Interview mit Mark Wahlberg


Der in Boston geborene Schauspieler Mark Wahlberg hat sich in Hollywood schnell nach oben gearbeitet. Vier Brüder, Heldern der Nacht, The Departed und Shooter sind nur einige der letzten Filme. Demnächst wird er auch als Max Payne der gleichnahmigen Spielverfilmung zu sehen sein und auch im nächsten Peter Jackson Film übernimmt er eine Rolle. Jetzt arbeitete er mit M. Night Shyamalan zusammen und beschreibt in einem Interview wie er die Dreharbeiten erlebt hat.

In "The Happening" spielt Wahlberg den High School Lehrer Elliot Moore der zusammen mit seiner Frau Alma (Zooey Deschanel), seinem besten Freund Julian (John Leguizamo) und Julians achtjähriger Tochter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez) wegen unerklärlicher, tödlicher Ereignisse aus Philadelphia fliehen muss.

Hier das Orignial Interview (engl.):

F: How was it working with M. Night Shyamalan?
A: Awesome. I've worked with many directors, all different, but no-one does it quite like Night. It comes across as effortless but there's so much preparation and detail that goes into his work and it's all figured out before you get there. The challenge is working out his interpretation. All the time I spent with him in the rehearsal process really helped with the interpretation and helped me understand what he was expecting of me. This is his world this is what he does best and he was giving me a unique opportunity to play a part I wouldn't normally get, so I asked him to explain exactly what he was looking for and to let me portray his vision. His instincts were better than mine – it's his world. If we were working together on The Departed and he had to play a badass from Boston I wouldn't listen to a word he had to say, but this was his wheelhouse and he was awesome. He makes it look so easy. It's his baby, his creation.

F: What happens if you don't play it the way he wants you to?
A: The light shines on you and you don't want that kind of spotlight – trust me. I'm the main character in the film so I would try to avoid that scenario as much as possible. I don't have any formal training as an actor; I always feel kind of like I sneaked in the back door of Hollywood, but that always meant being twice as prepared as everybody else so I always know my lines and everybody else's lines. I made sure I delivered for him. There was never a time when I thought there was going to be a meltdown. I always feel a little bit better if I feel I can kick a guy's ass physically. I always feel that sense of comfort.

F: Night described you as having a "presence of pure innocence". Would you agree with that?
A: I do! I always felt like I was an actor from a very early age it was just never on camera or on a stage. I grew up in a really scary place and I had to appear to be able to handle myself so people wouldn't bother me and I would be accepted. I felt as though I was putting on a bit of a front and now that I have kids I've gotten past that and have this huge sense of relief that I can just be myself and relax. It's okay to cry, to be sensitive and to be understanding toward other people's feelings and to be concerned about other people. None of those things were okay where I grew up, apart from in my home of course.
They weren't okay outside of the home and that's where I spent most of my time, because my parents were working to put food on the table so I was left to my own devices most of the time. I've done a lot of bad things in my day.

F: What was it like talking to a plastic plant in the movie?
A: It was kind of fun, actually. It was an opportunity to have a light moment in the film. It was also hard because the camera was right there and Night's eyes were like lasers beaming on me. People seemed to enjoy the moment.

F: The character of Elliot is quite a departure from your previous roles. How was it playing a science teacher?
A: I was freaked out. I had a really pretty female science teacher when I was in school and all I did was check her out – I never paid attention to anything she was saying. Playing Elliot was like speaking another language. It's one thing saying the words but when you don't truly understand and have the confidence to convey what he's looking for, that's a challenge, so I had to go and study and spend time in the science museum in Philadelphia. It was fun researching the role; a lot of it is common sense and I was like, 'Okay, I get it now, why didn't I pay attention in class?' That's another thing I have to explain to my kids when they say ‘Daddy you didn't finish school.' These are the things I'm figuring out. My eldest is only four and a half but I'm already rehearsing. The other is two and we're expecting another baby.

