The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Anthony Mackie Describes Pandemic Shoot: “It’s Rough”

Anthony Mackie admits it's "rough" returning to work on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier months after filming on the Marvel Studios series was shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Mackie's Captain America and Avengers co-star Sebastian Stan estimated there were "at least two or three" weeks of filming left when Falcon and the Winter Soldier went dark. Six months after pulling the plug on a Prague shoot over coronavirus concerns, the Disney+ series partnering Sam Wilson (Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Stan) resumed filming in the Czech Republic — this time with health and safety protocols in place, including mask-wearing in-between takes and six-foot social distancing.

"Everybody's very afraid of each other. The food is bad because they have to pack it up somewhere else and bring it to us in Ziploc bags. Yeah, it's awful," Mackie told Entertainment Tonight. "You're literally living in quarantine. It's not like the NBA bubble where they had a barbershop and friends to hang out with."

"No, if you get within six feet of somebody, there's some little Czech dude coming and poking you with a stick saying, 'You have to move,'" Mackie said. "So it's rough."

The six-episode series from producer Kevin Feige and director Kari Skogland (Marvel's The Punisher) was to be the first Marvel Studios-produced television series before its delay into 2021. Now it will be WandaVision, reuniting Avengers co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in their own Marvel Cinematic Universe-set series, that launches Phase 4 of the MCU when it reaches Disney+ before the end of the year.

Joining Mackie and Stan are Emily VanCamp (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Sharon Carter and Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) as Helmut Zemo, as well as franchise newcomers Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49) as U.S. Agent and Danny Ramirez (The Gifted) in an undisclosed but pivotal role.

"What I loved about it was that, tonally, it was very much in the same world that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, which was one of my favorite experiences that I've ever had, period. So, in a sense, it was grounded and very much in the world as we know it," Stan previously told The Hollywood Reporter, adding the action spy-thriller is similarly "jam-packed with a lot of massive, massive action scenes mixed with deep focus on character. That's what's really exciting about this."

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"We're getting to keep it in the world of the movies, so it's recognizable that way, but at the same time, these characters are getting so much more mileage for all of us to explore them," he added. "We can put them in situations that we've never been able to put them in before because you now have six hours as opposed to two. It's always a discovery."

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier releases on Disney+ in early 2021.