No shield required: ‘Captain America’ star Anthony Mackie’s own super power is swimming with sharks

June 26, 2024  -When National Geographic approached Anthony Mackie with an opportunity to swim with sharks to kick off its SharkFest programming, it was an easy yes for the Marvel star who is the new Captain America.

The water, says Mackie, is a “safe space” where he “can just tune everybody and everything else out.”

Mackie has been a certified scuba diver for nearly two decades. “I’ve swam with some crazy stuff, and I’ve swam with sharks before. I just swam with Great Whites in South Africa. I did whale sharks in Mexico. I swam with a blue whale off the coast of Cape Town.”

For “Shark Beach with Anthony Mackie,” debuting Thursday, he wanted cameras to visit the waters near his home in New Orleans, where he is a regular boater and fisherman. An increase of sharks in the area are swarming boats and eating fishermen’s catches, leading to a greater risk of hungry sharks becoming aggressive. This points to a larger environmental issue that the ecosystem is off-kilter.

“If we eat all the fish, the sharks have nothing to eat,” said Mackie. “Sharks have babies in Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Catherine. When their babies come out, they’re full-grown pups. They’re three-foot sharks… They’re not predators, but they also need a substantial food source.”

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