Interview: Mark Wahlberg on making ‘Lone Survivor’

Mark Wahlberg plays a soldier fighting for his life in "Lone Survivor." Credit: Getty Images
Mark Wahlberg plays a soldier fighting for his life in “Lone Survivor.”
Credit: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg points out that he’s 42 years old. That didn’t stop him from not only playing a soldier in “Lone Survivor,” but a soldier who, along with his three fellow SEALs (Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch), is put through the ringer: shot at repeatedly by Taliban insurgents and falling relentlessly down hills. Wahlberg plays Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of the mission, who wrote about the experience in the book of the same name.

On playing a real person: “For me, I was fortunate to meet the guy I was playing — spending time with him, having him throughout the entire process and helping me with anything I needed. He’s a very special individual. To see the kind of man he is — I’m certainly inspired to be a better man.”

On working with a relatively small budget: “Originally this was going to be a big budget movie. But we did this movie for a small price, which is why it feels so intimate and real and authentic.”

On the technical constraints of shooting quickly: “We had a short amount of time [to do it]. We had two units going at the same time. If you were with second unit, you’d be doing a lot of action stuff, with the falls or certain parts of the gun battle. Then I’d run back to the village set. We were always all over the place.”

On getting into the soldier mentality: “As a man, I don’t want to sit on the bench. I want to be in the game. I always want the ball. It’s not a question of physical ability. It really comes down to a mental toughness that sets those guys apart and gets them through the training.”

On how he approached his role: “When Pete first asked me to do it, I thought selfishly, as an actor, ‘Wow, what a great opportunity to play a showy part. And then when I read it and saw what it entailed, my perspective changed. Then it was never about me again. It was about the guy I was portraying. Even when watching the film, I don’t think about what we did. I think about what happened to those guys and what Marcus was able to endure.”

Read? Don’t read?: “I don’t read the books before I make the movies. I’ve been in situations many times where you’ve adapted a piece of material and you always feel like something’s been left out. I thought Pete [Berg, the writer/director] did a great job of writing the screenplay. I was completely immersed in the world and felt it. I didn’t want to then go back and read the book and start complaining about why this wasn’t in there or what that’s isn’t there. You could debate that for hours. I read the book after — and I did feel like, ‘Why isn’t this there? Why isn’t that there?’”

War! What is it good for?: “I don’t like war, but I love soldiers. And they’re not the guys who decide whether or not they’re going in. They don’t really care. They have a job to do and they go and they do it. They risk their lives — that’s what they do. That’s why we made this tribute to all of them.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.