“He’s a mean old dude”: Anthony Mackie Was Hardened By His Experience on Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-Winning Film Due To Co-star’s Bullying

The MCU star got beaten up by Hollywood's favorite narrator!

“He’s a mean old dude”: Anthony Mackie Was Hardened By His Experience on Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-Winning Film Due To Co-star’s Bullying


  • Before becoming MCU's Falcon, Anthony Mackie got beaten up on a critically acclaimed movie by Clint Eastwood.
  • In the Million Dollar Baby, Mackie's character was badly beaten up by Bruce Almighty star Morgan Freeman.
  • After being beaten up by the enigmatic star, Anthony Mackie developed a new-found respect for Freeman.
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Anthony Mackie has climbed his way in Hollywood, filling the shoes of Chris Evans and becoming the new Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as featuring in critically acclaimed projects like Black Mirror, The Banker, Synchronic, and The Adjustment Bureau. Long before his well-known role as the Falcon, the actor featured in a project by one of the most well-respected individuals in the film industry, Clint Eastwood.

Anthony Mackie as Captain America
Anthony Mackie as Captain America

Mackie appeared in Million Dollar Baby, an Oscar-winning classic that has been described by many as a masterpiece. The film was released long before the actor’s rise to fame, which would make many think that he had an amazing time being on the set of such a large-scale project with so many big names. This, however, was not the case as Mackie ended up having to endure quite a lot of physical violence at the hands of another extremely well-recognized and respected actor, Morgan Freeman.

Also Read: “I almost killed Anthony Mackie”: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Actress Nearly Decapitated MCU Star With an Axe


Anthony Mackie Was Beaten Up By Morgan Freeman

Anthony Mackie had a very small role in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, playing the role of a boxer named Shawrelle Berry. For this role, the actor was required to get badly beaten up by another character named Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, the narrator of the film as well as the opener of a boxing match in Los Angeles. The character in question was played by Morgan Freeman.

Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman had their share of teasing Anthony Mackie on the sets of Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman on Million Dollar Baby

“He kicked my a*s! He punched me. In. The. Face. He’s a mean old dude.”

During an interview with The Guardian, Mackie looked back on this, reminiscing on the memory with humor. He talked about how the film made him get badly beaten up by The Shawshank Redemption actor, with him even getting punched in the face. the actor also talked about how he found this aspect extremely ironic, considering how much older Freeman was from him and the fact that he was the one getting hurt.

Also Read: “It’s still something we flirt with”: Captain America Actor Anthony Mackie Wants to Revive Hugh Jackman’s $299M Movie Like Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious Franchise in the Future


Anthony Mackie Then Went On To Idealize Him

One would expect Anthony Mackie to get spiteful after this incident and possess sour feelings towards Morgan Freeman. This, however, was not the case at all, as the actor revealed to The Guardian that the Oscar-winning actor shared some deeply insightful words that stuck with him to this day. He elaborated on this, stating that he was extremely confused between two jobs, concerned about whether he should pick the one that would pay him more or give him a better experience.

Anthony Mackie in Twisted Metal
Anthony Mackie in Twisted Metal

“When Hollywood wants you they’ll come get you,’ he said. ‘And when they come get you they’ll pay for you. But right now, work on your craft.’ And I did the play and subsequently every job I take I think back to that. I’ve got those words printed out and stuck on my wall.”

It was here that Freeman told him that the film industry would be waiting for him when his time came with a job that would pay him extremely well. Until then, he should focus on the projects that would help him learn the most rather than the ones that would pay more. Mackie confessed that these words have stuck with him for a very long time, so much so that he got these words printed out and put them up on his wall. He also thinks about this every time he picks a new project.

Also Read: British-Nigerian Actor Who Co-Starred in Anthony Mackie’s Netflix Movie Giving Henry Cavill Tough Competition in James Bond Race


Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1143

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.