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Here’s something Oscar voters and regular folks probably don’t think they’ll want or need this year: a movie all but guaranteed to make them cry.

Yet it’s coming, anyway: “Patriots Day,” a film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, a Beantown son, as a police officer. The film nabbed the closing-night slot at the American Film Institute festival in November, landed on the National Board of Review’s Top 10 list, and opens on Dec. 21, prime time for awards.

For a picture that some feel is arriving too soon, or that risks being exploitative or worse, “Patriots Day” stands, on the one hand, to be unintentionally well timed. At a recent screening in Manhattan, as audience members gasped their way through tears, it became clear that the film got at something more elemental than tragedy: It captured the purity of the altruistic outpouring that came in the bombings’ wake. Sniffling away, the Bagger couldn’t help wondering, might this be a film that makes both blue hearts and red hearts crack open, and proves a unifier of sorts?

Then again, we are living in times when the very definition of “patriot” is deeply contested and fraught, when the word alone often causes liberal neck hair to stand on end.

“Patriots Day” is Mr. Berg and Mr. Wahlberg’s third film together, after this year’s “Deepwater Horizon,” about the deadly 2010 oil explosion and spill, and the 2013 “Lone Survivor,” about a disastrous war mission. All three neatly fit the definition of what Rolling Stone describes as the “neo-patriotic blockbuster”: movies whose heroes wear blue collars rather than cowboy hats or capes.

“These are films that seek to whitewash America,” Corey Atad wrote in Esquire, “boosting the virtue of pure patriotism, fashioning an uncomplicated reality for an audience tired of feeling like their country is being lost to liberal pussyfooting and terrorist threats.” Also in that category is Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated box-office hit “American Sniper,” which became such a partisan flash point two years ago — lefties deemed it pro-war propaganda; righties saw it as a patriotic masterpiece — that some liberals who consider themselves open and tolerant refused to see it outright.

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EXCLUSIVE: In their third collaboration after Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg turn their ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances storytelling to Patriots Day. Few have made more memorable Boston-based films than Wahlberg, whose list includes The Perfect Storm, The Departed, The Fighter, Ted and its sequel. Here, they discuss their storytelling responsibility after pressing a community to relive a tragedy so they could turn it into a permanent document of courage and resilience. And, with yet another inherently Boston movie under his belt, and being the only homegrown actor to have shot scenes with the city’s two reigning sports deities — Tom Brady and David Ortiz — has Wahlberg eclipsed fellow Bostonians Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as the city’s favorite movie son?

DEADLINE: When Patriots Day was first proposed, you had to fear the feeling of, here comes Hollywood to exploit a tragedy. Explain the back and forth that led to both of you making this film.

PETER BERG: There were two things working in our favor. First was Mark, bringing me into the community and introducing me to so many of the people who were affected. The victims and their families, the survivors, the police. It made the actual practical telling of the story so important, the who did what, and where. In doing that, we talked a lot about lines of taste and decorum. We would work very hard to not cross that line. You can’t always articulate what that line is, but you know when you cross it. That was a big responsibility we had to work with. The other issue, and the reason we really wanted to make the film, was we didn’t want to see an action movie. This was not a Jason Bourne-type film. This had to be about something else.

DEADLINE: It works as a thriller, though, because of its procedural approach and ticking clock.

BERG: It is all those things but for me, it really could serve as an example of how we process this new reality, the world we live in. Where we wake up, turn on the news, and we’re not surprised to see there has been another terrorist act. I wanted to make a film that, as much as it had that procedural, ticking-clock thriller stuff, was a look at how a community survives something like this. The idea that love can still win, that good can beat evil. These were themes that were very important to me after Mark brought me into this community and we started doing the research.

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Special Boston screening of Patriots Day at Wang Theatre on December 14, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – ‘Patriots Day’- Special Boston Red Carpet Screening

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Mark Wahlberg takes part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg hosted by SiriusXM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio’s Jessica Shaw at SiriusXM Studios on December 13, 2016 in New York City.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg

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Performance Inspired, the supplement brand founded by former Men’s Fitness cover star Mark Wahlberg and wellness industry veteran Tom Dowd, on Wednesday announced a new “high-performance” line of supplements, including protein bars, BCAAs, creatine, and pre-workout.

The brand also announced a new group of equity investors—”an amazing group of influential and successful leaders,” Dowd said—that will serve as partners to the brand, including Golden State Warriors forward and Olympic gold medalist Draymond Green, music impresario Scooter Braun, and Men’s Fitness parent company American Media, Inc.

