A few weeks ago I posted part of my exclusive interview with Mark Wahlberg that covered The Raven, The Brazilian Job (the sequel to The Italian Job), Five Brothers (the sequel to Four Brothers), Cocaine Cowboys and The Fighter. But with the awesome comedy The Other Guys opening in a few days, it’s time to post the entire conversation.
The thing to know is…if you’re a fan of director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell movies like Anchorman and Talladega Nights, you’re going to love The Other Guys. And while I always thought Mark Wahlberg was a great actor, I’ll admit to being very surprised he could do comedy so well. Trust me, when you see Wahlberg and Ferrell on screen together, you’re going to love their chemistry. Anyway, during the interview we talked Boston sports, when did he know he would work so well with Will Ferrell, doing improv, future projects, Comic-Con, and a lot more. As always, you can either read the transcript or listen to the audio after the jump:
If you’d like to listen to the interview, click here. And click here if you’d like to watch an awesome press conference featuring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton and Director Adam McKay. The Other Guys opens this weekend. If you want to laugh a lot, go see it.
Collider: So jumping on in, let’s actually start with some fun. Celtics. What’d you think? Game seven?
Wahlberg: I just think they didn’t want it. You gotta want it more than the other guys. You know, you got a thirteen point lead in the third quarter. Step on their neck, man. Don’t let off of the gas, dude. But, you know, the thing is with me, the Celtics had just won, the Red Sox have won two World Series’ now, I’m in a good place. I actually, I like Kobe. I’ve met him a couple of times at the few Lakers games I’ve gone to. I usually go when the Celtics are playing. But, you know, I’ve always sat down and had conversations with him and I’m actually a big fan of his. I think he’s the best player in the league and I have a lot of respect for him but I don’t want them to have more championships than the Celtics.
We’re on the same page. I’m also from Boston and I’m a huge Boston sports fan, so you’re at the same place as me. Do you feel like you’re as passionate as you were but it’s sort of like, there’s something there that relaxes you like, “Okay we didn’t win, but…”
Wahlberg: Yeah. I can’t be upset for three, four, five days now. I got my kids looking at me like, they don’t really give a shit about the Celtics. They say that’s their team, you know? I ask my kids whose going to win and they say, “The Celtics.” All my kids wear Celtics shirts and we still have the Celtics basketball court in the backyard at the house but I can’t be upset. I gotta let it go. Like, I was so glad that when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Giants that I was in New Zealand, I was shooting The Lovely Bones, so I wasn’t right there with my family and I was able to just fuckin’ scream and yell a little bit.
Totally. So I have to jump into the movie. First of all, I loved this movie and I thought your chemistry with Will was just phenomenal. At what point did you realize, this is going to work out really well?
Mark Wahlberg: From the first time that I sat down with him to have dinner. You know, because I had met with other people in the comedy world and I knew that most comedians are not like they appear on screen. They usually kind of dark and very different from the characters that they play. Will is not that guy. He’s as sweet, kind, and sincere as he comes across on screen. I just didn’t want to be in a situation where people were trying to be funny when the camera was rolling and then being all dark, weird, and serious in between shots. So, once I met them and saw how they were it was like, “This is awesome.” Then the fact that they wanted me to be in the movie with them. They wanted to write this part for me. I just thought it was too good to be true.
At what point did you find out that you’d be shooting Derek Jeter?
Wahlberg: (laughs) Pretty early on. Pretty early on…
Did you have any other suggestions, you know, it doesn’t have to be Jeter, it could be…
Wahlberg: A-Rod or…No, Jeter was the perfect one, you know, because he’s the Golden Boy of the franchise. He’s been there. He’s been a Yankee his whole career. He’ll go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee. We’re going to screen the movie August 3rd in Boston and, I’ve already got a pretty good reputation there, but this is just going to cement my status as a legend.
People are going to be buying you drinks for a very long time.
I believe you’re going to Comic-Con…
…and so, for you, pardon me for not knowing, have you been there a lot, have you been there before?
Wahlberg: No, just one other time.
Are you sort of prepared? Are you looking forward to it? Or is it sort of daunting to be in a room with 7,000 people?
Wahlberg: No, I love it. I mean, it went good the first time.
Are you going to try to enjoy the floor? Are you going to buy yourself anything? Are you a geek over anything?
Wahlberg: Um, yeah, it’s just a matter of how much time I’ll have because we’re going to drive down there and then drive back. I think it’s a Friday/Saturday that we go so, I’ve got four kids at home and we have help during the week but only up until about five o’clock and that’s really the crazy time at the house, between five and seven, trying to get these kids dinner, bath, and in bed. That’s when things get really crazy so I’ve got to be home as soon as possible to help my wife.
I completely understand. I have to ask you, a story broke online yesterday about the short film The Raven…
…and about you possibly being involved and Universal, is there any truth to that?
