Deepwater Horizon - Premiere: Mark Wahlberg
Deepwater Horizon - Star Mark Wahlberg at the Orpheum Theater Premiere in New Orleans, Monday September 19th 2016 ©2016 Lionsgate, photo by Eric Charbonneau

At the premiere for Deepwater Horizon in New Orleans star Mark Wahlberg tells about honoring extraordinary people with this movie.

Deepwater Horizon - Mark Wahlberg
Deepwater Horizon – Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) ©2016 Lionsgate, photo by Enrique Chediak

Why Mark Wahlberg was chosen

Mark Wahlberg was choosen for the main role because of films like The Fighter, The Departed and Lone Survivor. What was liked about Mark was his ability to explore the realities of blue-collar men. For Lone Survivor he had also worked with Deepwater Horizon’s director Peter Berg.

Reuniting with director Peter Berg was good for Mark. “I’d sign up to do anything with Pete,” Wahlberg suggests.

He went on to say “We have a similar approach to the work and we’re both drawn to true-life stories about people overcoming the odds. Pete is an actor first, so he’s all about performance but he’s also a true leader. He sets a high bar and challenges you for sure.”

Deepwater Horizon - Mark Wahlberg
Deepwater Horizon – Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) ©2016 Lionsgate, photo by Enrique Chediak

Two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg tells, “I play a rig worker who was an ordinary guy who had to do extraordinary things. [This was] not only to survive, but to help others in a moment of overwhelming disaster. For me, that’s an extremely compelling story to tell. It’s something I find very inspiring and those are the kinds of movies I most enjoy making and seeing.”

Grounded in reality

Deepwater Horizon - Mark Wahlberg and Kate Hudson
Deepwater Horizon –
Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) with Felicia Williams (Kate Hudson) in the background ©2016 Lionsgate, photo by David Lee

Real-life Mike Williams, was the Chief Electronics Technician of the Deepwater Horizon at the time the blowout occurred, helped with the production.

Mark and Mike bonded before the film started shooting and spent a lot of time during production on and off set together.

Mike found that talking with Mark about his experiences was ultimately cathartic. “Answering questions about what happened from the time I woke up until the time I got to the hospital. [Also I was] able to walk the cast through that has been beneficial to me,” he explains. “It helped me not only to re-live the story, but it also allowed me to let go of some of it. That was very therapeutic.”

Once on the set near New Orleans, Mark Wahlberg also felt a need to make connections with the people of Louisiana. They were so deeply affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and its aftermath.

Mark commented, “I take pride in us going down there – it is the kind of place where, if you don’t get it right, you’re not going to be welcomed back”.

“On a film like this it is about so much more than your individual experience as an actor or director or cinematographer or whoever. For all of us, it was really about making sure that we made the local people proud. [Also] doing the families involved, justice.”

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura sums up his thoughts about their star, “He brings out that American ethic of doing hard work. [This is] even when you’re working amid forces you can’t necessarily control.”

Deepwater Horizon Mark Walhberg Videobyte

Deepwater Horizon - Poster: Mark Wahlberg
Deepwater Horizon – Poster: Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) ©2016 Lionsgate, photo by Enrique Chediak