“There’s no time for being less than 100% when you’re playing more than 80 grueling games a year alongside some of the best athletes in the world,” said Green. “Adding Performance Inspired to my daily routine offers me a smart, efficient way to train and perform at my best day in and day out. I’m thrilled to partner with Performance Inspired because, like me, they hold themselves to the highest standard of excellence.”

Wahlberg, who was featured in the May 2016 issue of Men’s Fitness, said he wanted to partner with “self-motivated individuals” who had “blood in the game.” “We will be the number one player in the healthy active lifestyle space with our amazing products and our committed team of business partners,” he said.

The company also signed on with Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, whose book, Lone Survivor, served as the basis of the movie starring Wahlberg. Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart for his conduct in Afghanistan, when his team came under fire during Operation Red Wing. “Joining Mark and Tom on this project is an honor,” Luttrell said. “Everything they do is top of the line and they bring trust, talent and decades of experience to a great brand.”

[mensfitness.com]

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“For Mark to take the lead and say we’re going to tell your story, we’re going to do it with respect, and we really do everything we can to look you in the eye when you see the film and feel that we got it right,” said Patriots Day director Peter Berg at The Contenders Presented by Deadline of star and Boston native Mark Wahlberg and their film about the fatal bombing of April 15, 2013 during the city’s annual marathon. “For Mark to do that, took a lot of guts,” Berg added to a packed DGA last month.

Reunited for their third film together after Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, Berg and Wahlberg passionately discussed the December 21 opening movie and their own qualms and resolve about making it.

“For awhile, we kind of debated it back and forth that it was too soon,” said Wahlberg, who both stars and is an executive producer on Patriots Day. “But then we realized that with all the stuff that’s going on in the world, if you look at Orlando, if you look at Paris if you look everywhere all over the world, it’s really not soon enough because this is a message about love and hope and people coming together.”

Going wide on January 13, the up-close and fast paced CBS Films feature chronicles the attack that killed three people and maimed hundreds and the manhunt by law enforcement to find those responsible. Co-starring with Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, Jimmy Q. Yang and John Goodman, Wahlberg plays the fictional Sgt. Tommy Saunders of the BPD. Themo Melikidze and Alex Wolff portray bombers Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Jahar Tsarnaev, with Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist as the wife of the former.

[deadline.com]

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Finally someone has told Hollywood celebrities what the general public has always wanted to tell them when it comes to their views and politics: SHUT UP! What’s even better is it was a celebrity who said it.

Actor Mark Wahlberg (or “Marky Mark” as some of us remember him during his music days) was at a presser for his new movie Patriots Day when he made the comments to Task & Purpose – a news outlet whose audience is primarily American service veterans. When asked about the parade of celebrities that have come out to denounce President-elect Donald Trump, Wahlberg said he believed most of Hollywood lives in a bubble and out of touch with most of Americans:

“You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway…They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”

Wahlberg’s latest movie is what he calls a “trilogy of films” he’s worked on with director Peter Berg, who he affectionately refers to as his brother. Wahlberg and Berg previously worked on Deepwater Horizon (2016), and Lone Survivor (2013). All three of these movies depict actual events, and tell the story of heroism from average men – though some would disagree that Marcus Luttrell, the main character of Lone Survivor, is an average guy.

Wahlberg also believes Patriots Day will serve as a reminder to the public about the greatness of America – its people, police and military:

“I definitely think the film is going to bring people together… will give people an added boost and a reminder of what a great country we do have and how amazing people are. People really dedicated their lives to serving our country and our communities, and we need to honor that. The overall purpose of police and military is protect us. It’s an amazing thing, and every chance I get I want to thank them for their service.”

Big thanks to Mark Wahlberg – one of the few celebrities that can relate to the average person, tell it like it is, and create movies about American heroism and greatness.

[newsbusters.org]

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Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg attend the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Gallery Link:
Home – Donnie | Public Appearances – 2016 American Music Awards

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Mark Wahlberg attends the AFI Closing Night Screening of “Patriot’s Day” at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 17, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

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Home – Mark | Public Appearances – AFI Fest 2016

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Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block stop by Studio 1A to announce their new U.S. tour. But they won’t be alone: They’ll be joined by their friends Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul! (November 15, 2015)

Tickets go onsale 11/19 at 10am local and pre-sales begin for VIPs & tickets 11/16. Visit NKOTB.com for all information & we’ll see you on the road.

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Mark Wahlberg attends The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 8th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 12, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 8th Annual Governors Awards

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Exciting things happening on the TODAY Show! Tune in Tuesday November 15th!  Check your local listings for times.

