With the combined star power of A-list actors Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, it’s hard to think a film can possibly fail. That’s what producers are no doubt thinking themselves on the upcoming action flick 2 Guns, as Wahlberg and Washington have to work together as an unlikely team in order to clear both of their names. Full of action set-pieces and summer blockbuster style, you can expect an explosive August 2nd for action fans.
While the actors were promoting their film in New York City this weekend, I was able to attend a press conference interview featuring the duo. Discussing points about 2 Guns, the two actors shed some light on their phenomenal chemistry, some of the more grueling scenes they were required to work through, and the fun nature of the film. Enjoy!
First we started by asking Mark and Denzel if they were surprised about anything while working with the other, and if there was a message to take out of such a violent film:
Denzel Washington: You worked on that question all night, didn’t you. [Laughs] This one’s on you, man. [Looks at Mark]
Mark Wahlberg: We’ve known each other for a while, but what surprised me was how willing Denzel was to just try anything. We wanted to add some humor and shake things up a bit, combining comedic elements a bit with the dramatic aspects of the movie. He’s also a giving actor. He’s really supportive of me, I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time, and he let me do my thing.
Denzel Washington: Coming off of Flight, I was looking to dip my toe in and do something to have more fun. When I read the script and heard Mark was involved, I knew Mark was not just funny, but he has a warmth in him – a heart in him – that I loved. I watched Ted the other night too, that’s a sick movie. [Laughs] How’d you do that fight scene? That was crazy! [To Mark] But you were willing. You got spanked and everything!
So yeah, I wanted all of that. I mean, I wasn’t ready to get spanked or anything, but he really helped free me up and go for it. Don’t worry about being too silly or being too, whatever.
Referencing a particular scene, we asked Mark and Denzel how it felt being hung upside down for so long with a bull continually charging at them:
Mark Wahlberg: Well I thought it was no big deal, being hung upside down with all the blood rushing to your head – yeah, it was not fun. It was actually [Denzel Washington’s] idea to go up at the last second. Of course, I would start complaining quite a few minutes earlier than he did, because it’s not a fun position to be in, but it’s a really cool scene. It’s something different, you haven’t seen it before.
Denzel Washington: The bull enjoyed the scene.
Mark Wahlberg: He kept saying, “The bull doesn’t give a shit. He doesn’t know we’re making a movie here.”
Playing off the bull scene, we asked the two how physically punishing their parts were:
Denzel Washington: That bull scene. It was funky in there, it’s where they sold cows, like the auction room or something, and it was hot, plus we were upside down.
Mark Wahlberg: I think that’s the day Edward James Olmos was intentionally forgetting his lines. He really loved us being in that position. He had that big “shit eating grin” on because the first scene we did together we had him tied up and were slapping him around. Then, we’re tied up, we’re upside down…
Because both Mark and Denzel work so well together, we asked how much of the film was improvisational work done on the spot:
Mark Wahlberg: There was actually a lot. I worked with [Baltasar Kormákur] before, so he was comfortable with me doing my thing. Improvisation can always make the scene better as long as it pertains to the moment in the movie. People have the tendency where if they don’t know their lines, they’ll just say whatever comes out. It has nothing to do with the movie or anything else. As long as it makes sense with the story and the scene. But yeah, we just played and played. Sometimes [Denzel] would look at me and go “Did you really just say that?”
Denzel Washington: People have said to me for a long time, “Man, you’re funny!” I always say “Well, I’m quick.” Being funny take after take, I don’t know. That’s why I said for me this was new territory. So, by improvising, something might come out that might be good – and it’s film, so they can cut it if it isn’t.
Again referencing the chemistry between Mark and Denzel, we asked how they bonded together, and if any of the fight scenes accidentally contained a real punch or two:
Denzel Washington: We went to Lamaze class together. [Laughs]
Mark Wahlberg: I’ve always admired him, we’ve know each other socially a little here and there, we’ve got a lot in common, we both have four kids, I was able to ask him for advice and pick his brain both personally and professionally – and we were both professionals. Even if we didn’t spend so much time hanging out, we’d just come do our job, enjoy our job, and see if it works or doesn’t.
Denzel Washington: And Mark’s a good guy. Everybody I’ve talked to, when they heard I was working with him, they said he’s just a regular guy like me – it was easy. It was like let’s go, let’s hit it. He hasn’t lost his way, he’s not trippin’.
Since 2 Guns is actually based on a comic, we asked if either had any idea such a grounded story could come from a comic series, and also if either actor had read the publication before or after filming:
Mark Wahlberg: I knew it was from a graphic novel, but I hadn’t looked at it beforehand. I had a copy of it just sitting around my office and then as we were making the movie I was flipping through it. It’s like with any source material once something is adapted – you can’t fit everything into the movie, especially with a story like this. I look for material anywhere, to find and develop for myself, getting the rights for things. I thought it was good, and we actually have a few other pieces of material from the publisher that we’re looking at as well.
Denzel Washington: Mark mentioned earlier he found the material and was attached to the project before I was connected with it, so I didn’t really know about the graphic novel. I just read the script, laughed, and gave it to the people that I trust, like my kids, and my barber. It’s true, I always give him the script.
I’d like to thank both Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington for their participation in this press conference interview, and be sure to catch 2 Guns when it opens August 2nd!