Why Captain America’s Anthony Mackie Says He’s Still “Just Anthony” In New Orleans

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Anthony Mackie, soon to star in Captain America: New World Order, described why he's so passionate about putting roofs over heads in hometown.

By Daniel Trainor Sep 21, 2022 7:00 PMTags
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We've got a real-life superhero on our hands.

Anthony Mackie might play Captain America, but in his hometown of New Orleans, the actor is changing lives without the help of a shield.

In partnership with GAF, the nation's largest roofing manufacturer and a Standard Industries company, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier star is working hands-on to assist New Orleans residents who are still struggling with blue tarps on their homes after being battered by natural disasters, most recently 2021's Hurricane Ida. Some are even still reeling from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Mackie, who spent summers working for his family's roofing business in New Orleans growing up, understands the importance of safe, stable housing more than anybody. That's why he and GAF are committed repairing or replacing 500 roofs through the Gulf Coast region, including 150 in the city's 7th Ward, where Mackie grew up. 

In an exclusive conversation with E! News, Mackie explained why he's so passionate about the endeavor, what he learned from his father, his intense love for New Orleans history and why he wants to raise his four boys there.

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E! News: Congratulations on the collaboration with GAF. I would love to hear about how it all came together. 

Anthony Mackie: Just looking at companies that were out there that kind of hovered around my personal interests—construction, working with my hands, things like that—we had the opportunity to just start this conversation with things they were interested in doing and things I can help with. When the Community Matters initiative came, I thought it would be a perfect collaboration between the two of us.

E!: Can you walk me through exactly what the collaboration entails and what you are all working to accomplish?

AM: GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer in the country. They've put together the Community Matters initiative, where we're going through the Gulf Coast region and giving 500 homes new roofs that have been affected by natural disasters, storms and things like that, and specifically 150 houses in my neighborhood of Gentilly in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. So, we get to get up on some roofs, tear some shingles off and give people fresh roofs.


E!: This isn't the first time you've done hands-on work like this, correct?

AM: When I was a kid, it was hell on Earth. Life changes, you know? It was a great opportunity for my Dad to teach me this trade. It was a way for me to make money and to have money throughout the school year. But when I was a kid, I hated it. It was awful. But now, being able to do it and see the emotional support it supplies to people through the community is really heartwarming, man. The people that we've been able to touch, the stories we've been able to hear, it's been really beautiful.

E!: How has the community benefited from this outreach?

AM: They've committed to investing $25 million through 2025, which is a huge amount. There's so many people who need help who don't know how to find it. Specifically in my neighborhood of Gentilly, just the people that we've seen. There's a lot of insurance companies that ran away after Ida. There's not a lot of people sitting around with $12,000 or $15,000 in the bank to put a new roof on their house. So you have these blue tarps that have become a staple of storm damage in the Gulf Coast region. If I can know that just one of them came off because of me, that brings a smile to my face every day.


E!: Why is New Orleans a city that you hold so close?

AM: Because it's the best city in the world. Up until 1911, New Orleans was the epicenter of Earth. Everything that came from Europe came through New Orleans. That's why our Spanish culture, our French culture, our Native American culture and our African culture have all been preserved. Everyone has their own footprint in the city in their own way. There's no other city like that in America.



E!: When you're in New Orleans, are you still Anthony or are you Captain America?

AM: I'm just Anthony. Don't get it twisted. I'm still paying for catfish on Friday. I'm not getting nothing free. Captain America is more than just a shield and a movie. You really have to step into the community and help people from where you're from. 

Captain America: New World Order his theaters in 2024. The first season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is available to stream on Disney+.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.)

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