There's a lot of surprisingly funny subtext in the upcoming "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," at least according to co-star Anthony Mackie.

As the Falcon, Mackie plays the fan-favorite winged superhero who teams with Cap (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to uncover an alarming political conspiracy involving S.H.I.E.L.D. and the titular Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).

Watch the brand new, 4-minute clip above to see Cap and Black Widow n action, plus a glimpse of Falcon.

However, Mackie brought a whole new set of relationships to his role, as he explained to myself and a group of journalists who visited the Marvel sequel's set last year.

"When we first started this movie I thought, 'Oh no, Sam Jackson's in it. Sam Jackson has a goatee. Sam Jackson is gonna look like my dad,'" Mackie revealed with a chuckle. "So, every time we did a scene with Sam, after the scene I'd go 'dad'?" That's what I'm playing, and you'll see this in the movie. Every scene I have with Nick Fury, I'm playing it like he's my dad. I've watched it on the monitors, and it worked."

Falcon's fictional relationship with Johansson went even further, as you can imagine. 

"I put in this interesting subplot that Black Widow and I are in love with each other," Mackie chuckled. "When you see the movie I hope you catch it. There are different scenes where I give it to her, a little chocolate love. I think I've seen her return it. I'm not sure. We've got two weeks left now, they can't cut it out. That's what I've been working on for the last three months."

As for the leading man Evans, Mackie says, "he's someone I really consider to be a friend, outside of all of this. He's a very smart guy. He's a guy that understands rigging, camera work and directing, as well as acting. He knows how to talk about film in-depth. It's cool to see that your friend is good at something, and you didn't know that."

Between jokes, on-set anecdotes and impressions of actual falcons, Mackie -- jokingly self-decribed as "5'11' of pure chocolate" -- discussed joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe and working with such an illustrious cast (which also includes screen legend Robert Redford). 

Growing up with a brother who collected comics, Mackie "always knew about the Falcon and Black Panther. Primarily Falcon, just simply because he was an African-American superhero. My brother was really big on, like, being black," he laughed. "So, I knew about him"

His brother was understandably thrilled at the idea of Mackie playing Falcon. "When I was a kid I destroyed all of his comic books," Mackie admitted, "so he was happy to think that I'd be able to re-buy his comic books for him."
Mackie expounded on the roots of his character, whose real life identity is one Sam Wilson. "There was the first incarnation where he had a black-and-green suit and he was a drug-dealing pimp from Harlem that crashed going down to Brazil to pick up drugs..and became a superhero," he explained humorously. "OK... I want a bird and spandex, prostitutes and cocaine. That's the Marvel Universe." 

From those odd beginnings, the hero settled into a more typical role. 
"If you look at Falcon now, he's really a military, tactical-driven force," Mackie explained. "He works with Cap not so much out of self-preservation, but more so out of respect and honor. They're both military guys and they both share a common bond within the military. He's just a standup guy that can fight really well."

Through every incarnation, the Falcon's most prominent feature has been his wings. "I've seen as much of the wings as you have," Mackie responded when asked. "Every now and then they bring up these 3 foot wings that I'm hoping will turn into 6 foot wings, but I'm not sure how that works. They're in a case on the set and every now and then they break them out and flap them. Literally, some dude stands there like this [he made an exaggerated flapping motion here]. I'm guessing they're gonna put them on me."

Go to page 2 to read about Mackie joining Marvel and the possibility of appearing in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.