The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Stars Discuss Working with GSP

UFC 83 Georges St. Pierre
Credit: Dave Mandel/

The stars of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier discussed taking punches from former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre ahead of the premiere of the Disney+ series.

The stars of Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Solder, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, discussed working with former UFC champion and pound-for-pound great Georges St-Pierre during a recent interview.  The retired MMA star will be reprising his role as the villain Batroc the Leaper in the series after first portraying him in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight Canada, the two actors discussed working and doing fight scenes with one of the most accomplished combat sports athletes of the modern era.  Mackie, who will once again be playing the Falcon, pridefully discussed surviving a fight scene with the living legend.

I took a full punch to the head from GSP and didn’t get knocked out, true story.  We have footage of it.

While Stan (the Winter Soldier) did not have an on-set story to tell about trading punches with the former champion, he recounted meeting “Rush” before the two began filming the 2014 film.

This is before we shot Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I saw him at an airport and he was eating a pizza and I thought I’d go over there just to say that we were about to make a movie together.  I was like ‘Hey, I’m so and so,’ and he was like ‘Yeah, yeah, sounds good.’ It didn’t really go very well.  He’s actually one of the nicest— an incredible fighter and he’s incredibly nice but at the time I don’t think he really knew that I was actually telling the truth [about being in the movie with him].’

Speaking with Variety last month, St-Pieree discussed the similarities between the world of combat sports and acting, using Conor McGregor as a prime example of the persona that athletes use to market themselves.  “My sport is a full-contact sport, so there’s a lot of mental work. Trash talking, mind games. Deep down inside, you’re afraid, but you have to act like the win is inevitable. It can be heartbreaking. You have to dig deep and show perseverance… When you see Conor McGregor, for example, he’s playing a role. Fighters play a role. That’s the persona that he gives himself: Love me, hate me, but don’t ignore me.  I’m more shy and true to the value of martial arts, and that’s how I carried myself in that business. We are all actors — when it’s time to perform.”

On being back in the entertainment juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pursuing more work as an actor, he said:  “No one is more excited than I am to come back. I feel very blessed and happy. It was a great learning experience… I started taking it more seriously, and now I’m having acting class every week. Theater, camera acting, audition coaching and English lessons.  It’s a lot of work, and I put in the same amount of work and passion that I used for training. In martial arts, you start at white belt. That’s where I have to start with acting. I have to climb the mountain again.”

The extent of St-Pierre’s involvement on the show is unknown, as is whether he will appear frequently opposite Mackie and Stan or if he will have a more limited role.  The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set to premiere this Friday, March 18 at midnight on Disney+.