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When 38-year-old Jackie Becker and her mom stopped by the set of “Patriot’s Day,” Mark Wahlberg’s new film, they simply wanted to catch a glimpse of the actor. But their hours of waiting paid off when Jackie, who suffered brain damage as a child, got to meet Wahlberg, who then invited them to the movie premiere.

Jackie contracted eastern equine encephalitis (EEEV) from a mosquito bite when she was 6 years old. EEEV is one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with a 33 percent mortality rate and significant brain damage in most survivors. Only a few cases are reported annually.

“She can’t do the things she used to be able to do. Her fine motor skills are tough. She can’t color, she can’t play with dolls,” Jean Becker, Jackie’s mother, told Fox25.

Movies and movie stars became a big part of her daughter’s world after she got sick, Jean said.

The mother and daughter live in Framingham, Mass., where Wahlberg is filming “Patriot’s Day.” When they went by the set, they waited by his trailer.

“He called us up to the trailer, and he was wonderful,” Jean told Fox25. “He came right up to Jackie. He leaned down to her, and he said ‘hi’ to her.”

Jackie told the news channel she didn’t expect the actor would talk to her.

“It was cool,” Jackie said.

An invite to the premiere of “Patriots day” helped make for “the best day of [Jackie’s] life,” Jean said.

“I said to him, ‘You have no idea what you just did,’” Jean told Fox25.

[foxnews.com]

Mark Wahlberg was spotted at the Marathon finish line on Boylston Street early Monday morning filming scenes for the Boston Marathon bombing movie, “Patriots Day.”

Wahlberg, who was dressed in Boston police gear, plays a composite of several different Boston police officers who were on duty during the blasts.

Wahlberg said recently he feels “huge pressure to get this right, but we’re committed to doing that.”

“Patriots Day” has been filming scenes in Weymouth, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain in recent weeks.

Tom Meagher, who has been making sure everything is in place at the finish line for 20 years, said there was a slight impact from the filming this time around.

“It’s different, but they make adjustments and we make a little bit of adjustments,” he said. But he’s not worried about the film — Meagher said Monday is all about the runners.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Movie Productions – Patriots Day

The members of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center’s #RaceforRehab Boston Marathon team got a surprise Saturday (April 16) when Mark Wahlberg walked into the Revere Hotel, where the runners had gathered for a rally. The actor, in town shooting the Marathon bombing movie “Patriots Day,” thanked the runners for their fund-raising efforts. He was joined by actor Michael Beach, a Roxbury native who’s playing former governor Deval Patrick in the movie.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – Mark Wahlberg surprises Spaulding Rehab runners

It took nearly four months, but persistence paid off.

Rick Jolly, substance abuse coordinator for Woburn, and director of Mayor Scott Galvin’s Coalition on Substance Abuse, said city and health officials have worked hard over the past year to raise awareness in Woburn. Still, it’s not enough.

From Nov. 1, 2015 to March 15 of this year, the city has recorded 33 overdoses – six of them have resulted in death.

According to Jolly, surveys indicate four of five heroin users began their journey to addiction with prescription painkillers.

Addiction has become omnipresent in communities. Jolly’s own nephew, he told the audience, would be late for the film because he was attending a wake for a man who passed away at 26, the result of an overdose.

“That’s the reality of it,” said Jolly.

Jolly introduced James Wahlberg, who wrote the short film, “If Only,” with Michael Yebba. Wahlberg is also executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Foundation.

The screenplay was written to encourage an open dialogue between parents and children.

Wahlberg said the movie, which was filmed entirely in Massachusetts, with a significant portion filmed in Tewksbury, has been shown in communities across the country.

Wahlberg, who calls himself a “recovering person,” said a number of the film’s characters were portrayed by family members, including his son, Jeffery, who starred as Issac Diaz, a teenager trying to fit in at school.

His reasoning was simple: getting people to talk about prescription drugs and opioid addiction.