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Donnie Wahlberg and Nick Lachey have teamed with “Entourage’s” Doug Ellin to produce a comedy for CBS about members of a boy band who reunite 20 years later.

“Encore” hails from CBS Television Studios and the Tannenbaum Co. The single-camera project is in the early stage of development.

Wahlberg and Lachey are intimately familiar with the material. Wahlberg was a member of the late 1980s pop group New Kids on the Block. Lachey was a member of 98 Degrees, which was active in the late-1990s and early 2000s. Wahlberg and Lachey have become friendly after spending time touring together in 2013. The inspiration for the show came when the two compared notes about how different their lives are today as grown men with children than in their pop star heydays.

Wahlberg is already in the CBS family as a co-star of police drama “Blue Bloods.” He also exec producers the reality series “Rock This Boat,” about obsessive NKOTB fans, for CBS’ Pop cabler. And he’s an exec producer on the A&E Network series “Wahlburgers,” about his family’s burger joint in Boston.

Family ties also helped bring Ellin into the picture for “Encore.” The showrunner created and exec produced the 2004-2011 HBO series “Entourage” that was inspired by the Hollywood experiences of his older brother, Mark Wahlberg.

Ellin is penning the script for “Encore” and exec producing with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (“Two and a Half Men”), Wahlberg, Lachey and Jonathan Baruch. Andrew Moncrief of Ellin’s Halyard Park banner will serve as a producer.

Ellin’s recent projects include ESPN’s “30 for 30: When the Garden Was Eden” doc and “Bad Santa 2,” which is set for release on Nov. 23. He also wrote and directed the 2015 “Entourage” feature.

Ellin is repped by CAA and attorney Jeff Frankel of McKuin Frankel Whitehead. The Tannenbaums are also with CAA. Wahlberg is with WME. Lachey’s with ICM Partners.

[variety.com]

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The Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards presented by Los Angeles Confidential Magazine at Exchange LA on November 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Gallery Link:
Home – Mark | Public Appearances – 9th Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards

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“No.”

Chef Paul Wahlberg has a pretty direct answer when asked whether he’s become comfortable with his celebrity as the star of Wahlburgers, A&E’s reality show series about the eponymous fast-casual burger restaurants he owns with his partner-brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. Last week Wahlburgers celebrated its fifth anniversary, and the Emmy-nominated TV series launches its latest season on November 16. But even after years of practice, and a lifetime watching his entertainment biz bros handle Hollywood, it’s still a little hard for Paul Wahlberg to digest the celeb-chef thing. He doesn’t love doing the publicity circuit; during an interview at Alma Nove, his upscale Italian restaurant across the street from the original Wahlburgers, the chef sometimes sits on his hands to avoid moving about the room. (“I get fidgety!” he chuckles.) He’s as press shy as his famous brothers are limelight-loving, and he laughs at the irony that, just a few days prior, his brother Donnie broke a Guinness World Record for — wait for it! — taking selfies on a New Kids on the Block cruise.

“I’m still not comfortable in that world, though I count my blessings from it,” says Wahlberg of the fame machine. “Still, if I get caught up in the celebrity part, I’m not doing my job.”

His job, he says, is simply to cook. That’s where he feels at home, even if the demands of a TV show and booming burger chain require other kinds of attention. Since opening the first Wahlburgers location in Hingham in 2011, the brand has expanded to about a dozen locations around the country — from Vegas to Orlando — with dozens more international outposts under agreement with franchisees. And the television show, which follows the comic travails of the Wahlberg clan as they run the family business, has garnered a loyal following that surprises even the chef. He’s had fans drive hours just to get a patty melt and a boozy frappe, a dedication that, frankly, makes him a bit self-conscious. “I had one couple drive here nonstop from Nova Scotia. I couldn’t do enough for them,” recalls Wahlberg of two exceptionally devout diners. (That’s an 11-hour drive, if you’re curious.) Of course, all those TV-bred expectations are a double-edged sword. “You have people who think it’s the best thing ever. Then you have the people who say, ‘it doesn’t live up to they hype.’ But it’s not meant to be hyped. That’s not what I’m trying to achieve.”

Whatever the show suggests, the chef says he just wants to show folks a good time at Wahlburgers, whether by doling out tried-and-true burgers (topped with fixings like “government cheese,” a nod to hardscrabble times growing up in Dorchester) or seasonal variations like the just-launched fiesta burger (pictured above), a half-pound patty made with Southern spice mix and topped with jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli and sweet pepper and smoked onion salsa. The chain has also branched out to non-burger items like smoked mozzarella mac-n-cheese with bacon and open-faced Sloppy Joe sandwiches slathered in cheese sauce.

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