Having just filmed his role as the first African-American superhero, Falcon, in the upcoming sequel Captain America: Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie can speak with some authority on the subject of comic book blockbusters.
So when E! News caught up exclusively with the 34-year-old actor at Wednesday's premiere of his new thriller, Runner Runner, in Las Vegas, we couldn't resist asking him if he had any advice to give costar Ben Affleck now that the latter is going to be playing Batman in the Man of Steel follow up.
"I said punch harder and he will win every fight," Mackie told E! News.
Not that Affleck needs the input. After all, the Oscar winner has experience in the genre, having starred as the titular hero in 2003's Daredevil. And despite mostly negative reviews for that film, he is not in the least concerned about the controversy over him donning the cape and cowl, telling Jimmy Fallon recently that he's "a big boy" and "very tough."
But if you ask Mackie, he's confident Affleck's going to nail DC Comics' Caped Crusader because he's relatable as a person.
"I think it's great," Anthony said about the casting. "My favorite Batman was Michael Keaton because he made Batman like an everyday guy we can relate to. I feel like the last few [actors playing] Batman have been lost in trepidation that you really can't relate to. So I feel like Ben Affleck—what makes him a star is he has that everyman quality. I feel like he is going to bring that back to Batman and make him cool again."
In Runner Runner, Mackie plays an FBI agent hot on the trail of a gambling mastermind named Ivan Block (Affleck) whose online poker site cheated Princeton student Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) out of his college tuition. The G-Man tries to use Richie, who has since become Ivan's right-hand man, to infiltrate the latter's offshore operation.
Mackie revealed that during downtime from filming on location in Puerto Rico, he and J.T. got to be pals, though there wasn't much time for the avid golfers to hit the links.
"We did not have time to golf unfortunately. Justin was working on his album at the time of us shooting this movie and he had a thousand other things going on. We just hung out and had a few beers," said the 8 Mile alum. "He is just a really nice guy and works so hard that you want him to succeed and we have become friends because of this movie so I just like to stand back and watch him grow."
Runner Runner hits theaters on Oct. 4.
—Reporting by Jennifer Cooper