Anthony Mackie has opened up about learning to fly as Falcon in Captain America: Civil War, admitting that he face-planted the first time he tried to land.
Mackie said as much to Entertainment Weekly, admitting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was actually the first time that he’d ever had to act in an “action thing.” Something that became very apparent on the set of Civl War, when Mackie first took to the air as Falcon.
When Mackie sat down with the “graphics team and the directors,” they told him, “We want you to land like a bird,” before explaining, “because you have wings… you have to pull your legs in, swoop your core in, let your wings slow you down, and then land on your feet.”
Mackie then decided to study all about birds, “the way they land, the way they took off, they way they flew, and all this stuff." Unfortunately that didn’t come in handy for Mackie.
"The first day — I think we were doing Civil War, and there's the scene where [Vision] shoots Rhodey out of the sky and I land to see if he's okay — I'm supposed to land, so they pull me up like 30 feet off the ground and I'm on a pendulum, so I'm supposed to pull my legs under me and land to a stop.”
“I didn't realise how much my lower body weighed, so I pull on the ropes to try and bring my legs under but I can't get my core in, and I literally land face-first in the dirt and bounce for about 10 feet. I have grass and mud all in my face. The crew is just dying laughing. Everybody is dying laughing."
Because each action scene was so different, Mackie never actually got used to landing as Falcon, too, adding, "It became a comedy of errors of every day when I had to land and how they were going to kill me. To this day: 'How do we crash him into something?'"