*Anthony Mackie says his latest film “Man on a Ledge,” in theaters today, is the perfect psychological thriller because of two realities: A) It’s not trying to do too much, and B) It’s exactly what the title says it is.
“’Man on a Ledge!’ the actor proclaims during interviews for the film in LA. “You got a man, and guess where he is the whole movie? On a ledge! You know what I mean? I like movies like that. You give me a title, that’s it! Live up to the title. ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’ You got Smokey, and you got a bandit. That’s what I want.”
The man on the ledge in this film is Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), an ex-cop accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He threatens to commit suicide by jumping off a high-rise building in New York City — all while his brother pulls a heist nearby.
Nothing too complicated, according to Mackie – who plays Nick’s best friend and colleague Mike Ackerman. [Scroll down to watch a preview.]
“I feel like a lot of times when you get a psychological thriller, either it’s too psychological to where you don’t know what the hell goin’ on, and you get to the end of the movie and you’re like, ‘I wasted two hours of my life. I could’ve been sitting somewhere with my uncle Jack Daniels and talking.’ Or, it’s too much of a thriller, where it’s like, ‘Who are these people and why do I care?
“But I feel like what [director] Asger Leth did with this movie, which is what I saw in the script, is he cut all the fat off it. All the stuff that does not pertain to a man on a ledge, he took it out. And because of that, it just becomes this train ride. It’s just this whirlwind of a ride from beginning to end.”
Another one of those movies that Mackie says lived up to its title: “The Help.”
“As much as that movie pissed me off, it gave me what the title was. ‘The Help,’” he says. It didn’t say ‘The Owners.’ It said, ‘The Help.’ They were there to help them people be better actors. I thought it was a phenomenon that they could take that book and turn it into that film. Because, considering most books you read, you see the movie, you’re disappointed, right? That’s why I don’t read.”
Mackie says of “The Help’s” Oscar-nominated stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, “I was very warm-hearted and pleasantly surprised by the performances that Octavia and Viola were able to give. I thought they held humanity and pride in what they did, and did something that should make all their critics stand up and applaud them.”
In the audio below, Mackie talks about the dilemma of all black actors who are offered roles in which the character is either a maid, a slave, or holds some other subservient position to whites.