Ever wonder why a busy movie star like Anthony Mackie — who has seven movies coming out in 2013 alone — signs on to a project? If that project is "Runner, Runner," which opens Friday (October 4), the answer is simple: to slap the sh-- out of Justin Timberlake.
"You know it's funny, I told Justin, he and Ben [Affleck] are probably the luckiest guys on Earth," Mackie told MTV News' Josh Horowitz about his "Runner, Runner" co-stars. "They both have beautiful, amazing wives — rich wives. They both cannot lose. He puts out an album, it goes platinum. Ben wins a poker championship. He wins Oscars. He directs movies. So I just told Justin, I want to bring you down to Earth a little bit. Just smack you up. So that's why I took it. None of that was in the script, I just went on set and slapped the sh-- out of him."
In case you're wondering, that wasn't exactly part of the plan. In the movie, Mackie plays Agent Shavers, an FBI agent who tries to use Timberlake's Richie Furst to bring down an online poker kingpin played by Ben Affleck. So technically Shavers is supposed to become friends with Furst, but as Mackie explains, that's not exactly how things turned out:
"Nope. Nope. I went to the director, said I have a different idea about this character. I just go around smacking people. 'Eh-hoo!' Bop. Shut up."
You're just going to have to watch the video to get the full effect of Mackie's Justin Timberlake impersonation, because text cannot do it justice.
Don't worry, though, things are looking up for the burgeoning Mackie/Timberlake friendship. Horowitz asked whether Mackie knew Timberlake before the production, to which Mackie quipped, "No, no, no. He has too many ethnic friends to know me. You can't go over two. He has Timbaland, and —"
After a long, revelatory pause, the clearly pleased Mackie said, "Oh, now I'm #2!"