Wahlberg: Yeah, we went and set it up at Universal, I’m going to produce it with my partner Steve and we’re going star in it and it’s going to be fuckin’ insane, dude. Have you seen it?
Wahlberg: It’s crazy. The idea for the movie is just off the charts.
Do you envision this as being, you’re of course attached to many projects, what’s bubbling for you right now, how close is that in your future?
Wahlberg: Well, hopefully, you know, we’ll get a draft in about eight weeks. We already kind of came up with the full-length feature idea and so it’s just a matter of how quickly they can write the script. I would love to go make that movie sooner rather than later. We’re working on the Cocaine Cowboys script, The Brazilian Job is now kind of getting active again, they finally sent some pages of the script for Five Brothers, and there’s a bunch of other things that we’re developing.
I was going to ask you, if you don’t mind being specific, The Brazilian Job has been a project that Donald DeLine has talked about for a while and you’ve mentioned. Is it really, you think, finally going to possibly go?
Wahlberg: Yeah, I think if it’s ever going to happen it would be now. But, you know, with any other movie that I’ve made there’s been talks of sequels but if we can’t make it any better or as good as the first, we just don’t want to do it. It’s just not worth it. Because that movie, with a good piece of material starting out and putting together a good cast, it ended up being a good movie and people really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun, it was smart, and so if we can capture that magic again then it’s worth doing. But, other than that…
We also mentioned the sequel to Four Brothers. Where do you think that is status-wise? Do you guys have a story for it?
Wahlberg: Yeah, it’s a great idea. So, I don’t know how much they would want me to talk about it, but it’s a great idea. I kind of assume the parental figure or position, helping younger kids in the neighborhood, they kind of get into trouble. Then I realize that my biological dad has another sibling and he decided to keep him and, you know, it’s gets…
That’s a cool film though. I like the grittiness and the practicality of it.
Wahlberg: Yeah, wait until you see The Fighter, dude.
That’s my next question. I cannot wait to see this film, I’ve seen stills that I’m losing my shit over just looking at it.
Wahlberg: Yeah, it’s the best film that I’ve been in.
That’s is a very strong statement.
Wahlberg: Well, it’s the best story that I’ve been apart of and we made the best possible version of the movie by bringing David O. Russell onboard to rewrite it and to direct it. We always knew that it was a great drama, but there’s a lot of humor as well as emotion, and obviously, you know, Mickey Ward goes against all odds and wins the title. But it’s very real, it’s a special movie.
Have you seen the final cut?
Wahlberg: They’re still doing some tweaks and things, but yeah, I’ve seen the movie twenty times. I mean, we’re in there and then we went back and shot some additional stuff. This became my baby and, you know, four and a half years of trying to get this movie made.
When do you think it’s going to premiere? When do you think we are going to see a trailer?
Wahlberg: You’ll see a trailer fairly soon. We’re going to a marketing meeting at the end of this month. I’ve already seen one cut of a trailer and everybody is just super excited about the movie. It’s coming out on December 10th. So, we’re excited.
Do you think there’s a chance it could premiere in Toronto, or do you think you’re going to do something like that?
Wahlberg: We talked about it, but I don’t think it will end up doing any of that. I think, you know, we’re just going to go out and go big.
What I really like about your work is you’re able to do a lot of different things. How do you prepare, basically, for all your roles? Is there one sort of thing that you do as an actor? Could you talk a little about your preparation process and, also with The Fighter, what exactly did you do?
Wahlberg: Well, obviously, everything is different. Like with The Fighter, the last six movies I did I was also secretly preparing for The Fighter at the same time so I would leave three hours early for work and go to the gym and spend three hours there. I would bring the trainers with me on every movie that I did, at every junket, and all the European trips I did I just continued to train for that movie because I was obsessed with getting it done and I was obsessed being as good a boxer and realistic a fighter as I possibly could. You know, Mickey Ward obviously is a close friend of mine and I wanted to make sure that he was happy. That was my ultimate goal. That we did him justice. But, yeah, every role is different. I just always hope that there is something that I can personally connect to or identify with and then just go and try to make it as real as possible. But I love movies that are challenging to me both physically and emotionally and that I have to take a lot of time leading up to it to get into that headspace and live in that headspace throughout the course of the production.
I have to wrap, but I have to ask you about the one scene in The Other Guys. You’re arguing with Will over the lion and the tuna and Adam just told me that was an improv scene. Could you talk about filming that one scene and just what it was like to work with Will in that moment?
Wahlberg: Yeah. Well, I’m just trying to keep a straight face. He’s so out of his mind, in a good way, but with every scene we did we would shoot what was on the page and then spend three or four hours just improvising and playing around. Yeah, you know, we’re getting into this ridiculous argument but, like everything else that I’ve done, I try to play it as real as possible and stay as committed to the situation and the moment no matter how absurd it is.