We spoke with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet at the 2016 National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Tell me a little about collaborating with Peter Berg. He’s a long-time collaborator and why Patriots Day was the right project for you to re-collaborate on.
Mark Wahlberg: Pete’s my brother. We made Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon and then when discussing making this movie, who else to put in control creatively with myself other than Pete, because I know how much he cares and how much respect he has. He knows what the line is and he knows how to handle that with the sensitivity and respect that it deserves.
What is it about the story that made you want to make the film?
Mark Wahlberg: The stories that nobody really knew, and also the way my city responded. I mean, my city made me so proud. I could always brag about the victories of the Celtics, and the Patriots, and the Red Sox, but my community, men and women from all walks of life responding the way they did and the heroic acts, the courage and strength that they showed. That, to me, was remarkable. Nobody knows the real story of Danny Meng and his courage and how he saved a potential attack in New York and the story of Patrick and Jess and so many others. The difficult thing was telling the story in two hours, because there were so many amazing stories to tell.
What was he like in person, meeting him?
Mark Wahlberg: Danny? Oh, I’m hanging out with him next week. I can’t wait. He’s the best. I’m having him up at my house. I don’t drink that often, but with Danny, we’re going to have some drinks to celebrate his heroic acts.
I once read that you were a little bit reluctant to take on the film because it was such a sad story. How did you turn it into what you wanted it to be?
Mark Wahlberg: It was pretty obvious that they were going to make the movie. There were three competing projects, and so I needed to make sure that if it was going to be made, that we were going to make it, we were going to handle it the way that it should. I think that the community as a whole was very relieved when they realized that I was involved, because they could come to me directly, voice their concerns and hold me accountable. I could hold my collaborators to the same standard. The message in the movie is so important. It needs to be seen and heard by everybody. Any time you turn on the news, you look at what happened in Istanbul, you look at what happened in Cairo. Everyday it’s something different, but there aren’t enough messages of love conquering and winning and people coming together in the hope and the inspiration that’s come from a tragedy like this, and that message needs to be seen and heard as often as possible.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
Mark Wahlberg: You know, I’m trying to be a better person everyday. I don’t wait for the end of the year. Why wait?