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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…