By the time Captain America: Civil War rolled around, Anthony Mackie had already taken flight as The Falcon, but it was really that unofficial Avengers movie that put the spotlight on the winged warrior.
While he may have made it look easy on screen, the actor admitted during an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he definitely struggled to stick the landing.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier star was speaking to the site to promote new documentary Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy, someone Mackie once studied under.
"The Marvel movies were the first time I had to an action thing," he explains. "My character's the Falcon, so I show up, I sit with the graphics team and the directors, and they're like, 'We want you to land like a bird.' Because you have wings, you have to pull your legs in, swoop your core in, let your wings slow you down, and then land on your feet. Being the weird actor that I am and going back to my mime and clown days, I went and started studying all these birds and the way they land, the way they took off, they way they flew, and all this stuff."
"The first day — I think we were doing Civil War, and there's the scene where [Vision] shoots Rhodey out of the sky and I land to see if he's okay — I'm supposed to land, so they pull me up like 30 feet off the ground and I'm on a pendulum, so I'm supposed to pull my legs under me and land to a stop," Mackie recalls. "I didn't realize how much my lower body weighed, so I pull on the ropes to try and bring my legs under but I can't get my core in, and I literally land face-first in the dirt and bounce for about 10 feet. I have grass and mud all in my face. The crew is just dying laughing. Everybody is dying laughing."
"It became a comedy of errors of every day when I had to land and how they were going to kill me," he concludes. "To this day: 'How do we crash him into something?'"
One would assume that Mackie has probably mastered the technique while working on his and Sebastian Stan's new Disney+ TV series, but landing correctly could prove to be even harder once he's wielding Captain America's shield.
Either way, this is a very funny story, and an interesting look at his journey to becoming The Falcon!