By Portia A. Scott (www.atlantadailyworld.com)
Anthony Mackie, who stars with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in the new sci-fi thriller “Adjustment Bureau,” shows his talent as a dynamic screen actor who divides his time between screen and stage.
When the role came to him, he was in New York doing “Shakespeare In the Park,” and he chose it of his own free will because he thought it was a positive and promising role.
As a member of the Adjustment Bureau, an organization that tries to put David Norris (Matt Damon) back in line with his fate, Universal Pictures casts Mackie in a well-crafted, memorable role that sets him apart from many others.
“It is the chemistry between everyone in the film, and Matt was great to work with,” said Mackie, who may be Hollywood’s next Black leading actor.
He stars as Harry, a case officer, in the Universal Pictures film that opens Friday, March 4. Mackie, a serious, no-nonsense actor, is quick to tell you that life is about choices and if you make the wrong choice, then you suffer the consequences.
He said he is very serious about his role and ends up telling David and Emily Blunt, a mysterious ballerina, that they must choose between fate and free will.
Loosely based on a Philip Dick short story, Damon plays a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events. The film is directed by George Nolfi, who wrote “Ocean’s Twelve” and co-wrote “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and produced by Michael Backett, Bill Carraro and Chris Moore, known for the Academy Award winning “Good Will Hunting.” The executive producer for the film is Jonathan Gordon, who oversaw the development and production of “The Kingdom,” starring Jamie Foxx and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” also starring Matt Damon.
Mackie, who was born and raised in New Orleans, is quick to tell you that he is the son of a mother who was a housewife, and a father who was a roofer.
He left home at 16 and came from a family that is anything but “subtle.”
Mackie, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Drama, received a lot of his inspiration from his dad who told him he had to go to college.
“I made great choices with my free will, and having gone to Juilliard put me in a position to make those choices and do various parts,” said Mackie in a phone interview recently. “Your choices will shape the scope of your career,” said Mackie, who added that racism is not a big factor in Hollywood today. “The only limitations of race today is in you,” he adds.
Mackie is a talented young man and enjoys working with talent. He has more than 25 films to his credit in less than 10 years, and can’t go anywhere but up.
He enjoyed filming “We Are Marshall” and “Sucker Free City,” both Spike Lee productions that didn’t get the reviews that top-notch films he performed in like “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Million Dollar Baby,” and Academy Award winning Best Picture, “The Hurt Locker.”
Mackie quips that he enjoys stage to screen because he would rather work three hours a day instead of 14 or more hours a day. His stage productions include Broadway plays like “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Whoopi Goldberg, “Drowning Crow” with Alfre Woodard, and Off-Broadway play, “Soldier’s Play,” a character made famous by Denzel Washington.
Mackie says he has been inspired by actors Morgan Freeman and Don Cheadle, because of thier class and a self-determination.
Mackie, who is single, has come full circle in just a decade. Today there is no other actor who has debuted at the turn of the century, and who can boast such an impressive and diverse portfolio of work.