It definitely is unlike any other Christmas movie you’re going to see,” Anthony Mackie said of “The Night Before,” in theaters Friday.
He plays Chris, who has a long-standing bromantic tradition with Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Isaac (Seth Rogen). The dudes are finally grown up now (sort of) and are moving on from their hard-partying ways. But not before one last bash, the “Nutcracka Ball.”
The movie also stars Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Mindy Kaling and Michael Shannon.
“Seth and his crew has a way of making movie making enjoyable as opposed to hectic and neurotic,” Mackie chuckled. He’s personally not one for the zany antics the three sometimes unwise men make in the R-rated comedy but does relate to its message of friendship.
“I have my boys and we get together and celebrate different stuff,” he said. “Nothing like Christmas. Our wives would kill us!”
Mackie, who has played Sam Wilson/Falcon in a number of Marvel movies, was here for the filming of “Ant-Man” and “Captain America: Civil War.” It wasn’t hard for him to name a favorite restaurant.
“When my brother graduated from Georgia Tech 15 years ago he had his graduation party at Mary Mac’s (Tea Room) and I’ve been going back ever since,” said Mackie, also a Bar Taco fan. “I love Atlanta.”
Rogen, by the way, recently filmed “Neighbors 2” here and the two compared notes ahead of time.
“I gave him a list of places he had to go,” he said.
Mackie’s favorite Christmas memories as a kid involve staying up so late in hopes of spotting Santa that he would sack out on the floor. His favorite memory every is more recent.
“My first Christmas as a dad,” he said. “It was fun being able to do for my son what my parents did for me.”
His 6-year-old is into videos and action figures but as “The Night Before” telegraphs, the best holiday gifts don’t come in boxes or stockings.
“The most important thing about Christmas is family and being around the ones you love,” he said. “You can’t replace that with presents and gifts. The giving season is all about giving to people you love.”