The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was jam-packed with lots of big brawls, so much so that the action occasionally got a little too real for the actors on set. UFC legend and the MCU's Batroc the Leaper portrayer Georges St-Pierre can attest to at least one of those instances, as he recalled a hilarious moment in which he accidentally punched Marvel star Anthony Mackie while rehearsing one of the show's sequences.
Georges St-Pierre spoke exclusively to CinemaBlend about his time on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, among other key topics, and when the discussion turned to transitioning from the world of unrehearsed MMA to the world of choreographed fighting, he gave me a stellar reminder that fighting on camera can be equally dangerous. He shared a story of how he accidentally clocked the new Captain America Anthony Mackie, though the story probably won't play out the way one may expect.
I remember one night we were rehearsing a fight scene with Anthony Mackie, and it was very late; everybody was very tired. And when you rehearse a fight scene, it's like a dance with a partner. So you move and you expect your partner to move accordingly to what you're doing. You punch and you duck, so it's like a slow [fight], and you repeat and repeat and repeat and it becomes like an automatic action reaction. And one night, I remember - Anthony has a lot of equipment, because he's The Falcon. His mobility is very compromised. So one night we’re rehearsing and in one of the scenes, I threw a punch, and he had to duck underneath me. But I think he miscalculated, so he didn't duck. I was not able to pull my punch on him. I got him on the side of the head. And it was okay; everything was good, but that's just to show you that sometimes it could be dangerous, you know, because there's danger in it. It's still fighting, even though it's not really fighting. So after that, when he was okay, I was making a joke because when I caught him, I caught him on my elbow. There's a nerve there, and I told him, ‘Anthony, you’re probably the only person in my life that I ever hit, that I have more damage,' because my arm was numb for like a few minutes after, and he was fine.
Not many people can say they shrugged off an elbow shot to the head from Georges St-Pierre, and even fewer can say they have heads hard enough to hurt GSP like Anthony Mackie's did. Props to the MCU vet for being able to withstand a shot from the three-time UFC Welterweight champion, though I'm sure it'd be a different story if the two had to actually step inside the octagon.
Though his time back in the MCU was short-lived, Georges St-Pierre was grateful to have been brought back as the similarly named Georges Batroc for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier after first appearing in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. St-Pierre shared a great analogy for the experience, and what it meant to him to be invited back into the Marvel family (if only to get murked by Sharon Carter).
It was like someone who played basketball who has a chance to go to the NBA right away. To be able to retire from my career in mixed martial arts and have a chance to right away reprise my role as Batroc and jump into a series like this, it's a dream come true. I couldn't ask for a better scenario.
Batroc's final scene in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier makes it incredibly unlikely that he'll return, but we've seen Marvel characters come back from almost certain death before. I'm crossing my fingers we'll see him again, though bouncing back from a gunshot would certainly be Batroc's greatest feat yet. Maybe if there's ever a Marvel Zombies series.