Movie press tours and premieres are an anachronism of an older media age, when the only way people heard about a movie was through carefully staged media roundtables and the resulting boring fluff pieces. Nowadays, we mostly only hear about these events if something especially contentious or awkward happens.
As was apparently the case last night at the AFI festival premiere of Lone Survivor, where Mark Wahlberg “lost his shit” over “actor privilege.” Let this be a lesson, definitely don’t ask him to compare actors to soldiers when he’s standing next to a soldier.
When Wahlberg took the stage with Berg and Petty Officer Luttrell [the lone-surviving Navy SEAL of the title who Wahlberg plays in the film] after the credits rolled for a brief Q&A, he looked distraught and distracted. After Luttrell explained how he and Berg teamed up for the film, the moderator turned to Wahlberg to ask about his rigorous training and the rough shoot. Wahlberg looked visibly pained by the question and started on what would become an almost five-minute monologue. “For actors to sit there and talk about ‘oh I went to SEAL training’? I don’t give a f-ck what you did. You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f-cking dare you, while you sit in a makeup chair for two hours,” Wahlberg said.
He continued: “I don’t give a sh-t if you get your ass busted. You get to go home at the end of the day. You get to go to your hotel room. You get to order your f-cking chicken. Whatever the f-ck it is. People talk about what do we do to bond the way that those guys bonded. We just knew what they did. It didn’t matter. I didn’t have to say a word to Emile [Hirsch] or a word to Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster…who’s my brother even though he’s the kind of actor who wants to continuously debate the debate and everything else…and I love him for it. I gave him half my salary…whatever I gave him…to do it because I knew how great he was and for us to be on that mountain together and in the end I could just look at him and it would break my heart knowing that that’s my brother and I may never see him again. But it just seems like so much more than that.”
“I’ve done the movies where I talk about God. I trained for four and a half years and I was ‘The Fighter’ and f-ck all that. It really means nothing. I love Marcus [Luttrell] for what he’s done and I’m a very lucky guy to do what I do and I’m proud to have been part of it, but it’s just so much bigger than what I do. I love Pete [Berg] for what he did and how committed he was,” he said. “He would never let any one of us forget about what was important in the course of making the movie and whether it was Marcus or the other SEAL guys, if they saw something that didn’t ring true, I don’t care if it was going to be the biggest stunt sequence in the movie, they would cut, call bullsh-t, and grab all of us by the f-cking neck and say ‘no do it this way, and do it right and make it real’ and if you don’t it’s a problem. I was really proud to be a part of that.”
Wahlberg finished by saying, simply: “I’m sorry for losing my sh-t. Don’t ask any more questions tonight.” [EntertainmentWeekly]
Now, a little backstory on Wahlberg’s mini-freakout. Earlier this week, there was a story going around that Tom Cruise had said that “working on movies was as hard as fighting in Afghanistan.” Of course, that was just TMZ taking a leading question about whether being away from his daughter was like being off in Afghanistan out of context and blowing it way out of proportion. He didn’t really compare acting to fighting. But I assume that was the story Wahlberg was reacting to, trying to seem humble in front of the real-life Navy SEAL.
He’s right, of course, that acting in movies is nothing like fighting a war in Afghanistan. And what a brave, brave editorial that would be. I only hope some writer is courageous enough to write it. Of course, if Marky Mark had been on that plane on 9/11, and had stopped it from being hijacked like he said he would have, that Navy SEAL would never have been over in Afghanistan in the first place, and his buddies would probably still be alive today. So really, isn’t it Mark Wahlberg who’s the real hero here?
Though I am still a little mad at him for calling the sports water he promotes with P Diddy “revolutionary.” How dare you compare a sports drink with the brave men who liberated this