In a visceral modern thriller from the director of Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg stars as James Silva, an operative of the CIA’s most highly-prized and least-understood unit.
Aided by a top-secret tactical command team, Silva must retrieve and transport an asset who holds life-threatening information to Mile 22 for extraction before the enemy closes in.
The Knockturnal: So what would you say specifically you learned from working with each other?
Peter Berg: I learned that they eat some really spicy food in Jakarta. […] I went and visited with him and my son and I went and visited with him in Jakarta in Indonesia, and we were like ”We want some real food.” And he and his wife kinda talked and they were like “Really? You really want to eat real food?” And I said yeah. So they took us to… What were some of the really spicy dishes? What do you call it?
Iko Uwais: Lot of stuff, I mean we have brain.
Peter Berg: Brains. Everything was brain. So we were eating it and it was burning our mouth and my son’s like “What’s that?” and Iko’s like “That’s brain.” And then you eat something else and looks different and tastes different but REALLY spicy. “What’s that?” “Brain.” So I learned they eat a lot of brains, and that’s- *points to his head* that’s why they’re so talented.
The Knockturnal: Okay, that makes perfect sense, that’s how that works! So you might have different answers for this but what was sort of the grueling scene for the two of you, there’s a lot of really intense fighting scenes in this.
Peter Berg: I mean we like filming the fighting scenes, we were crazy, we love that.
Iko Uwais: I mean it’s fun because it’s different emotion […] Because when we did the drama stuff, so it’s we have to focus, but for the fight scene it’s fun.
Peter Berg: Probably the hardest thing to film was the last scene in the movie, where we had to go out at the airport. Because we were in Bogota, Colombia and that was our first day and we only had one day and it was maybe a hundred and twenty degrees out in deep, deep Colombia in the jungle. We had to fly, film it, and fly back in one day -it was a big scene. And people were fainting, and we didn’t really know what was happening while we were deep in the jungles of Colombia, so there were guys with machine guns everywhere. And I mean, it turned out well. And Colombia was a great experience. Those are the scenes that you can’t tell when you’re watching, but that was a hard day at work. Because we had to move very quickly.
Iko Uwais: And has to be fast right?
Peter Berg: Has to be fast since that’s the final scene in the movie. So the fighting is fun, we like that. Sometimes, it’s the logistics which sometimes you wish got points for that. Like you go see a movie and you’re like “Oh I really didn’t like that scene.” You have no idea what an ordeal it was to get it. That was probably the hardest day of working.
The Knockturnal: Yeah, I certainly had no idea. (to Iko) And you’re working a ton, you have a lot coming out this year alone. When do you sleep?
Peter Berg: Whenever I think he’s sleeping, I call him. Like four o’clock in his apartment
Iko Uwais: It’s because in my country it was like a different time in LA, so… Yeah. He make me never sleep.
The Knockturnal: OH okay, perfect, just taking naps. That’s good.
Peter Berg: I don’t think Iko sleeps ‘cause he never doesn’t answer the phone. Sometimes I’ll call him and I’ll realize what time it is, I’ll look at my iPhone and I’m like “Oh sh*t… it’s four in the morning.” And he’s like “What’s up, Pete?”
Interview with Mark Wahlberg
The Knockturnal: Congratulations on a great film.
Mark Wahlberg: Thank you.
The Knockturnal: This is obviously another great collaboration with Peter. What’s unique about this one?
Mark Wahlberg: Well this is the first time that we’re not dealing with real-life tragic events. So we were able to kind of throw the rulebook away; no guidelines, just us going off having fun doing what we do.
The Knockturnal: So your character really turns the intensity up in this film. I wrote four questions for this interview and they all had the word intense in them. How do you get there emotionally?
Mark Wahlberg: A lot of preparation leading up to the actual shoot itself and then I don’t drink coffee, so a couple of cappuccinos and you know me, being prepared to play that part, having done my homework, I’m ready to go.
The Knockturnal: And you’re up really early too right?
Mark Wahlberg: Yeah which is hard to keep the energy throughout the day ‘cause I already worked out, played golf, before I even get to the set.
Interview with Ronda Rousey, Lauren Cohan, and Carlo Alban
The Knockturnal: So you all have really great chemistry as a unit working for Overwatch and how did you all build that up either prior to shooting or during shooting? Because I know you’re very busy people.
Ronda Rousey: We had a lot of a training and preparation together before the movie even started and so we were doing a lot of tactical gun training; we had an abandoned hotel to work in, with actual guns and blanks and things like that. And we were already kind of like a team when we started. I don’t know how it is with you guys, but coming into a new set, it always kind of feels like the first day of school. And you don’t know where to sit or who to eat with or whatever and we started already feeling like ‘oh these are my friends, this is our team’ and we already had that comfortability from the first day, it wasn’t something that we had developed by the end, and I think it comes across in the chemistry between the characters.
The Knockturnal: Yeah. Do y’all think you could be a member of Overwatch in real life?
Lauren Cohan: I don’t think I would never say that, but what was special about training and preparing for this movie, kind of piggybacking on what Ronda was saying was that we weren’t trained to perform an action sequence, we were trained to know what to do. And to have that in your pocket and go into a movie like this where you’re gonna be called on at any minute, gave us a lot of confidence and camaraderie as a group because we were trained together to be ready for anything.
The Knockturnal: You’ve all done sort of action-y or intense film work, how does this sort of rank? Is this the most intense from 1 to 10?
Carlo Alban: This is like a 17. I’ve never done anything like this.
Lauren Cohan: I don’t think anybody’s ever done anything like this. We really get to bend the genre with this film. We have so many fight styles, this crazy technology, this whole theme of Overwatch. We enter a universe in Mile 22-that doesn’t happen. I don’t think its really happening in that many movies and I think people are really gonna appreciate that.
The Knockturnal: That’s awesome. What was it like working with Peter? Sort of a legendary director in the field.
Ronda Rousey: He’s amazing to work with, especially for me, who’s much newer to the industry than these guys are and it’s much easier to act like there’s an explosion going off behind you when there’s an explosion going off behind you. So he made it as real as possible, where really it felt like a lot of time we weren’t even acting, that like wait… you know what? There’s stuff on fire! And you’re going to act accordingly. So he was really great into making the actual situation as close to what we were portraying as possible.
Lauren Cohan: I mean it was funny, I’m thinking about our first week shooting the movie, which was actually the first sequences in the film. We’re running through this house and there’s real flames in the ceiling and I don’t think any of us have done anything that cool before. So we talked about this earlier but it was the greatest fitness because you were literally in a sauna. I mean we were running, we had like at any time three pieces of artillery and a backpack on our back and everything is going at speed. And the way Pete directs its like he makes use of every slice of time, I mean the camera never gets put down, our camera operators are badass; they’re handheld the entire movie. And they’re handheld the entire movie if they’re strapped to the side of a car, if we’re running up a side of a mountain, like what is happening in the film is what happened making the film.
The Knockturnal: Oh my god, that’s intense.
Lauren Cohan: Yeah!
STX films will release MILE 22 on Friday, August 17th, 2018.