Mark Wahlberg Is the Shooter

Mark Wahlberg gives us non-stop action in the new thriller!

Coming off his amazing Oscar-nominated performance in The Departed, Mark Wahlberg is taking on a more ruthless opponent than even Jack Nicholson - the US Government.

In his new action-thriller, Shooter, Mark is accused of an assassination plot against the president. A former marksman for the military, Mark goes on the run to try and clear his name - and save his own life at the same time. He's aided by Michael Pena and Kate Mara, the only two people who believe he's innocent.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, this non-stop action delivers big time; check out what Mark had to say about working on Shooter:

When we talked to you last, you couldn't wait to start working on this film; what made it so enjoyable?

Mark Wahlberg: These are the kind of movies that I love watching, that I grew up watching. We've got a great character-driven action movie that actually has something to say. And it's extremely satisfying. Antoine read it and felt the same way. Luckily, we were able to make the switcheroo. We're probably gonna do that other movie down the line. This one was definitely a no-brainer in my opinion.

So we heard you knew everyone's lines and they didn't want to screw up.

Mark Wahlberg: I always make sure I'm prepared; I always felt like I kind of snuck into this business. I don't know how, I just kind of tip-toed my way through and next thing I know I actually found myself having a career. So I've always made sure that I was prepared; I never wanted to show up and not know exactly what was going on. That was a fear of mine, but with this particular material, I just had so much dialogue; it was like five or six page monologues, every other scene. I was like, 'Man, I just got to learn it like a play.' So I would literally take the script everyday and read it out loud, read my lines out loud, and have somebody read with me. I don't know, I guess everybody else doesn't do that; a lot of people showed up and didn't know their lines. Also, I knew that the conditions were gonna be tough and we're dealing with the elements, so the schedule was always subject to change. You never know what they're gonna throw at you. So if they say, 'Hey, we're gonna do this big scene on a glacier, are you ready?' You gotta say 'yeah.'

So you're always paying attention to what's going on around you?

Mark Wahlberg: Definitely. The first ten films I did, even more than that, was just to work with the filmmaker and to try to gain as much information and knowledge as I possibly could. I knew coming into the business, it was like, 'Ok, another rapper/underwear model wants to be an actor. That's the new thing, to try to put rappers in movies.' So I knew that I had an uphill climb, but I just didn't pay attention to it; I knew I had a hard enough time learning to be a good actor, and that's all I concentrated on. I didn't want to use that as fuel because that shouldn't be my motivation; I want to do good work. I want the opportunity to work with good people, and the only way I'm gonna do that is to commit 110% - you get out what you put in.

Is that logic or low self-esteem?

Mark Wahlberg: It's logic, it just makes sense; I feel like I'm pretty good but I don't like to toot my own horn, you know. I want to let the work speak for itself and kind of move on to the next thing. People were talking about the Oscars thing. Did I expect it? Why would I expect it? It never happened before. I certainly enjoy and appreciate it and at the same time not take it too seriously. I'm not gonna say, 'Now I'm only gonna do movies that I can get nominated for.' That's just not how you make your decisions; I wanted to work with Marty, like everybody else. I just felt like it would be too good of an opportunity to pass up, and amazing things happened as a result of it. It's a result of good clean living, too. When people do good things, good things happen to them.

In The Departed, you really stood out as the supporting character.

Mark Wahlberg: But that was my world; I know that world better than Marty. They were asking me sh*t. I could have been a consultant on that movie.

How does the Shooter role stand out?

Mark Wahlberg: Well, in my opinion he's one of the baddest guys I've seen on film, from reading it on the page. And also, he's as smart as he is tough, and that seems to be a rare thing these days. It was much more like Travis Bickle than it was the Terminator, you know. He was a thinker, he was gonna go and figure sh*t out - and he was gonna do some cool sh*t along the way. He has something to say at the same time, which I liked. He was about honor and integrity and that's a rare thing.

What was it like working with the cast?

