A few days ago at the premiere for Lone Survivor, in which Mark Wahlberg plays a real Navy SEAL (Marcus Luttrell, above left), Wahlberg took a simple question about how hard it was training to play a SEAL and turned it into a rebuttal for the imaginary straw man who said that acting is as hard as fighting in Afghanistan. Being famous means you get a lot of credit for saying the most brutally obvious things, and Wahlberg did, this despite him being the same guy who said he would’ve stopped 9/11. It was a broadside against self-important actors from an actor who seems pretty self-important most of the time. Important enough that he produces a show based on his entourage, at least.
And he’s still talking about it. From the LA Times:
In his first comments since his impassioned remarks about Hollywood entitlement Tuesday, “Lone Survivor” star Mark Wahlberg offered a peek into his mind — and shed some light on what caused him to react so strongly to a question that equated acting and military work.
“I don’t know, it just weighed so heavily — what Marcus went through, what those guys went through, what their loved ones went through,” he said, referring to Marcus Luttrell, the Navy SEAL he plays in the new Pete Berg movie.
“It just weighed so heavily on me, you know? People acting as if actors are somehow special. I don’t think they know what these guys went through, but I think I have a special vantage point, being that I played him in a movie, because I’m an actor.”
On the Wednesday panel, led by the Times’ John Horn, Wahlberg offered an indirect explanation of why he had grown so heated the night before, saying that the film had worked on his subconscious and that he’d even felt the need to shield himself from it.
“When I arrived early [at Wednesday’s screening] I was like, ‘I want to watch the end of the movie,’ and Pete was like, ‘It’s probably not a good idea considering how much it’s been affecting you of late,’” Wahlberg said, referring then to things he’d “felt compelled to speak about” as a result.
Wahlberg has said the experience of shooting “Lone Survivor” — which had him spending time with Luttrell and burrowing into the topic of people who risk their lives — has given him a new level of awareness.
Appearing quiet and ruminative, he said, “l always felt like, ‘Wow. what I do is so important.’ And I take what I do very seriously, and sometimes I take myself a little too seriously.” But the film, he said, had been an eye-opener. “I’ve just been blown away by what these guys do,” he said.
“I always thought film was so powerful, but compared to other stuff, it’s really not. And I don’t think I would’ve come to this realization without a film. This film is so powerful.”
There’s nothing particularly wrong with anything Wahlberg says, it’s just that phrasing it in the form of a revelation that he had while shooting a movie makes me wonder what the hell he was thinking about before that. It reminds of this tweet, that I saw earlier this week:
First of all, how old was this dude’s grandma? Secondly, did you really need to see Chiwetel Ejiofor get whipped for two hours in order to feel white guilt? How dumb are you? Likewise, excuse me if I don’t start a slow clap when you say stuff like, “Gosh, I never would’ve known that being a soldier was hard without doing a movie about being a soldier.”