No kids al­lowed

Sum­mer movies. Mark Wahlberg breaks his “no se­quels” rule with the raunchy fol­low-up to “Ted.”

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - MATT PRIGGE @mattprigge

Mark Wahlberg doesn’t do se­quels. For years there’s been talk of a sec­ond “Ital­ian Job,” a sec­ond “Four Broth­ers,” even a fol­low-up to “The Fighter” that fol­lows other box­ers. But so far noth­ing has ma­te­ri­al­ized, in part be­cause he’s picky.

“When peo­ple talk about se­quels I al­ways just shrug it off,” Wahlberg tells us. “If they de­velop a script I’ll take a look at it. I al­ways want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and change the dy­namic.”

And yet here’s “Ted 2,” his first se­quel and a fairly dif­fer­ent film than 2011’s “Ted,” in which he played the owner/friend of a mag­i­cally sen­tient talk­ing bear, voiced by co-writer/di­rec­tor Seth MacFar­lane.

“It was only worth do­ing it if we could make it bet­ter than the first. It had to be its own thing,” says Wahlberg.

Part of that had to do with get­ting another chance to work and hang with MacFar­lane. “Seth and I re­ally have a lot in com­mon. We have a knowl­edge of old, old tele­vi­sion from the ’70s and ’80s,” he ex­plains.

That’s one rea­son they’re com­fort­able to­gether on­screen, though they’re not as ad-lib-heavy as it may seem. “We play around a lot. But the writ­ers are so good you don’t need to im­prov so much. You might find your­self in a scene where you need to in­ter­ject life into it. But it’s not as nec­es­sary as it is in other sit­u­a­tions.”

MacFar­lane’s rep­u­ta­tion for shock­ing peo­ple is very much in play in “Ted 2,” which in­cludes race and gay jokes, plus one about Char­lie Hebdo. Wahlberg doesn’t re­ally think about those of­fend­ing when shoot­ing.

“It’s one of those things where we shoot it, put it in front of an au­di­ence and see how peo­ple re­spond,” he says. “He doesn’t like to be cen­sored, to be sure.”

Wahlberg doesn’t even get shaken by the “Ted” films’ most chal­leng­ing as­pect: be­liev­ably con­vers­ing with a CGI talk­ing teddy bear. MacFar­lane riffs with Wahlberg from be­hind the cam­era while his co-star pre­tends he’s talk­ing to what will later be a spe­cial ef­fect.

“I feel like he’s real. And if I be­lieve it, I feel I can con­vince an au­di­ence,” he says of his method­ol­ogy. “That’s the only thing I want to do: I want to make it real. We want to make it look real — not make a joke of it and wink at the au­di­ence.”

Wahlberg has con­fessed that he’s watched MacFar­lane’s “Fam­ily Guy” with at least some of his four kids, none of them over 11, but films like these are ver­boten.

“My wife would kill me,” he tells us. “The only thing I showed my sons was the fight scene from the first one, but with no sound.”


Mark Wahlberg re­unites with his Seth MacFar­lane-voiced talk­ing teddy bear friend in “Ted 2,” which in­tro­duces Amanda Seyfried to the party.


Mark Wahlberg re­unites

with Seth MacFar­lane’s liv­ing teddy bear in “Ted 2.”


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