Before Samuel L. Jackson was Marvel’s Nick Fury, he was always a superhero to longtime co-star Anthony Mackie.
The “Captain America: New World Order” actor revealed that Jackson was like a father to him on set across early films “The Man” (2005) and “Freedomland” (2006) before the duo joined the MCU with “The Avengers” in 2012. Mackie and Jackson have starred in a total of nine films together so far across 18 years.
“Sam Jackson taught me a lot, like from afar,” Mackie said during the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “Three of my earliest movies were with Sam Jackson and because of that, my set etiquette is a complete replica of Sam Jackson. He literally was my work dad. He taught me everything about the business from afar.”
Mackie continued, “And every night I’d ask him a question and he’d give me one of his answers, ‘Shut up, motherfucker!’ and I would take that. But literally when you see me on set, it is a direct representation of how Sam Jackson moved and operated with this business, with class and ease. People went the extra mile for him just because he was a cool dude.”
The “We Have a Ghost” actor, who recently announced his directorial debut, described the need to “diversify” his career as taught by Jackson and fellow MCU actor Don Cheadle, plus Lawrence Fishburne.
“From the beginning of my career, I always emulated and followed Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson,” Mackie shared. “Samuel L. Jackson has had a very interesting career because it started so late and he was so late in the game before people knew who he was. If you look at him and Don Cheadle and Lawrence Fishburne, they really built a resume. They really tracked their roles. They really chose roles that showcased them as individuals to put them in a room with other people to give them other roles.”
He added, “When you do it that way, when you’re strategic about it, it gives you more of an opportunity to be more diverse. I look at acting like I look at investing. You want to diversify your portfolio. You don’t want to put all your chips in action movies, you don’t want to put all your chips in AT&T. You want to invest in everything so you’re not put in a position where there’s only one thing you can do.”