Anthony Mackie Wants to Play Jesse Owens, Sugar Ray Leonard

Anthony Mackie Wants to Play Jesse Owens, Sugar Ray Leonard

The actor dreams of making biopics on the sports heroes.

Published September 30, 2011

Though an actor with a face like Anthony Mackie could make a career out of just standing around and looking good, the Real Steel star is ready to move his feet. In two separate interviews, Mackie reveals his dreams of starring in biopics about boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard and Olympic runner Jesse Owens.

He told BlogTalkRadio about meeting Leonard on the set of Real Steel  (the boxer trained Hugh Jackman for the film): "I'm going around the room trying to get someone to introduce me. So he comes up to me and goes, 'Anthony, how's it going? I enjoyed your work. Good work in the movie man.' I'm like, 'Oh s**t, Sugar Ray Leonard saw me in a movie!'

He adds, "My goal now is to play Sugar Ray Leonard in a movie just because hanging with him, I'm like, 'He's the coolest dude in the world.'"

Mackie's other goal is to bring the story of Jesse Owens, the Olympic gold medalist who shamed Hitler during the 1936 games, to the big screen. "I feel like Jesse Owens kind of saved the world. Jesse went there and won four gold medals and flattens the idea of there being an ultimate race," he tells The Playlist.

 "If you can make a movie about a dolphin or a horse for winning a race, you can make a movie about a man that changed the scope of the world."

Mackie isn't waiting for a call from Hollywood to make the Owens biopic. Instead, he's developing it for himself. "If Ryan Gosling is believed to be able to gain 30 pounds to play a role, I can definitely lose 10," he says.

The only thing stopping Anthony now is his insanely busy schedule. He is currently shooting the crime ensemble Gangster Squad with the aforementioned Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Next year, Mackie will fight vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Written by Smriti Mundhra


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