By: Kristian Rose-Anderson
In 1949, the East Coast mafia was quickly moving its reign to Los Angeles. There, the ruthless mob king,
Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), ran the show. Drugs, guns and prostitutes were the name of the game, and
not to mention every wire bet placed west of Chicago. But success in this scene meant having the protection of not only paid goons, but also gaining control over the police and the politicians. It was enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop: except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Gangster Squad chronicles the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast
mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s. This star-studded film includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi and Anthony Mackie as Coleman Harris, a switchblade-wielding cop who proudly patrols one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city. The film
is set to open nationwide on January 11, 2013.
New Orleans born, Julliard educated, critically acclaimed actor, Anthony Mackie, has had a string a
hits in Hollywood with roles in films like 8 Mile, The Manchurian Candidate, She Hate Me, Million Dollar
Baby, The Hurt Locker, Notorious, The Adjustment Bureau and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, to
name a few. Mackie sat down with Monarch to talk about his latest film and his incredible career.
You have done an incredible job navigating your career. Not many people can get quality and quantity
of films that you have in a fairly short period of time. What’s your secret?
I have a really good team and the three of us work really well together. So we kind of weed out a lot of stuff that works and does not work. I’m fortunate because I’m in New Orleans and I don’t have an extravagant lifestyle. So I don’t have to do extra jobs that come my way.
I didn’t realize your home base was New Orleans.
Yep, put a nail in it! I came back after living in New York for eleven years. There was a huge winter storm one year and a pipe broke in my ceiling and flooded the entire first floor. There was six inches of water on the first floor. So I thought life is hard enough! So I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly [laughs].
I read once that your goal in the industry was to not be typecast. You’ve succeeded! How do you know when a project is a good one, is it a gut feeling or the people involved or timing?
It’s fifty percent the people who are involved and fifty percent the conversation I have with the director once I read a script. I heard Kevin Spacey once say that when he reads a script he doesn’t want to know which part he’s being offered. That way he can read it from the point of view of just the story. So a lot of times when I read a script, I just look for the story and the way that I could fit into the story. I’ve been so fortunate to play a lot of different characters. Sometimes I get offered a similar character, so I try to figure out ways to create this character in different ways.