Mark Wahlberg describes his character in the upcoming Broken City as we get chatty with the Hollywood star.
How was Broken City as an experience, since you’ve acted and co-produced the film?
I play Billy Taggart, an ex-cop trailing the wife of New York City’s mayor who finds himself immersed in a larger scandal. The character is intense and interesting too, but it was not very difficult to play, as Allen is a great director. He knew what he wanted out of the character.
Working with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Crowe must have been quite the experience?
We were shooting five weeks before Russell came in and everybody was like what he is going to be like. We had such a great energy and atmosphere on the sets and he just showed up and had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, I mean monologue after monologue. He just showed up and walked into the room and Allen asked if we want to rehearse and I looked at Russell and Allen and said, “let’s do this s***”. The way it was written we had the ability to just go at each other. We tried to outdo each other as characters but not as actors. So we had some really great duals. Crowe just came in and nailed it, it’s nice to see someone who was prepared... it was like “Oh some people do care!” Catherine Zeta Jones again is a very down to earth and superbly beautiful person.
You play the role of a cop, a wronged cop to be precise in Broken City. How different is Billy from Dignam in The Departed?
My character in The Departed had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This character is faced with a whole different choice and challenges and I found it really interesting, I could understand what he did in the beginning of the movie and why he did it. You still want to do the right thing for the system. He does the right thing even when he’s faced with this issue of taking down the mayor and helping a lot of less fortunate people even though he’s going to have to risk losing his own freedom — he just does it. I just love Billy Taggart, I just love that about him, it’s one of those things that reminded me of when I saw Chinatown with my dad. Here is a great character, here is a great story and here is an interesting twist and they don’t have a tendency to make these movies anymore, although they all do really well.
And finally, we’re all excited about Pain & Gain and 2 Guns. You’re paired with two great ensemble casts in both the films — could you let us in on more about these films?
Pain & Gain is an upcoming action film written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directed by Michael Bay. The film is based on a 1999 series of Miami New Times articles by investigative journalist Pete Collins about a couple of Florida steroid-abusing knucklehead bodybuilders who become criminals involved in an extortion ring and a kidnapping plot that goes horribly wrong. I am Daniel Lugo, who is regular bodybuilder working at the Sun Gym. While 2 Guns, follows a Navy SEAL and a DEA Agent who both work together undercover, not knowing about the other’s government affiliation. The two are tasked with stealing millions of bucks from the CIA, and discover that they’ve both been double-crossed into doing the deed, forcing them to team together to clear their respective names. I am one of the agents in the movie.