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Anthony Mackie reveals how long he’ll play Captain America

Mackie might have just picked up the shield, but he's already got a plan in mind for when he'll be retiring

Anthony Mackie as Captain America

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie has revealed how long he plans on playing Captain America. Mackie might have just picked up the shield, but he’s already got a plan in mind for when he’ll be retiring.

Speaking to Variety, he joked: “I definitely don’t want to be a 55-year-old Captain America, so I’ve got a solid six to eight [years] in me.” Retirement plans aside, Mackie’s clearly enjoying his time as Captain America and is keenly aware of the impact of having an African American wielding the shield is having on a generation of black children.

Recalling an anecdote told to him by a teacher friend, he explained how she found one of her students doing pull-ups on the playground equipment, and when she asked what the boy was doing, he replied: “Well, Captain America looks like me now, so I need to get in shape if he needs my help.” Mackie added: “For this kid to see a six-hour series and get enough strength within himself to think that he needs to be prepared and ready, that made all of the work that we had to do to put it together worthwhile for me.”

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Throughout The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Mackie’s character, Sam Wilson, grappled with the idea of becoming Captain America and what it would mean to have a black man assume the mantle. Ultimately Sam decides to assume the identity of Cap,  rescues some bureaucrats from the Flagsmashers, and delivers a powerful speech where he truly becomes Captain America.

Explaining how important that scene was to him, Mackie said: “That monologue was about him showing that if one of us is mistreated, we’re all to blame. And that’s the overall theme of the new Captain America, not that not black Cap, or Cap for the people, he’s Captain America for all.”

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Interestingly Mackie reportedly wanted to say that they didn’t make it into the speech. According to Variety, Mackie suggested they riff on Donald Trump’s 2016 election slogan, “make America great again”, but make it into a rallying cry for Americans of all race, creed, colour or sexuality.

Didn’t know that Sam was now Captain America? You need to check out our guide on how to watch the MCU in order.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus.0