Mark Wahlberg: Oh man, Danny Glover, especially him playing the bad guy; it's just such a great choice. I mean, he's the most loveable, huggable, dad-like giant that you've scene on camera in I don't know how long. And now here he is playing the most evil person in the world - doesn't raise his voice, doesn't need to. Ned Beatty, come on; Ned Beatty is so awesome. Ned Beatty is old-fashioned, man - guy shows up prepared. He's gonna throw you some curveballs. You know you're in a duel - it's happening. And he likes it and he expects you to engage. Michael Pena is gonna be a star in the future; Elias Koteas. But that's the thing, you got a good piece of material, you know people are gonna show up. People are gonna wanna be involved in it. You get a bad piece of material, you've gotta pay 'em, you've gotta finesse 'em and do all the bullsh*t. This was just one of those great scripts that came along; I was surprised that it had been around for as long as it was. Lorenzo was telling me that Redford was attached to play a part at one point; I was like, man, how did this one manage to slip through the cracks for so many years? Thank G-d I was to one who was able to play the part.

Did you get your Under Armor hoodie in Baltimore?

Mark Wahlberg: Yeah, G-d it was cold in Baltimore; but it was awesome to be able to shoot in Baltimore, shoot in Philadelphia, shoot in DC, up on the glacier. We were really at all of these places. It was a tough movie to shoot, but we knew the scope of it was gonna be huge. And Antoine shot the sh*t out of it. I was like, 'This guy does not get tired, this is not good.' He doesn't sleep, he doesn't eat, and his appearance is always perfect; I don't know how he does it. I definitely felt like we had all the right people involved and the right people in the right places. It was one of those things that you can only hope that you experience it again a few more times in your career. It's tough to make a good movie. I think the bigger the movies are, the worse they are. A lot of big movies make a lot of money and you kind of forget about what they are and they don't really make you think. In my opinion, it's a very special movie, so I couldn't help but be excited about it, even though I knew I was gonna go and get my ass kicked and Antoine was gonna keep pushing and keep pushing me. I went to bed early, I read the script before I went to bed and I got up in the morning and was ready to go.

What was the training for this like?

Mark Wahlberg: It was intense; thank G-d for Sergeant Gary. We hired him to be the consultant; I actually modeled a lot of the character around him. He was really intense; he'd say, 'You're gonna rehearse that re-load, right?' And I was like, 'Sergeant, we're not gonna shoot for two hours and I need a f*cking nap.' But these guys are as smart as they are tough; it's serious business. I told 'em, I said, 'Listen, you could do my taxes too.' Mathematical genius, all the things that come into play in making a shot like that.

Did you read the book?

Mark Wahlberg: I hadn't read the book until after we made the movie; I didn't even know there was a book. They sent me a script and I was like wow. Of course I got to meet Stephen (Hunter) and he came to the set. But like a lot of books that are made into films, I didn't want to read the book and feel like something was missing. Because when I read the script I felt that it was a well-written script; you start getting into the book and it's like 400 some odd pages. It's a tough thing to do, adapting a screenplay.

What do you know about The Departed sequel?

Mark Wahlberg: Only if they can make it better than the first. Marty asked me and I said, 'Listen, I'd love to.' Bill Monahan told me a little bit about the story, told me I'd be investigating the murder that I committed, which would be fun. And possibly bring in Deniro or someone like that to play like a corrupt congressman. My whole thing is, if we can make it better than the first, then let's do it. Why not? But if it's just for the sake of a paycheck, it's not worth it.

What's up with Ari Gold this season?

Mark Wahlberg: Ari's gonna be back with a vengeance - he's comin' back this year. I cannot wait; the guys are shooting now. They're in Aspen shooting, and they're gonna be shooting in Cannes. It's the one job - everybody says it's so glamorous to work in Hollywood. I'm always in the middle of nowhere; I'm in the mountains somewhere with no cell phone service. These guys are at Sundance, they're in Aspen right now; that's the one place where it is what it looks like. It's a lot of fun, they're living the lives, they really are.

Mark is living his life in Shooter, which hits theaters March 23rd; it's rated R.