F: Did you base Elliot on anyone in particular?
A: I based him on Night, to be honest. He kept saying he wrote the part for me but he always says he writes the parts for himself. My agent read it and said “this isn't like you” but I got it, I realized how Night sees that part of me – how optimistic I can be. I had him to study the entire time too, so there's definitely a lot of Night in there.

F: You're a man of faith, a practicing Roman Catholic. How did you find the faith versus science element of the story? Did that draw you to the movie?
A: Yes definitely. God is first but there is evidence pointing towards some of these things happening. We've been very fortunate and very blessed but we just haven't been very appreciative. We've abused our planet and it's causing some serious problems. It's a gift to be in a movie where I selfishly get to play a part that people don't expect me to take on, that's scary as hell and will also cause some debate and maybe inspire people to do their little bit to save the planet. When you do your little bit you'll be surprised how much of a difference if makes, especially if you have an electricity bill and water bill like I have in my house. When I'm at home I'm always turning the lights off, turning the TV off, not taking that extra long shower and not letting the water run when I brush my teeth. In the past all I cared about was making sure I was looking good--that was the main concern in those days.
If everybody did his bit, it would be amazing what an impact it would have. I haven't gone solar yet and I haven't gotten a hybrid car yet. I still need a big car because of all the family but Cadillac is bringing out a hybrid SUV which I'm looking into.

F: Do you see nature in a different way since doing this movie?
A: I definitely do. I have a whole lot of respect for the laws of nature.

F: How did you injure your hand?
A: I did it shooting MAX PAYNE, which I just finished shooting about a week and a half ago. It's just one of those annoying places where you continue to re-injure it. There's a lot of scar tissue surrounding the knuckle and my daughter whacked it with a remote control to a video game and I've never seen her laugh so hard! She's a cheeky little one.

F: What does the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation do?
A: It raises money to help inner city kids and creates programmes to further their education and provides after school programmes to keep them off the street. We work with a bunch of different organizations. A lot of these kids have been in and out of the legal system; they've had drug problems. I've been fortunate that a lot of people with a lot of money and influence have gotten involved with it. There are a lot of kids falling through the cracks. You see the violence that's going on in London too. When I used to go there, we would laugh because the cops didn't even have guns and we thought it was the safest place in the world. Now when I am there and switch on the TV, kids are stabbing each other and dying in the streets – it's crazy. The foundation started out in Boston, in the neighbourhood I grew up in but now it's across the States. The biggest impact on kids is just talking to them. You can provide all the books and computers, but when I show them that I grew up in that house right there in this neighbourhood and yes, I made a lot of mistakes too but I was able to turn my life around and I can tell you that I'm one in a million because most of my friends from back then aren't even alive today. The odds are not in these kids favour even though most of them are smarter than I am.
They are far more charismatic but they just need direction. There are positive role models there but when you're that age you don't look at the priests and the guys who are helping people--you look at the guy who has the fucking Mercedes and the girls are all over him. At that age you think you can get all the material things you want just by going out and taking them. That doesn't last. When you actually earn something it feels much better – that sense of accomplishment is very gratifying.
When I was able to move away from where I grew up and started to feel more comfortable. I knew I was put in this position for a reason – not to forget about where I came from. I asked myself ‘how are you going to give back?' I just pray for God to guide me a give me the strength, the wisdom, the courage and confidence because there are times when it's easier not to say something and stand up but that's not what it's about. With every film I do, we have a premiere and raise a lot of money for the foundation.
There are hundreds of examples of these kids but I'll give you one. One of the most amazing things I saw was the courage in this one kid. We do an initiative with the Red Sox and this company called Jordan's Furniture, which was set up by these two amazing brothers who are now very successful businessmen.
They have huge Christmas parties to raise money for these kids and give them clothes and books and stuff. We had this event where it's the last chance for some of the kids to be adopted (between the ages of 9 and 14). I was talking to this one kid at the event and he had younger brothers who were also living in this orphanage. He was thirteen years old and he said to me ‘I've been to this thing four years in a row waiting for someone to adopt me but that's okay because I have a family; these are my brothers and I'm going to take care of them. These guys have been kind enough to guarantee me an education and I'm going to take advantage of it. My mother was a drug addict, my father was in and out of jail but I'm gonna take care of my brothers.' This kid was awesome – he was so focused.

