Wahlberg deep in dis­as­ter movie

Wahlberg gets into char­ac­ter for a true sur­vival story

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Mark Wahlberg un­der­stands the re­spon­si­bil­ity and sen­si­tiv­ity of drama­tis­ing real-life dis­as­ters for the big screen. For Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon, the film about one of the big­gest dis­as­ters ever – on the Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon oil rig in the Gulf of Mex­ico – Wahlberg worked closely with Mike Wil­liams, the oper­a­tion’s chief elec­tron­ics tech­ni­cian at the time of the ex­plo­sion. The April 20, 2010 ac­ci­dent killed 11 of the 126 crew on board, and caused a months-long marine oil spill.

Os­car-nom­i­nated Wahlberg says: “He was the last one on the rig, and he knew so much about what re­ally hap­pened there. I didn’t want to just meet him; I wanted him around and con­sult­ing with us the en­tire time. It turned out he was a great help to every­body.”

They also had per­sonal con­ver­sa­tions to bet­ter un­der­stand the char­ac­ter he is go­ing to por­tray: “We talked about ev­ery­thing. We talked what he did be­fore he was on the rig, about how he spent his time off the rig, about his re­la­tion­ship with his daugh­ter and wife. At times, he got quite emo­tional talk­ing about what hap­pened on the rig, but there wasn’t any­thing he wasn’t com­fort­able talk­ing about with me.”

Re­count­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence proved cathar­tic to Wahlberg.

“An­swer­ing ques­tions about what hap­pened from the time I woke up un­til the time I got to the hos­pi­tal, and to be able to walk the cast through that has been ben­e­fi­cial to me. It helped me not only to re-live the story, but it also al­lowed me to let go of some of it, and that was very ther­a­peu­tic.”

Kurt Rus­sell (left), who plays the off­shore in­stal­la­tion man­ager Jimmy Har­rell, also felt the weight of

por­tray­ing a real per­son. He didn’t meet Har­rell, but spent hours watch­ing his tes­ti­mony dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “Any time you play a char­ac­ter drawn from a real per­son, you have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to find out as much as you can,” he says.

“You re­alise that in this very dan­ger­ous world, when things go wrong, hu­man be­ings can only try to make the right de­ci­sions. These are not black-and-white kinds of de­ci­sions. It’s a dif­fi­cult thing to face.”

IN AC­TION: Mark Wahlberg stars in Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon – out in cin­e­mas to­mor­row

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