Mark Wahlberg takes on the role of a Navy SEAL in Lone Survivor," an American war film he says is "more important and bigger" than anything he's ever been part of
"Lone Survivor," directed by Peter Berg, also stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Bana. The movie hit select theaters on Dec. 25, 2013 and has a wider release on Jan. 10.
The movie is based on the nonfiction book by the same name by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Wahlberg plays the man and the film depicts the real-life events of the failed Navy SEALs mission "Operation Red Wings" during the War in Afghanistan.
Wahlberg recently sat down with OTRC.com to discuss his role in the film, why it was important to make this film at this point in his career and how he worried about how the families of the real-life soldiers would react to the film.
Watch Wahlberg's full interview with OTRC.com above and check out three highlights from the interview below.
1. Wahlberg explains why the film was important to his career.
"Just taking great pride in being a part of something that's so much more important and bigger than anything I've ever been a part of and creating this tribute to anyone that has served in the military. And to the Afghan people who were amazing in saving Marcus, a stranger who they never met just because they felt like it was the right thing to do, even though they were going to risk their own lives doing it."
"And just being able to tell their story, maybe taking a little of the strain off of Marcus who has been championing this thing since he wrote the book and keeping the memory of his brothers alive, and you know, making them proud and making their parents proud and their loved ones proud."
2. On showing the film to the real-life families ...
"I was certainly worried and concerned showing Marcus the movie and then showing the family members the movie and, it's hard for them. It's got to be conflicting feelings, because you obviously have that sense of pride knowing how heroic they were and this is what they did, they were warriors and even Marcus says, you know, 'I won't feel sorry for what happened to them because they died a warrior's death.'"
"I feel sorry for me that I might die of cancer or old age and I can't take care of myself, I can't clean myself. That's what they did and that's who they were. For me and most normal people, we're like, 'Wow,' but these guys have superhuman elements to them that allow them to do what they do, that mental strength and capacity to endure that kind of pain, and I don't think I could do that."
3. On performing stunts in the film ...
"If you can't see our faces, it's probably not us, because you know, the first guy to fall off the cliff, he didn't get up. He broke three ribs and punctured a lung and it was like, okay the next guy. But everybody was committed both in front of and behind the camera to step it up and bring their A-game and everybody was there to tell the story and that was really important. And Marcus was there, and you're damn well not gonna phone it in in front of Marcus Luttrell."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).