In the Peter Berg-directed “Lone Survivor,” Mark Wahlberg steps back into the role of a member of the armed services, this time as Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Possibly making things more complicated for Wahlberg on set during filming was the fact that the real-life Luttrell, who wrote the book that the film is based upon, and was present.
“Though it raised the level of pressure [to have Luttrell there], it was also extremely helpful once he was able to kind of open up to me.” Wahlberg told us, saying that once the two had a rapport, he learned a lot. Wahlberg went on to explain that “Considering what he’s been through, I didn’t feel comfortable just kind of asking him questions… I was quite apprehensive about picking his brain.”
Being apprehensive, however, didn’t stop Wahlberg from having to create a full character that would work on screen. He told us that he didn’t try to purely mimic the real-life Luttrell, “We really just wanted to embody the essence of who these guys are and to be able to show that brotherhood and to be technically sound in every single aspect of being a soldier and looking believable as a SEAL.”
One of the things we found truly fascinating during the interview is that while Wahlberg has played soldiers before, he said that he’s been more drawn to playing athletes. He explained that he “Always wanted to be an athlete, so anytime I got to play a professional athlete it was like fulfilling another childhood dream.”
Not quite childhood like, but certainly somehow in the realm as it deals with stuffed animals, we couldn’t resist asking the actor about the upcoming “Ted 2” and if he was ready to return to that world. The answer was an unequivocal yes. He said that they “Should be seeing the script any day now, but Seth [MacFarlane] already kind of walked me through the idea and the premise of the next one and it’s completely outrageous, but still has a great balance of that kind of outrageous thing and also that kind of heart that the first one had.” We are going to have to wait a few years to see just how well they manage that sequel, but it’s definitely something to which we are looking forward.
“Lone Survivor,” which also stars Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, and Eric Bana is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles. It expands nationwide on January 10th.