Anthony Mackie seamlessly stepped into the role of Takeshi Kovacs on Netflix’s sci-fi hit Altered Carbon. The renowned actor has filled big shoes before (see: Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that shied he was gifted), and he was up to the task.
In Altered Carbon, hundreds of years in the future the human race can essentially live forever, if they can afford it, thanks to “stacks” that serve as their soul’s hard drive that can be placed in new bodies aka “sleeves.” Mackie portrays Takeshi Kovacs, the last Envoy, warriors/terrorists out to stop the abuse of the aforementioned technology.
While portrayed by actor Joel Kinnaman in the first season, Mackie takes up the mantle in the re-up (with actor Will Yun Lee reprising the role of the OG Kovac).
“Just staying true to the character [Will Yun Lee] had created as the original Takeshi,” Mackie told Hip-Hop Wired of how he approached the role. “I didn’t want to change it up and make him something completely different. There is a through-line that’s supposed to go through all these characters. So I was trying to stay true to that but still put my own touches on it.”
The exciting story packs plenty of action amidst engaging drama.
“I equate it to Shakespeare, this is a futuristic Romeo & Juliet,” says Mackie, whose sentiment was echoed by co-stars Dina Shihabi (“Dig 301”) and Chris Conner (“Poe”), who ably portray AIs (artificial intelligence) in the series.
But a Black man packing a mean punch, in the future, is part of the reason we dug season 2.
Says Mackie, “When I watched those Blaxploitation movies like Shaft, even Coffy, Dolemite, movies like that—when I started my career when people would ask who do you want to be when you make, I was like, ‘Wesley Snipes.’ So to be able to do this and really live out my dream of punching people in the face makes me very happy.
Altered Carbon 2 is streaming on Netflix right now.