Mark Wahlberg Breaks The Mold In 'Broken City'

 Jan 14, 2013 01:23 PM EST

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Mark Wahlberg Breaks The Mold In 'Broken City'
Mark Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart in the upcoming crime thriller Broken City. FlickDirect's Penny McLean spoke to him about the film recently, in Miami.

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FlickDirect: So how did you get involved with this project?

Mark Wahlberg: Allen [Hughes], he's the director, had called me and asked me if I had read the script. I was aware of the script, but I hadn't read it yet, so I read it right away, we met up, and said "okay, let's do it. But I don't only want to act in it, but I want to produce it, I want to do it independently, because I don't think it would be easy to do a movie like this under the watchful eye of the studio. So even if we're going to do it independently, we have to do it for less money. I think maintaining creative control would be far more valuable."

FlickDirect: Tell me about this character; he's like a no-holds-barred character, ex-con, and he's trying to do the right thing, he gets pulled back into drinking again, something bad happens, how did you like that?

Mark Wahlberg: He's very flawed, I love it, these are the kind of guys I grew up with. He's not that straight, run-of-the-mill hero; he's a very flawed guy, he's trying to redeem himself, and also he's in pretty bad shape when you meet him.

FlickDirect: And with all the great cast, Russell [Crowe], Jeffrey Wright, Catherine Zeta-Jones; when you go against them, it's just so powerful with Russell, I think some of those scenes, when you're in his face, and you basically don't care what you're saying, the character is just so, "I'm going to tell you what I feel".

Mark Wahlberg: Yeah, well he says that in the beginning, that I'm "more balls than tact". And I said "I'm trying to change that", and he said "no, that's what I like about you." But unfortunately for him that's what comes back to bite him in the ass.

You see the cast that we got because of the material; the script was so well written, and because we did it independently and weren't really able to pay people what they would normally get paid, but they wanted to be involved, because they loved the parts.

FlickDirect:  You played a cop a few times, throughout your career; what draws you to those kinds of roles?

Mark Wahlberg: A lot of movies are cops, and crooks, and those types, good guys and bad guys, so those are the kind of movies I compare this to, Serpico,Chinatown; these are the movies I grew up watching.

FlickDirect:  Mark, you're a very good athlete, I think it's impressive when you change for your roles, you are very into who that character is physically and mentally, how you go into it. I found throughout the past of your films…how do you do that? Do you just start on your own, train, or get the trainers involved; how do you approach it?

Mark Wahlberg: This year was the most crazy year for me. Well, I walked into a production meeting, and now I'm a little freaked out by my physical appearance, and they asked if I could get as thin as possible for the movie; so I started running, playing basketball, and started boxing again. So I got down to 165lbs, and then I did Pain & Gain, like 8-10 weeks after, and I had to get as big as I possibly could, playing a bodybuilder, so I got up to 212lbs, then I had to get back down within 30 days to 180lbs to do 2 Guns with Denzel [Washington], and then two weeks after that I was versed in Navy SEAL training to play Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor

FlickDirect: Are you going to do that again for Transformers 4?

Mark Wahlberg: I just started out, I'm in my fourth week now, hopefully we'll do Avon Man before Transformers, which is this comedy we have at Fox, my first romantic comedy, hopefully we'll do that, then Transformers.

FlickDirect: Can you tell us the status of anything about Transformers or Ted 2?

Mark Wahlberg: I could tell you we're doing Transformers starting end of May, and Ted in September. I can't give you too many story points, Michael [Bay] wouldn't be happy. I can tell you I had a great working relationship with Michael on Pain & Gain.

FlickDirect: For your dream role, what do you think that would be? Are you thinking about it already?

Mark Wahlberg: I don't know. I'm just so appreciative of the opportunities I've had, the roles that I've been able to play, that I continue to grow as an actor, and that I'm kind of now steering my own ship.

But one of the ones that I'm probably most excited about is playing John Roberts, who was the subject of the Cocaine Cowboys documentary. Bill Monahan, who wrote The Departed, is now writing the screenplay for us, it's something we have the rights to, have been developing and producing, and I'm going to play John, and we'll shoot it here in Miami; it's about the cocaine trade in the 80s and the rise of Miami while the rest of the country was damn near recession, skyscrapers sprouting up everywhere here.

FlickDirect: I love how you can change hats to produce, are you going to keep doing more television shows?

Mark Wahlberg: Oh yeah. We start shooting two documentary series next week, both in Boston, one for the History Channel, one for A&E; we're shooting two new pilots for HBO this spring, back for more Boardwalk Empire; we've got a pilot at ABC, a pilot at FOX, and a pilot at NBC, and other various movies at various stages of development.

FlickDirect: Best of luck keeping it going.

Mark Wahlberg: Thank you

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