We interview Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, and more for Deepwater Horizon
Director Peter Berg dives back into the realm of real-life events this week with DEEPWATER HORIZON, based on the 2010 disaster that caused 11 deaths and is now known as the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Ethan Suplee, and Dylan O'Brien, the film is a powerful retelling of the human struggle to survive the chaos of an exploding oil rig. It's an intense, very human film that hits all the right notes and I thoroughly enjoyed it (and was glad the theater was dark, so no one saw a grown man cry). I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the film's stars in New Orleans to talk about the film, their characters, and their involvement in the dramatic interpretation of the real-world event.
First up, I spoke to the legend, the man, Jack Burton himself, Kurt Russell. It wasn't lost on me for a second that I was talking to a man I've admired since childhood, but I think I was still able to keep my cool. Russell was as laid back and awesome as you'd hope and it's always great when you get to meet one of your cinematic heroes and they turn out to be just as cool in real life. Russell, who plays the boss on the DEEPWATER HORIZON (Mr. Jimmy), talked about his intense shower sequence, being a father figure to the cast, and more.
Next, I talked with Mark Wahlberg, who plays Mike Williams, who is often referred to as a hero, helping to save countless lives as the Horizon exploded and fell apart. Wahlberg, who worked on director Peter Berg's last film, LONE SURVIVOR, as well as his next, PATRIOTS DAY, talks about what the draw is in working with Berg and how he interpreted his real-life character for the big screen.
Kate Hudson plays Wahlberg's wife in the film, Felicia, and has the task of being not only the reason for Wahlberg's character to get home, but also the one who displays the frustration of being unable to do anything when the disaster strikes. Hudson talks about balancing that aspect of her character and how she and Wahlberg developed their relationship and chemistry to invest the audience in their commitment to one another.
Gina Rodriguez plays Andrea Fleytas, a young dynamic positioning officer on the DEEPWATER HORIZON, who faces some tense situations throughout the film and has a number of difficult decisions to make as her world comes crumbling down. Rodriguez, as a result, gets some intense and emotional moments in the film, one of which is shared with Wahlberg toward the end. She explains what it was like being challenged by those scenes and whether she dreaded or loved them..
Lastly, I talked to director Peter Berg, who talks about why he continues to choose these types of real-world events to make into features, from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS to LONE SURVIVOR to DEEPWATER HORIZON and the upcoming PATRIOTS DAY. He also discusses why Mark Wahlberg is the right guy to headline these films and goes into some of his technical and storytelling devices used in his films. A true honor to talk to a great filmmaker.
DEEPWATER HORIZON opens nationwide this Friday (see it in IMAX if you want my opinion). Read Chris Bumbray's TIFF review for the film HERE.
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