The New Orleans native, 33, stars in ''Pain & Gain'' and is filming ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier.''

By Geoff Boucher
April 26, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

MASS APPEAL

After memorable turns in The Hurt Locker and The Adjustment Bureau, Mackie joined Pain & Gain to tap into Michael Bay’s hot-and-buttery popcorn sensibilities. ”He just sees the world in a different way…. If you’re a man and you work with Michael Bay, he makes you look like a movie star. You think back to Bad Boys and Will Smith — that was Will’s movie-star moment.”

BELOW THE BELT

Mackie’s Pain & Gain character is a steroid-fueled bodybuilder with a limp love life. He turns to crime to pay for sex-clinic treatments with a naughty nurse (Rebel Wilson) wielding a giant syringe.

HERO IN THE MAKING

For the Captain America sequel, Mackie will play Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, a hard-knocks Harlem kid who becomes a soaring superhero. Introduced in 1969, the Falcon was the first African-American superhero in comics. ”The biggest thing for me is going to be the opportunity to go out on Halloween and see all the little black kids dressed up like the Falcon,” says the actor.

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