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'Hurt Locker' actor Anthony Mackie, slowly warming up to the Hollywood glare

But as seriously as Mackie takes his work, there's no denying his humor. The guy - who spent most of this interview slouching comfortably on a sofa in a D.C. hotel suite and looking low-key in jeans and an untucked button-down - is a cutup.

He says he'd really like to do a comedy. But instead of bugging his agent to snag a gig as the quirky sidekick in the next Will Ferrell vehicle, he - again, marathon, not sprint - opted to take comedy classes and sign on for a small role in the upcoming Anna Faris/Chris Pine rom-com "What's Your Number?"

"I wanted to get my feet wet and see what it was like," he says.

Clearly, if Mackie is starting to be perceived as an "It" guy, he isn't necessarily playing the part. Instead of Los Angeles, he opts to live in New York, where, in his limited spare time, he recently managed to open his own bar in Brooklyn.

"All the parties and stuff are for people that are looking for stuff that I am not really interested in," he says.

So what does Mackie look to do in the future? He wouldn't mind being in a comic book movie. "I would love to jump off a building and have whiskers come out of my hands," he says, although he points out that, when it comes to typical superheroes, "none of those dudes look like me."

He also half-jokingly expresses interest in making a movie version of the '70s sitcom "Sanford and Son." "That'll be a game-changer," he says. "I'll definitely be Spider-Man if I play Lamont."

But ultimately, he seems pretty satisfied to continue hanging out right where he is:

"I'm very happy being number four on the call sheet, because I can make fun of people and enjoy craft services all day."

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