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Anthony Mackie on ‘Debauchery’ in ‘The Night Before,’ Playing Falcon

Anthony Mackie broke into the acting business with 2002’s “8 Mile,” has appeared in acclaimed films like “The Hurt Locker” and “Million Dollar Baby,” and is most proud of his recent glimpse into homelessness, “Shelter.” He’ll revive his famed Falcon character for “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016, but first, he’ll display some festiveness in two holiday releases: “Love the Coopers” (whose starry ensemble includes Diane Keaton and John Goodman), and Christmas Eve comedy “The Night Before.”

Why is Christmas a good backdrop for a story?

I feel like Hollywood is the land of people with big hearts. Growing up, there was always “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and all the great times you get to be around family and watch movies are pretty much on Christmas.

Who do you play in “Love the Coopers”?

I play the local police officer who wrangles a member of the family and gets her back into the Christmas spirit. I’m kind of like the ghost of Christmas past, future and present.

What happens in “The Night Before”?

You have three friends (Mackie, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who get together for a night of debauchery. We basically celebrate Christmas with each other.

What do you like about playing the Falcon? 

Sam is pretty dope. He’s actually turned into more of Cap’s equal as opposed to his sidekick. The Falcon is really interesting because when you look at people who grew up reading the comic book, they’re very loyal fans. And because he’s a military vet, there’s a huge level of honor and respect that comes along with the character. He’s the moral compass of the story.

What can fans expect from the next “Captain America”?
If you thought the “Avengers” movie was mind-blowing and out of control, this movie is definitely going to blow your mind and literally make you jump in your seats when you see it.

And what do you hope people take away from “Shelter”?

When you look at a homeless person, you don’t know what got them there. If we take a little bit more time being a little bit nicer to everyone, I think the world would be a better place.

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