Anthony Mackie has revealed he used to badger Marvel for a role in their films.
His persistence finally paid off when the Hurt Locker star was cast as the Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, joining the likes of Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson.
"I would send Marvel an email, like every four to five months. I was calling saying, 'I'll work for free'," he recalled. "About two years ago they sent me a letter saying, 'Don't call us, we'll call you.' I was like 'Damn - Marvel (are) mad at me'."
Anthony got emotional when he inked his dream deal with Marvel, admitting: "When I heard I got the role I broke down in tears.
"I realised two years from that date some little brown boy was going to be at my door in a Falcon costume on Halloween. When I was a kid I didn't have that. It wasn't like I could get asked, 'Who do you want to be for Halloween?' and say Shaft. Being the Falcon is monumental."
Although working with Marvel has been a long-time goal for the 35-year-old, he imagined playing a villain, not a superhero. "I wanted to be like the Joker and get my Heath Ledger on," he said.
The actor worked out as soon as he signed up. He said: "I immediately got into the gym. I thought if I am wearing that much Spandex I have to be in shape."
Anthony now hopes to bring the story of Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens to the big screen.
"The great thing about the Falcon is, it's put me in a position to where people are willing to have those conversations about Jesse Owens. I feel like it's a story that has to be told."