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Back at old job, Anthony Mackie lends star power to New Orleans’ post-Ida roof repair effort

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Movie star Anthony Mackie was back in his home town — and back at an old job — as he took part in a program to repair roofs damaged by natural disasters for people who aren’t financially or physically able to get the work done themselves.

The New Orleans-born Mackie, perhaps best known as the new Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pitched in earlier this month with members of the nonprofit Rebuilding Together New Orleans and roofing manufacturer GAF at the home of 81-year-old veteran Joe Capers.

Blue-tarped roofs are still part of the landscape in New Orleans more than two years after Hurricane Ida struck in 2021. The work on Capers’ property marked the ongoing program’s 500th home roof repair in the Gulf of Mexico region, according to GAF.

“It takes a lot of pressure off of me, because it’s been a hard road,” Capers said outside his home, where Mackie and the GAF workers had gathered on Sept. 12.

Capers said his applications for help from government agencies were denied. “Let me tell you, I’m so grateful that they came along.”

Mackie, taking part in the program for the second consecutive year, reminisced about his time as a youth “mopping tar” on roofing jobs for his father.

“If you’ve never mopped tar. It’s — imagine being a Thanksgiving turkey in the oven, waiting to be taken out,” Mackie said. “Because the tar is about 500 degrees.”

He said he only recently was able to repair his own Ida-damaged home.

“I’ve been working so much the past two years, I’m just getting to cleaning up my damage from Hurricane Ida. So I had to put a roof on my house. Fortunately, knock on wood, I was able to put back on my roofing shoes and get back on the roof,” Mackie said. “So, now my neighbors are asking me to fix their roofs.”

Mackie and GAF workers also gave locals tips on roof repair as part of a program known as the GAF Roofing Academy program.

“Building a resilient community begins with the roof,” said Andy Hilton, who holds the title of chief communications and corporate social responsibility officer at GAF. “If we can be helpful in repairing the roofs for families who need a secure roof and that sense of safety and shelter, we’re going to continue to do that work as long as we need to.”

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Associated Press reporter Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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