“I believe for the most part, it’s starting in people’s medicine cabinets,” he said.

Wahlberg said kids are taking pills from those cabinets – some that parents may have forgotten about – and using them
But his is not the only family involved with the film. A number of families who have lost loved ones to addiction are featured at the end of the film, holding photos of a son or daughter.

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Actor Mark Wahlberg was spotted Wednesday in Quincy filming scenes for the upcoming movie “Patriots Day,” which depicts the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings.

Quincy Police posted a photo of Wahlberg, a Dorchester native, waving to a crowd of onlookers near the set.

Filmmakers set up in the Merrymount neighborhood of Quincy this week to shoot scenes, which focus on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture.

Wahlberg will star in the movie as Sgt. Tommy Saunders.

John Goodman will play Ed Davis, the former Boston Police Commissioner and current WBZ-TV security analyst. J.K. Simmons is set to portray Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese.

Watertown officials and campus leaders at UMass Dartmouth declined the opportunity to host the film crew.

Some scenes will be filmed on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, though none depicting the murder of MIT Officer Sean Collier.

A release date has been set for Dec. 21 for theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, before a wider release on Jan. 13, 2017.

Patriots Day is being produced by WBZ’s sister company CBS Films.

[boston.cbslocal.com]

Inspired by the 2010 disaster on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, Peter Berg’s new film puts us right in the tragedy, as authorities seek to rescue the crew and stop the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

The first trailer for Deepwater Horizon has arrived and the real-life inspiration, plus a cast which includes Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson, should make a compelling film.

Parts of the upcoming movie based on the Boston Marathon bombings will be filmed in Weymouth, Massachusetts, following denied requests to film on actual locations in which the events played out.

‘Patriots Day,” which stars Boston native Mark Wahlberg, will be filmed in part on the runway of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, according to the Boston Globe. Film crews are working to build a streetscape there.

Producers of the movie recently were denied a request for permission to film on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended.
Tsarnaev, then a student at UMass Dartmouth, returned to his dormitory after placing improvised explosive devices near the finish line with his brother, Tamerlan, killing three people and injuring dozens more on April 15, 2013.

Watertown, where a gun battle with the Tsarnaevs took place, also turned down a request to film, The film’s producers had hoped to recreate the shootout that happened there, but Town Manager Michael Driscoll said last week that filming was “not in the best interest” of the town.

A warehouse in Peabody is also being used for the film’s production.

[necn.com]

Mark Wahlberg’s career has taken some unexpected twists over the past three decades, but even the movie star acknowledges that his most recent turn is the most unusual yet.

If someone had told him five years ago he would soon be starring in a reality TV series, “I would say that you were out of your mind, because the last thing I want to do is be on television,” he says.

Yet there he is, front and center on A&E’s Wahlburgers—the reality series that returned for its fifth season last Wednesday and is focused on the gourmet burger chain, also called Wahlburgers, owned by Wahlberg; his brother Donnie (the New Kid on the Block member and star of CBS’ Blue Bloods); and their brother Paul, who has worked as a chef for three decades.

But their reality show isn’t the usual, semi-desperate attempt at a celebrity comeback—in fact, Mark Wahlberg’s power in Hollywood has never been greater.

“It hasn’t hurt anything I’ve done or the brand I’ve built over the last 27 years, because we own it and we live it,” Wahlberg says of the series. “It’s an amazing marketing tool, and it’s all about promoting the business and building the business.”

And the burger business has been very, very good for Wahlberg and his family.

The first Wahlburgers restaurant opened in 2011 outside Boston in Hingham, Mass., across the street from the family’s first restaurant, Alma Nove, named for mom Alma and her nine kids. The popularity of the show (it’s been nominated twice for the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program category, and its first season in 2014 attracted 3.7 million viewers in live-plus-seven ratings) has put the Wahlberg restaurant business on an impressive trajectory.

