due to his time shooting Avengers: Endgame and learning his character’s epic outcome. It was “like winning the Oscar,” Mackie said.

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