From acclaimed director Michael Bay comes “Pain & Gain,” starring Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Anthony Mackie. The film is based on the unbelievable true story of a group of personal trainers in 1990s Miami who, in pursuit of the American Dream, get caught up in a criminal enterprise that goes horribly wrong. Once a small time criminal, Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is a charismatic and ambitious man with a plan to maximize his ultimate potential in pursuit of a lifestyle only money and power can provide. And like the architect of any good scheme, he recruits a devoted crew of disciples (Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie), who follow Lugo’s strict regimen of kidnapping and extortion in their joint quest for the great American dream. “Pain & Gain” is a darkly comedic retelling of the true story of a gang of bodybuilders who decide the fastest way to wealth and status is to steal someone else’s. Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie play the misguided personal trainers.
The Cinema Society and Men’s Fitness hosted a screening of “Pain & Gain” on Monday evening at the Crosby Hotel in NYC. The party was at Jimmy (at the James Hotel), where guests sipped on Qui cocktails (Named Qui Pain and Qui Gain!).
From the film: Mark Wahlberg and Michael Rispoli walked the red carpet. Despite the tragic news about Boston, Mark put on a brave face. He said, “You know I’m obviously very upset by it. The world obviously needs to change, if you think about all the events over the last couple of years. If we can’t protect our innocent women and children, then we got a serious problem.”
Other notable attendees included 50 Cent, NY Giant Victor Cruz and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir.
We caught up with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet. Check out what he had to say about working on “Pain & Gain,” his friend Michael Jordan and more in our exclusive video:
Q: Was there any extra fun moment on set? I know that your co-star was saying that you prank called people sometimes?
Mark Wahlberg: Everyday was a blast. Working with Michael Bay, never a dull moment. The only thing that was problem was the heat. In Miami, the humidity, the end of May, beginning of June, is brutal. But we had a blast. We worked really hard and made the movie in 50 days, for 25 million dollars. You work with Michael Bay, you don’t hang out in your trailer waiting. You’re shooting constantly, that’s the way I like to work. It reminded me of one of my television productions, where you always have less money and less time. But you have a real exciting enthusiasm for the material and everybody is working together as a group, working to service Michael’s vision.
Q: I read somewhere that you were eating ten meals a day for this film? Did you have any favorite indulgences when you were trying to put on the weight?
Mark Wahlberg: It’s fun for two weeks because I had to be as thin as possible for the movie that I did before this. So I didn’t get to eat anything. And then for two weeks you’re just eating whatever you want and it’s really fun, but then waking up at midnight after going to bed at 9PM, having just had a meal, and you’re still full from that one and you have to eat again, was not fun. The only thing that really helped was the supplements that I was developing through my Marked line. I was having all these formulas sent to me and I had access to the best scientists…but thank God for the supplementation, so it was easier to drink a mass gainer, which was hundreds and hundreds of calories then it was having yet anther meal, eating another piece of chicken or another pancake.
Q: Mark what did your kids think of your weight change after you worked out so hard?
Mark Wahlberg: My sons loves it. When I started losing weight for “2 Guns,” my son was very upset. He said, “Dad don’t lose weight.” He kept asking me, he’s four years old, “Are you losing weight?” I said, “How do you even know what that is?” But I was playing basketball everyday and you can’t show up 212 pounds to play a naval intelligence officer.
Q: So after you bulked up what were some of the things you did to trim down?
Mark Wahlberg: Well my Blast & Burn Packs and the supplementation and then playing basketball. I never touched a weight again after that. I was just playing full court basketball from 4 o’clock in the morning. Turned the lights on at my house and we’d play one on one or two on two full court for a couple of hours. Which was grueling. My workout partners and some of my friends [would play]. And whoever else was dumb enough to get up at 4 in the morning to play basketball!
Q: Who would you want to support you in a fight out of the other cast members in the movie?
Mark Wahlberg: You know, I would normally say Dwayne Johnson, but Tony Shalhoub is one tough son of a b*tch. Excuse my language, but I completely tortured him throughout the entire movie and he never complained once. He gave me some “Please, don’t do this anymore” looks, but obviously I ignored that. But he never complained once. I admire him for that.
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you had to do for “Pain & Gain?”
Mark Wahlberg: The weirdest thing and the most uncomfortable thing was in this movie having to get a spray tan every week you know I don’t like the sun, it’s not good for you and Michael was insisting that I be as tan as possible, so he would make me get a spray tan and I would do it on the balcony of my hotel room, which was on the 17th floor, so you think you’re free of the cameras and Paparazzi and there I am getting photographed in my underwear getting a spray tan. Not a good look for the hood.
Q: What would you like to tell female audience members to come see this movie?
Mark Wahlberg: This movie is so original and so different and it’s such an amazing looking movie, it’s such a fascinating story that I really feel like it’s going to appeal to everybody men and women, young and old there is so much Michael Bay beautiful eye candy in Miami, it’s a fascinating back drop, something you’re not familiar with, a world of body building and it’s an unbelievable true story. So I think the movie is going to do really well. I mean it’s original. People want to see something different, they’re so used to seeing the same thing all the time that having something original is exciting. It has the same feeling like “Ted.” For me as an actor I have to do this all the time and most of the time I am trying to convince the audience, and yet I don’t even necessarily fully believe it myself that they should go and spend their hard earned money to go see a movie, that’s not that good. But when you have something really good and really original and different like a “Ted” or like this, it makes it very easy for me to do my job.
Q: We spotted you with Michael Jordan at the Jordan Classic, this past weekend!
Mark Wahlberg: I was with Mr. Jordan…I’ve met him many times before, he’s trying to get in my pocket, like Michael doesn’t have enough money. He wants to gamble me on the golf course. I’m like dude, “I’ve got four kids, I’m still trying to you know build my nest egg,” but I love him, greatest basketball player of all time, one of the great guys of all time. I am a huge fan of him as a person and professionally and the guy has been so generous with me and my children. I’m a psychotic sneaker freak, so you know everyday we open a new box and there’s a beautiful pair of Jordan’s for my kids and me.
Q: Have you ever played Michael Jordan in basketball?
Mark Wahlberg: Hell no! I played him in golf and even then it’s a challenge. He is the most competitive man in the world and he’s possibly the greatest athlete to ever walk the earth.
Q: Do you have any updates for “Entourage” fans about the movie?
Mark Wahlberg: Just hopefully you know shooting at the end of the summer as soon as everybody’s schedule is freed up, but I’ve been working on it for a long time and glad that the movie is finally coming together.
Q: What upcoming films can you share?
Mark Wahlberg: “2 Guns” with me and Denzel and then “Lone Survivor” and then Michael and I are shooting “Transformers.”
Paramount Pictures’ “Pain & Gain” hits theaters on April 26, 2013.