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Mark Wahlberg Talks Shooter

Published March 22, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount Pictures.
Shooter Shooter

Shooter is the classic Hollywood tale of a wronged badass getting his revenge on the corrupt government, but the film's ads aren't really indicating that it came from a book first. Mark Wahlberg plays Stephen Hunter's character Bob Lee Swagger, but the book wasn't the selling point for him either.

Wahlberg Kicks Ass in Shooter

"I hadn't read the book before I read the script," said Wahlberg. "We were actually going to make another movie. Me and Antoine [Fuqua] were attached to make another film with Paramount. My agent sent me this script and I read it and I said, 'Wow, Antoine, you've got to check this out.' Then I found out about the book after. Everything about it made me want to make the movie. I loved the character and I loved the story. We were looking to do something more commercial so that we can be able to get other smaller and interesting movies made and I thought that it had the best of both worlds in it. It said something. It was a smart character driven piece and not just a shoot'em up film, which I liked a lot."

Swagger runs afoul of some government suits who frame him for a political assassination. When he finally uncovers their plan to cover up an oil deal and mass African graves, audiences cheer for the comeuppance. So you see, there's a message to the ass kicking.

"I thought that it was great. I thought that especially if young people want to come in and see me kick some ass and get a little information at the same time, it just kind of makes you wonder if these things are really possible. They go out and ask some questions and demand some answers and if you really want to go make some changes maybe it'll inspire people to want to go out there and vote and do something."

Wahblerg even witnessed crowds embrace the violence. "You should have seen the test screening. It was like, 'Yeah! F*cking kill him! Yes!' I ran out of the theater because I couldn't be there at the end, but wow, I can't wait to see it. I want to see it in like Times Square."

These days, the public may need a vicarious thrill of taking out corrupt politicians the old fashioned way, but the movie is still just a fun ride. "It was great that it worked out like that, but it wasn't what we were really thinking about at the time. We were just like, 'Hey, this is a really interesting script.' We were going out to make a big commercial movie and we thought why not this one?"

Running around doing stunts was tough for the actor, but hardly his most demanding work. "Compared to Invincible, it was nothing. It was a walk in the park, but getting down to be as thin as I was for the movie, that was difficult. Then of course there was all the mental prep, learning everything that snipers need to know in the short amount of time that we had. It was a lot of running and jumping in this one."

One scene had Wahlberg and his adversaries meeting up on a glacier. "We were up there forever. It was scary, and I don't like flying in helicopters either, and you had to chopper up and chopper down. When the weather came in it was pretty scary. That was hard."

Shooter opens to theatres on March 23rd.

For the trailer, posters, stills and more movie info, go to the Shooter Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Paramount Pictures.

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