WHO - - Back Chat -

The Hurt Locker‘ s An­thony Mackie, 39, and Will Poul­ter, 24, speak to WHO’S Carly Bass about their film Detroit (out now), de­tail­ing the city’s deadly 1967 race riot.

Were you fa­mil­iar with the ri­ots be­fore you were cast? Poul­ter No, no. I didn’t know about the re­bel­lion in Detroit, I didn’t know just how many sim­i­lar events there were through­out Amer­ica. So many peo­ple of colour be­ing mis­treated. Mackie I was very fa­mil­iar with what hap­pened. I have fam­ily that moved [there] in 1965–66 for work and my un­cle would tell me about the ri­ots, the stuff he had seen. To have one of those men in my fam­ily was a huge ad­van­tage to build­ing [my] char­ac­ter. How was work­ing with each other? Poul­ter I knew An­thony’s work from The Hurt Locker and the Marvel uni­verse. He’s a multi-tal­ented guy. Mackie The only thing I knew of Will was We’re the Millers and, well, it was funny. I feel like 99.9 per cent of ac­tors in Hol­ly­wood could not do We’re the Millers and this movie. It says a lot about him and his ta­lent.

What do you think of the film? Mackie

I feel like ev­ery coun­try has its Detroit, ev­ery­body has their Detroit, so it gives you the op­por­tu­nity to look at it from the out­side, and just make the right de­ci­sion in­stead of ac­tively mak­ing the wrong de­ci­sion. Poul­ter We were all aware of the greater pur­pose, to cre­ate some­thing that could af­fect gen­uine so­cial change, that could be a po­lit­i­cally in­flu­en­tial movie. Did you spend time to­gether off-set? Mackie We did. When we would wrap we would all hang out to­gether, have a beer, go to Soul­cy­cle, go out to din­ner. Make fun of each other and drink a pint. Poul­ter It was a chance to get back in con­tact with who we re­ally are, show it was ac­tu­ally love and re­spect un­der­pin­ning this whole ex­pe­ri­ence. I can’t say we would have got through it without An­thony.

“He’s my only Bri­tish friend,” says Detroit’s Mackie (right) and co-star Poul­ter. “It’s on ev­ery­body to find a so­lu­tion,” says Poul­ter. “Not just the peo­ple who are af­fected by prej­u­dice.”

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