F: Which of your movies are you most proud of?
A: The only one that I could show my younger nieces and nephews is the true story Invincible. I also can't wait to see The Lovely Bones. I think it will be an extremely moving movie and ultimately very uplifting, even though the subject matter is tough. The bigger picture of it is hope and love and that better place that we all want to go to.
The Happening is one of those movies that gave me a true experience – the chance to work with Night and play a role like this and if it gets people to think at the end that will be amazing. My character Elliot is the guy I aspire to be more like. I was doing an interview earlier and a young girl asked me ‘Who is this Elliot' and I said, ‘He's this dream guy, wouldn't you like to have a guy like Elliot?' and she's said, ‘Hell no!' I get it--she's young and she likes the bad boys. I told her when those bad boys break her heart she'll be looking for someone like Elliot to take care of her. You can tell that to a twenty-two year old until you're blue in the face but they're not going to hear you. I was the same. I was convinced my mother and father had no real life experience and that they were just full of shit. How could they know what was going on in the street? Of course you wake up and realize years later.

F: You have a tough guy image. How would you fare in a survival situation like the one Elliot is faced with?
A: I have to be brutal. I come from the world of kill or be killed so it would be to protect myself and protect the people who can't protect themselves – the women and children. You can only do so much. I would be hard-pressed to stay as rational as Elliot. It's a tough thing to do.

F: Your whole image has changed quite a lot from when you first started out.
A: Yes, there was a time when I was more concerned with what the guys from the neighbourhood were thinking of me rather than how a role could help my career. Obviously I can't be concerned with that any more because I'm an artist.

F: Entourage is proving very successful. Can you tell us a bit about that?
A: I just did a cameo in Entourage on a golf course. It was fun. Those guys in the series have way too much fun. People think the movie business is so glamorous. Yeah, the one night at the premiere is glamorous but the rest of it isn't. Everything leading up to the premiere is not. The last film I did I was out every night in the cold in snow and rain and people were trying to beat the shit out of me and I was thinking, ‘God I just want to do a romantic comedy, why am I doing this to myself?' Entourage is the only show I've ever been fortunate enough to be on where you hang out and all the things that you imagine about a movie set are there – the beautiful people, the half-naked women and the champagne. You see it all on that show but not on the sorts of movies I do.

F: Do you still like to party or is this the new, wiser Mark Wahlberg?
A: If I still did all of those things I used to do, I wouldn't have made M.
Night Shyamalan happy on this movie. He was always asking me to go out and party but I'd say, ‘If I do that I won't be able to come to work.' I said, ‘Trust me, you want the new me not the old me.' It's time to put those days behind me. You can't burn the candle at both ends and now I realize there's more than enough time to do everything – to learn my lines, shoot 12 hours, to have breakfast, lunch dinner, get 8 hours sleep and work out in the morning if you want to. There's time.
I want to learn as much as possible. There are things that are useful in my life – being a Dad, having responsibility and I take that very seriously. I've been put in this position for a reason

F: What kind of music do you listen to these days?
A: I like Todd Rundgren. I also have a compilation CD I'm listening to at the moment. It has some Jackson Five, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Four Tops.
I love Carly Simon's "You're So Vain." It could still be a hit record today--and the way she delivers it! I also listen to stuff that puts me in the mood for things. If I'm going in the boxing ring and I've got to train at 4.30 in the morning or if I'm in New York, which was always at the cutting edge of hip hop, I'll turn the radio on. I listen to gospel on Sundays which my daughter doesn't like./ She'd rather hear Alvin and the Chipmunks…


Tags:Mark Wahlberg, Interview, The Happening