Mark Wahlberg loves for working with director Peter Berg. And Berg loves Wahlburgers (but more on that later). The duo have worked together on “Lone Survivor” and the new “Deep Horizon,” the true story of the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2010, which killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Wahlberg plays chief engineer technician Mike Williams, the last survivor to make it off the Deepwater Horizon rig. The 45-year-old actor explains the appeal of true stories and how his relationship with Berg blossomed over burgers.
You’ve worked on three films with Peter Berg. You’re friends now, right?
Well, he is from New York and I’m from Boston, so that’s a big problem. [Laughs]
How did this collaboration come about?
It’s one of those stories where we have the same agent and he introduced us. In fact, he was trying to get us together for some time. But for one reason or another, we resisted. But when we finally got together for “Survivor,” I was like ‘I could make 20 movies with this man.’ We motivate each other. We support each other. He focuses on the story and has a mindset to see the whole picture, rather than deal with his own agenda, which is very rare.
While on the subject of your friendship with Peter Berg, tell us what a guy from Boston and a guy from New York have in common when it comes to food?
[Laughs] Look, I took him to all the great restaurants in Boston. But he keeps saying that Wahlburgers burgers were the best. He tried the turkey, classic and fish. He ate them all; he could not stop.
What is your favorite dish?
Oh God, you’re asking someone who craves everything all the time. I’ve been eating very healthy. For my birthday my wife hosted a dinner at home and brought the chef of my favorite Italian restaurant, but I could not eat everything that I wanted. The problem is that I gained a lot of weight for “Deep Horizon” and “Patriots Day.” Then I saw Michael Bay, the producer for “Transformers” and he said, “Friend, what’s going on here?” So I had to do the 10-week training program in three.