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From acclaimed director Michael Bay comes “Pain & Gain,”starring Oscar nominee Mark WahlbergDwayne “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.

We had the opportunity to speak with one of the film’s stars Anthony Mackie. Check out our interview below:


Describe your character Adrian and his contributions towards the trio’s plan.

Adrian is a heartless romantic caught up in the idea of the American dream.

What did you love about playing this character?

The thing about being an actor and the reason I love my job is I really get to not only study and try to understand, but live in many different realities. And the idea about that that was so weird was I’ve never played like a serial killer or anything like that. So to really delve into that and play a character like that and to just sit and have to think about that and live in that mindset was really difficult and really challenging at times.

And there are several crazy scenes throughout the movie. What scene was a fun scene that you would like to highlight?

For me,  weird enough, the fun scene was when we had to cut up the body. There was so much stuff that Michael took out of that, but, you haven’t lived until you’ve cut up a human body.

Was there a particularly challenging scene to shoot in the film?

I would say, the everglades scene when we’re driving out and dumping the body, because we shot a lot more and there were like alligators everywhere and it was crazy.

So there were real alligators out and about?

Oh yes, sure. We had an alligator wrangler on set.

Did that scare you at all?

[LAUGHS] No. I kept a watchful eye for the alligators.

 And your relationship with Rebel Wilson was definitely a highlight. What was it like working with her?

Rebel was great. She’s a true giver and I love working with her. You know, every time Michael said “Action” she just opened up and really gave me the opportunity because… I’ve never done comedy, so she really helped me out and gave me the opportunity to go as far as I wanted to go with her. She never said no. The first rule of comedy is to never say no. Every time I pushed and every time I went, she just went on the ride with me.

How much preparation went into studying the true story for portraying this character?

You know, I read the Sun Times article about what happened. I got a lot of source material from Michael and production and I looked into it, but at the end of the day, our story was so different than what actually happened, I just focused on our script and that character, because there were slight modifications. And we just went with that.

And what was it like collaborating with Michael Bay, this iconic director?

It was great. Michael is a tour de force when it comes to onset work ethic. I mean, I’ve never seen anybody work harder, faster and be more prepared.

And say that you’re the special guest referee and The Rock and Mark Wahlberg were in a fight, who would win?

I think Mark will take him. Because Mark will fight dirty. Mark is not the type of dude who would let himself lose because he wouldn’t fight dirty. He’ll definitely undercut him and do something to make himself win.

And what was it like working with The Rock?

It’s a lot of fun. The Rock is a really sweet guy. You know, he’s easy to work with and he’s just like a big Teddy Bear.

He’s a Teddy Bear?  

He is. You would think with all his muscle he would be more of a bully, but he’s a really good guy.

And how about Mark? What was the highlight of working with him?

You know, Mark and I used to get up everyday and go to the gym and work out. And that was probably the most fun part of my day because he’s such an agitator. He’s such an aggressor. So he would literally push me to my limits everyday at the gym, so I had a huge gains as far as my workout.

And also can you talk about Captain America and are you excited to be in that project?

Yes, definitely. I mean, Captain America, being Falcon is a dream come true. It’s a really cool storyline and I start on it in two weeks so I’m just really excited to be a part of it.

Can you also speak about Runner, Runner?

Yeah, we shot that at the end of last year so it was a lot of fun. Justin’s a really hardworking guy.

Was there any highlight with Justin Timberlake? Are you a fan of the new album?

I love the new album. He’s a multi-talented, multi-faceted guy. And the thing about Justin, he works so hard you want him to win. I mean, you want him to be good. He’s just a really good guy. You’d never seen someone who works as hard as he does and commits himself to being good.

You can also check out our interview with Mark Wahlberg about the film here:



Paramount Pictures’ “Pain & Gain” hits theaters on April 26, 2013.