The family’s seventh spot, in Orlando, Fla., opened last month, joining others in Toronto, Coney Island, Boston’s Fenway Park and elsewhere. Ten more stores are planned this year in cities including Philadelphia and Las Vegas. Earlier this month, the company announced agreements with five groups to open 30 new franchises, making for a total of 118 stores internationally (including five in Canada and 20 in the Middle East) over the next few years.

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Mark Wahlberg took the advertising world by storm in 1992, thanks to his provocative, indelible Calvin Klein underwear campaign, which was shot by the late Herb Ritts. He’s been surprising us ever since, transitioning from Marky Mark, the rapper behind the ’90s hit “Good Vibrations,” to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, thanks to films like Boogie Nights, Ted, Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Departed (which landed him an Oscar nomination).

A decade ago, he made yet another bold pivot, branching into producing projects for both television (HBO’s Entourage, which was based on his life, as well as the premium cable channel’s series Boardwalk Empire and Ballers) and film (Lone Survivor, The Fighter and Patriots Day, his forthcoming drama about the Boston Marathon bombing).

As he helps engineer the steady rise of the Wahlburgers chain, Wahlberg talks with Adweek about why he initially hated the name of the restaurant, his approach to working with brand marketers and what he learned from posing in those boxer briefs back in the day.

Adweek: Where did the name Wahlburgers come from?
Mark Wahlberg: We had already done Alma Nove (named for their mother, Alma), which was a big success, and I was grateful I was I able to help [my brother] Paul see that dream come to reality. But once he mentioned the idea of Wahlburgers, I said, “Are you out of your mind?” I spent 20-some-odd years building my brand and going from the music world to being taken really seriously as an actor and a producer. I said, “There’s no way. Call it Paul’s Place, whatever you want. I’ll fund it for you, but this is not going to happen.” Then I thought, wait a second here. If we could really build a business, a real business, then that’s something that I’m interested in. But we’re going to do it in a big way. I want to be around to enjoy it. And so things kind of happened.

Was the plan always for you to be this heavily involved in the show? You’re featured as much as anyone else in your family.
Originally it was like, OK, we’re going to put my brother Paul and my mother and [my friend Johnny] Drama and those guys there. But I just said, you know what? I think to really give it the best chance to succeed—and again, we’re talking about the business—I should be involved in every aspect.

Read the rest of this entry »

Director Peter Berg and Boston’s own Mark Wahlberg attend the 3rd annual Boston Police Department Foundation Gala to present THE HERO’S AWARD to BPD Officer John Moynihan. on March 5, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photos by Paul Marotta)


Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – 3rd Annual Boston Police Department Foundation Gala

Town manager Michael Driscoll and producers said they decided they wouldn’t film a scene for “Patriots Day” on the streets where police pursued the Tsarnaev brothers.

WATERTOWN, Mass. — Producers of a Mark Wahlberg movie about the deadly Boston Marathon bombing won’t be recreating the police shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers in the neighborhood where it happened.

Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll says it was decided filming the scene for Patriots Day on those streets wouldn’t be in the town’s best interest. He said Friday producers will choose another location.

The April 2013 confrontation resulted in the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught, tried and sentenced to death. He has apologized to victims.

Producers have regularly said they’re willing to shoot elsewhere. They’ve asked for permission to film at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended.

A university spokesman tells New Bedford’s The Standard-Times officials want to ask students before deciding.

[hollywoodreporter.com]

Highly anticipated fifth installment in the hit robotic franchise “Transformers” is confirmed to have its production taking place in Detroit, Michigan.

According to Comingsoon.net, it was revealed by Michigan Economic Development Corporation after some shuffling of incentives from other approved Paramount Pictures projects.

The restructured single agreement incentives for “Transformers 5” will reportedly save the state $21 million and speed up the production that will start sometime during the summer. The studio previously had multiple pre-approved applications of approximately $42 million in eligible incentives.

