June 20, 2012 at 9:23 AM ET
Anthony Mackie is ready to rewrite a little history, playing sidekick to President Abraham Lincoln, who spends his evenings chasing down bloodsuckers in "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter."
Mackie said his character, onetime slave Will Johnson, is based on a real individual who was freed and employed by the president. "That's a fact!" he told TODAY on the Plaza Wednesday. The film opens June 22.
Later, Mackie returned with co-star Benjamin Walker, and the pair shared glasses of wine -- from Mackie's own Brooklyn bar, NoBar -- with Kathie Lee Gifford and guest Regis Philbin on the TODAY set.
"I've got the market cornered on weird interpretations of presidents," said Walker, who plays Lincoln in the film, and starred in the Tony-winning "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" as President Andrew Jackson.