Anthony Mackie Gives Fellow Marvel Star David Harbour Advice On Working With Sebastian Stan, And Almond Butter Is Involved

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in Captain America: Civil War
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled to the brim with wonderful character dynamics, but easily one of the best is the love/hate bond between Anthony Mackie's  Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes. First featured in the MCU together in 2015's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the two Avengers have a fantastic relationship that springs from their respective connections to Chris Evans' Steve Rogers, and it's always great to see them both bicker and fight together. Thanks to their multiple collaborations, Mackie and Stan have forged a great behind-the-scenes friendship – which is why the former is in a fun position to provide advice to other actors about working with the latter.

Related: Marvel Movies In Order: How To Watch The MCU By Release Date And Chronologically

David Harbour, for example, will soon be working side-by-side with Sebastian Stan in the making of the upcoming Marvel blockbuster Thunderbolts, and Anthony Mackie has offered up some tips for the Stranger Things star. During a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Captain America: New World Order star was asked if he had any advice for Harbour about working with Stan, and Mackie explained,

Sebastian is a very nice person. Don't take his quietness and standoffishness as him being mean or rude. You just have to warm him up a little bit. You know, give him some almond butter, talk to him a little bit. He'll be fine.

I can't personally say that I would have expected that almond butter would specifically be the key into Sebastian Stan's heart, but I'm certainly willing to take Anthony Mackie's word on it, and David Harbour should take note.

In Thunderbolts, Harbour will be reprising his role as Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian, whom Marvel Cinematic Universe fans previously met in director Cate Shortland's 2021 blockbuster Black Widow. The character has been confirmed as being part of the titular team along with The Winter Soldier, and they're joined by a bunch of other Marvel veterans in the excellent ensemble cast. It's been confirmed that the roster will also include Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Wyatt Russell as John Walker a.k.a. U.S. Agent, Olga Kurylenko as Antonia Dreykov a.k.a. Taskmaster, and Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr a.k.a. Ghost. 

It was confirmed at D23 Expo 2022 that Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Valentina Allegra de Fontaine will be the point person for the Thunderbolts (a la the role played by Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury for The Avengers). Harrison Ford will also be in the film as President Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross – reprising the part shortly after he appears in Captain America: New World Order.

Written by Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow) and directed by Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank), Thunderbolts will be going into production in the next few months in advance of its scheduled release date on July 26, 2024. Little is known about the film's plot at this point, though the original comic book the movie is based on features a group of supervillains pretending to be heroes while secretly executing evil plans.

Hopefully we'll get to learn much more about the project as it gets closer to production, and in the meantime you can scratch your itch for all things Marvel by checking out our ranking of all the MCU films and our Marvel Movies In Order feature.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.