“Having one of the highest-profile film franchises created in Michigan is a major economic boost and a testament to the talent of the state’s production community. The production and economic investment is now happening sooner rather than later, and obviously, the project is a certainty rather than merely a possibility,” commissioner of the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, Jenell Leonard said.

President of physical production at Paramount Pictures, Lee Rosenthal also shared in a statement, “Michigan has been so welcoming of Michael Bay and the ‘Transformers’ movies over the years and we are thrilled to be returning for this next incredible installment.”

The report added that production is predicted to have $80 million in expenses with the cast and crew around 850 strong, 450 of whom will be residents of Michigan which is said to equate to 228 full-time positions. There will also be more than 700 extras to be hired and the amended dedicated fund is believed to meet all the criteria needed to make the film happen.

“Transformers 5” will be written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway who previously worked on “Iron Man” and Ken Nolan of “Black Hawk Down.” Mark Wahlberg is set to return for the lead role while Michael Bay is believe to be directing for the last time before he reportedly passes the helm for the franchise. It is slated to be released on June 23, 2017.

[vinereport.com]

Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg — who are in town (Boston) to film “Patriots Day,” their movie about the Boston Marathon bombing — will be the special guests at the third annual Boston Police Foundation Gala at the Westin Waterfront on March 5. They’ll help present the Hero Award to Boston Police Officer John Moynihan, who was shot while on duty last March.

[bostonglobe.com]

Time to put Alma on the spot. Find out who her favorite Wahlberg is on the season premiere of Wahlburgers, March 9th at 9/8c!

New Season of Wahlburgers

Time to put Alma on the spot. Find out who her favorite Wahlberg is on the season premiere of #Wahlburgers, March 9th at 9/8c!

Posted by Wahlburgers on A&E on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The long awaited Wahlburgers Orlando is finally open and Mark and Paul Wahlberg were there for all the festivities. Hundreds of fans lined up around the Orange Ave location to catch a glimpse of the Wahlberg brothers as they walked the red carpet.

The event featured live entertainment, giveaways and free samples. One of the most talked about items on the menu is the new Orlando Dreamsicle drink, an adult frappe made with vanilla vodka, triple sec, orange juice and ice cream that Wahlburgers has created exclusively for the new location.

Bringing a restaurant to Orlando has been on the Wahlberg brothers’ minds for quite some time. Mark has even talked about expanding to 3000 locations all across the US.  [icflorida.com]

Gallery Link:
Home – Wahlberg Family – Wahlburgers Orlando Grand Opening

Mark Wahlberg plays his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Spyglass Hill Golf Course on on February 11, 2016 in Pebble Beach, California.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

For a film franchise dedicated to robots in disguise, Transformers tends to draw a lot of attention to itself whenever a morsel of information about the latest film tumbles out. That’s just the nature of the lucrative box office beast, we suppose.

Transformers 5 (aka the placeholder title until it gets rechristened Transformers: Suckling The Blood Of The Milky Way or something similar) is apparently set to film sooner than we thought. Originally positioned for what appeared to be a June start to filming, My Entertainment World lists the current filming plans as set for May. The industry tracking site’s shoot date update does not come with any details about where it’s all going down, so that might throw a monkey wrench in your stalking plans.

As we’ve noted before, director Michael Bay and newish franchise arrival Mark Wahlberg are both a go for the upcoming motion picture. Their last outing (Transformers: Age of Extinction) grossed a ridiculous $1.1 billion in global box office, so there’s a pretty good chance you won’t see the new Transformers offering relegated to “budget” theaters after its opening week. Bay has stated that Transformers 5 will be his last movie for the lucrative and remarkably resilient franchise. Do with that information what you will.

An exact date for the release of the fifth movie in the series isn’t quite hammered out yet, but 2017 is the targeted year. Things are a similar level of murky for what the plot of the film will be with rumors and theories in heavy supply versus what’s actually been confirmed. If you have any friends that are car/robot hybrid creatures, be sure to ask if they’ve heard anything.

[uproxx.com]