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Altered Carbon's Anthony Mackie Learned Hard Truths About Bears And Skiing While Filming Season 2

In recent years, Anthony Mackie has been a major go-to actor in Hollywood, in part because of his continued success within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sam "Falcon" Wilson. Fans who are looking forward to his return to the role for Disney+'s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier TV series (possibly as Captain America) can currently catch him leading the action in Netflix's futuristic sci-fi drama Altered Carbon during its less-nudity-filled Season 2. Though he might look sure of himself on-screen as Takeshi Kovacs, Mackie was a bit less confident behind the scenes during the Vancouver production.

When talking about his Altered Carbon Season 2 experience for a Vanity Fair video retrospective about his career, Anthony Mackie humorously played up the dangerous elements, saying:

Me in Vancouver is like reading Dante's Inferno, and I don't know which layer of Hell I was in, but I'm pretty sure I experienced all seven. It's the first place I've shot where we had to have bear wranglers, because there's bears everywhere, and I guess the local people aren't afraid of bears.

(To note, Dante's Inferno actually had nine circles of Hell, but it's certainly possible that one of those Vancouver bears ate the other two circles.)

Lots of TV shows film in Vancouver these days, given the metro city's ability to stand in for a variety of larger U.S. cities. But it's quite rare for, say, the cast of The CW's The Flash to bring up bear wranglers being seen on the set; assumedly because The Flash's Central City doesn't showcase many wide open areas where bears might frolic. In any case, Anthony Mackie doesn't sound like he was quick to offer up his services as a volunteer bear wrangler during Season 2's production.

When he wasn't playing a super-soldier on the screen, Anthony Mackie took to the slopes for some skiing, but apparently found out rather quickly that it wasn't the kind of skiing he was used to. In his words:

Skiing is a death trap in Vancouver, because they actually have mountains. So if you're going skiing, and you see a big sign that says 'Slow,' that means you've hit the point where you can die.

Obviously, Anthony Mackie followed the signs' advice and didn't experience any fatal injuries on the mountains of Vancouver. But that wasn't such a sure thing in the actor's mind, it seems. I'm pretty sure we're not going to see Mackie's Falcon challenging Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier to any ski competitions when their Marvel show debuts on Disney+.

At least it was a learning experience for the actor. Not only did Anthony Mackie learn that bear wrangling was a decent way to make a living in Canada, but he also learned the correct name for the snowy bumps that occur down a mountain's ski paths.

I learned what a mogul was. We don't have moguls on the East Coast. If you saw a dude falling down the mountain, like that – [mimics a skier flipping over and over] – that was me over every mogul that was out there. It was a very cold, long, rainy six months...running from bears.

Has anyone ever tested if awkwardly flipping down a mountainside is a good way to avoid being attacked by a bear? Because if so, Anthony Mackie might want to keep that tip in his back pocket the next time he films a movie or TV show in Vancouver, or anywhere else in the Great North where bears are part of the local population. If Altered Carbon goes with a female lead for Season 3, he won't need to worry about that show at least.

Anthony Mackie can be seen in action as Kovacs on Altered Carbon Season 2, currently on Netflix, where lots of other exciting new and returning shows will be streaming in the near future. Mackie can also be seen in Apple TV+'s first feature film production, The Banker, when it debuts.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.