Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is more than halfway done already, but that doesn’t mean the impact of the characters will go away after the finale airs. As one of the few Black superheroes in the MCU, Sam Wilson has been portrayed by actor Anthony Mackie since first appearing in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the midst of his new Disney+ series building up its audience, the actor has spoken out about why now is the right time for Sam to become such an important and impactful figure within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Although Sam doesn’t necessarily have superpowers, he’s still quite a strong and athletic dude on top of utilizing his badass Falcon tech, making him more than just a superhero. While recently descending a cliff face for National Geographic’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Anthony Mackie spoke to Grylls about his MCU role and agreed that now is a great time for Sam to be such an important figure in the live-action Marvel universe.

I think with the evolution of not only us as a country but as a global society – the idea of inclusiveness and the idea of everyone equally as a unit is so popular now, and rightly so – that it’s the perfect time for it.

Even though Anthony Mackie has been acting in Hollywood since 2002, he didn’t truly achieve full global recognition until The Winter Soldier released, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Now with multiple movies as Sam Wilson under his belt and a record-breaking streaming show, the actor still can’t believe where he is and what kind of impact he’s making in such a renowned franchise.

Stan Lee reintroduced and recreated the Falcon three different times in the comic book. With the civil rights movement and every time Black culture changed and evolved in America, so did the Falcon. It’s really remarkable to start where I did in the business and now be one of the largest figures in the Marvel Universe.

In the Running Wild with Bear Grylls video, which was posted by a Twitter user, Anthony Mackie and Grylls can be seen discussing the role of Sam and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and in quite a lovely setting. The clip is a touching one as it shows just how passionate Mackie is about this role that he’s played for nearly a decade and how fortunate and grateful he is to continue inspiring others. Check it out below!

Anthony Mackie has openly and honestly spoken out about Marvel’s lack of diversity in the past, speaking more to how things look behind the scenes as opposed to on camera. As the Black lead of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, it bothered him that there are as few people of color working on film crews as there are. He went on to say that Marvel Studios and other entertainment companies should seek to hire the right people and lay a foundation for the next generation.

Especially in this day and age when everything is online and society is constantly changing, it’s so important to have representation and inclusiveness on display from top to bottom. It’s important now more than ever that characters like Sam Wilson are being seen and utilized in a way that they never have been before.

New episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier drop on Disney+ on Fridays.

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