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Mackie under threat on war movie set

By:
Aug 02, 2009 | 5:30am EDT

The actor, who portrayed Tupac Shakur in Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious, admits he didn't have a great experience on the set of the gritty new film, in which he plays an army bomb squad expert.

But sandstorms and poor conditions were the least of his worries - there was a constant threat that he and his castmates could be killed.

He explains, "My life was hell. There were points where it got really hairy. The exhaustion and fear you see in the film was because of our surroundings.

"We were in the Middle East running around with American military suits with big guns in Jordan which kept the fear very real.

"Sometimes people didn't react the way we would've liked them to react but they did react the way we expected them to react. There were people up on their rooftops watching us film, who were not actors. When we were in the desert there were Bedouins 400 yards at the top of a cliff watching us.

"If you're on a set when they yell 'cut' you go into your trailer with the AC (air conditioning) on and drink your Starbucks. You have a tent covering you to protect you from the sun or a fan cooling you off and probably ice packs in your shirt. But we were laying in the real desert, not pseudo desert, in 120 degree heat with 20 pounds of Kevlar (bullet proof vests) on with a Barret sniper rifle.

"There was nothing forgiving about that situation and we did that for eight days. If you've never been in a sandstorm it's like sand paper brushing against your face. It was rough but I'm glad I did it. It's something I can tell my kids about and I'll never do it again.".

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