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March 21, 2011  | by: Brandon Kirby

Anthony Mackie

He doesn’t yet have a name that can easily be recognized within a cast list, but Anthony Mackie is definitely someone people should start looking out for. He’s slowly building himself with an on-the-rise profile as great supporting players in a variety of movies, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets his star-making role.

Think back to The Hurt Locker, the taut Iraq War thriller and Best Picture winner at the 2010 Oscars. The lead, played by Jeremy Renner, was a reckless bomb tech who wrote his own rules. But do we remember the strict, hot-headed sergeant who butted heads with him? It was none other than Anthony Mackie. His performance as  Sergeant Sanborn gave audiences the feel of responsibility and stifled panic to offset the loose cannon compulsive thrill of Renner’s character. The 31-year-old actor held his own in that role and did not receive the attention he deserved.

Prior to this role, Mackie appeared alongside Ryan Gosling in the 2006 drama Half Nelson playing Frank. While the film largely belonged to Gosling, he provided effective and solid support. This was among other brief supporting spots.

Mackie in "The Adjustment Bureau"

Last year landed Mackie in a leading spot, but it was in a small indie film that didn’t make it into wide distribution. Titled Night Catches Us, it chronicled the remnants of the Black Power movement in 1976 Philadelphia. What Mackie needs, however, is a more prominent role to launch him into the limelight, something exactly like this month’s release of The Adjustment Bureau.

The sci-fi thriller/romantic drama hybrid The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt featured guardian angel figures who keep the world on a set plan. One of these men was played by Mackie looking fine in a snazzy suit, hat and trench coat. In a movie I considered a pretty hefty disappointment, Mackie’s presence is the one stand-out. There’s a likability to his performance absent from the rest of the film. For being an angel–or whatever he’s supposed to be–his character is the most human out of everyone. It made me think he could have easily replaced Damon in the leading role.

Mackie’s likability extends beyond his role in Adjustment Bureau. In an interview with Collider.com, Mackie nonchalantly chats about how he’s going to prepare to become a vampire hunter. That’s right, one of his upcoming projects is starring in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which will be released next year.

Later this year we’ll see Mackie in the giant robot beat ‘em up action flick Real Steel along with smaller films, Bolden! and Ten Year. It really was this year’s Adjustment Bureau that set him out there even more than perhaps Hurt Locker was able to. I, for one, am ready to see this capable and down to earth actor land his first mainstream leading role.

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