Anthony Mackie recalls his Avengers: Endgame moviegoing experience

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Anthony Mackie details the visceral reactions from moviegoers while seeing Avengers: Endgame in a theater.

Avengers: Endgame served as both the conclusion of The Infinity Saga and the culmination of eleven years of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, fans were naturally filled with a sea of emotions during certain parts of the film. Endgame star Anthony Mackie knows just how affected fans were by it, as he got to experience their reactions first hand.

While speaking with The Daily Beast about his new MCU role, Mackie recalled seeing the Marvel epic in Vancouver while shooting the second season of Altered Carbon. The opportunity to see the film presented itself when Mackie’s longtime stunt double approached him with Thursday night tickets:

"“I was in Vancouver shooting Altered Carbon when Endgame came out. My stuntman, whom I’ve worked with forever and who did Endgame and was also doing Altered Carbon, got us Thursday night tickets to the first screening.”"

Mackie remembers there being silence when the screening began, but it didn’t take long for things to pick up. And as you might imagine, there was one moment, in particular, that elicited an emotional response from the audience:

"“We go to the screening, and it’s midnight, and everyone’s tired and quiet. Then Tony Stark dies and you just hear people openly weeping in the theater. You never expect to have that effect on people. But you have adults openly affected by these characters.”"

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Tony Stark’s sacrifice still stands out as one of Endgame’s signature moments, and it’s no surprise that it affected moviegoers so deeply. Of course, this all goes back to directors Joe and Anthony Russo and Robert Downey Jr., who Mackie credits for tugging at fans’ heartstrings:

"“I think it says a lot about what Joe and Anthony [Russo] were able to do as directors, and what Robert Downey Jr. has been able to do as an actor for the past 15 years.”"

Most fans knew Endgame would be a rollercoaster, yet some were still unprepared for what it had to offer. From Natasha Romanoff’s sacrifice on Vormir to the triumphant final battle, there were more than enough scenes that struck a nerve with viewers. One of the more bittersweet moments was Mackie’s Sam Wilson receiving the shield and the mantle of Captain America from an elderly Steve Rogers.

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With the MCU having been around for over a decade, it makes sense that the characters would be able to evoke such raw emotion from longtime devotees. And this is something that will more than likely continue as the series continues to evolve.