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Interview with Donnie Wahlberg of "In Plain
Sight" on USA
In Plain Sight Q&A Session with Donnie Wahlberg
March 26, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
Moderator We do have a question on the line of Megan Ward,
Tvismypacifier.com. Please go ahead.
M. Ward Iíve seen the episode and you were fantastic. What was it like
working on a TV series again?
D. Wahlberg Itís different as a guest as opposed to being a star of a
series. A guest star is a whole different responsibility. Itís much
different than being a regular. You come in and itís a lot of unfamiliar
faces and you want to try to fit in as best you can, but also you want
to stay there without making waves. But at the same time you want to
come in and be hopefully the best you can be and bring something new to
the table. Iíve been a regular before and I know that it becomes not a
grind. That series that Iíve been a regular in, I was very committed and
very dedicated, but it was always fun when a new actor came along and
brought something to the table.
All that said, I felt incredibly welcomed. I also knew that there was a
really a new spirit going on on the show. That everybody was really
looking to raise the bar for season three with John McNamara coming in.
I felt like I was playing with a team that was really trying to great.
So everyone was very encouraging and very welcoming of me.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Jamie Steinberg, Starry
Constellation. Please go ahead.
J. Steinberg I was wondering if you found there was instant chemistry
when you began working with the cast. I know sometimes it takes a little
bit of time to develop, but did you find the rapport was instant?
D. Wahlberg It was pretty instant. I think when we did a table read a
few days before and I got to sit next to Mary McCormick and she was very
gracious and stuff. But I felt, again, very safe. Iím not a big fan of
table reads or sitting around a table and reading a script. Iíd rather
do it on set and do it for real. I generally hate table reads, in fact,
but it was a great atmosphere and everybody really seemed excited I was
there. The regulars on the show were just very welcoming. I think part
of it is maybe is the New Mexico charm that everyone has down there. But
at the same time, I think thereís a real great spirit on that show and
it starts at the top with Mary and Fred and theyíve very, very gracious.
Moderator Our next question is from Jamie Ruby of Media Blvd. Please go
J. Ruby I know you started out in the music industry, so how did you
move into acting from there?
D. Wahlberg Actually, in high school I was one of the cofounders of New
Kids on the Block my freshman year in high school. But I also started
studying theatre in high school my freshman year as well. So throughout
high school, I was actually doing both. I would do a concert maybe at a
night club or wherever we could get a gig as New Kids on the weekends.
But during week days, I was doing plays and writing plays and starring
in plays all the time.
When New Kids became really successful, I got a lot of offers to do
parts in movies and TV shows, but I was really busy, so I pretty much
turned everything down. But I always knew it was something that I would
eventually put some energy into. It just so happened that when New Kids
finished riding that wave, that first wave of success, the offers
werenít coming anymore. So I had to go out and hit the pavement like
most actors and start from the ground up, which I think is one of the
greatest things that happened to me. I think maybe taking movie roles
and stuff when I was getting them offered to me because I was in a
musical group, I think that could have been damaging to me.
I think having to go out and start, I donít want to say as a has-been,
but sort of in a band that wasnít really popular anymore and wasnít
selling records anymore, I think it forced me to really dig in and do
what most actors do, which is to hit the street and go to audition after
audition after audition and keep trying to break through until someone
gives me a shot. I think that Ron Howard was the first person Öthat gave
me a shot. Once I got a taste, I just wanted to keep doing it and doing
it and doing it. I fell in love with the craft and thatís how I did it.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Icess Fernandez, Writing
to Insanity. Please go ahead.
I. Fernandez Just letting you know youíre talking to a soldier, so be
D. Wahlberg I think I got a Tweet from you.
I. Fernandez I think you got several Tweets. I think everybody went a
D. Wahlberg Thatís okay, thatís good stuff.
I. Fernandez Ironically talking about my fellow sisters, the question I
have to ask you, actually, comes from a fellow sister. I inquired what
everybody wanted to know. And so keeping with the theme of the show,
which is witness protection, how do you think it would be to really give
up your identity and become someone else in order to remain safe? What
would you miss and what wouldnít you miss?
D. Wahlberg Iíve thought about it before, actually, just in time when
fame and success gets a little challenging. Thereís been moments when it
was what would it be like. Iíve been lucky enough to travel to many,
many places. And thereís times when Iíve been in some really obscure
towns working and I thought about what it would be like to set up shop
here and just kind of disappear and just be like anyone else. I guess
because Iíve been in the spotlight so often in my life, itís sounded
really appealing to me. But I think Iíd probably eventually get pretty
stir crazy. Iím sure Iíd miss all the things that that I take for
I think in my experience in life speaking to people or knowing people
whoíve lived on the run or lived with a false identity, itís really one
of the hardest things to do. A lot of fugitives eventually who are
living on the run usually turn themselves in because they canít the
pressure of living a false life and hiding anymore. Itís a lot of
stress; itís a lot of pressure. Itís a pretty big weight to carry
I donít know if you meant specifically in a witness protection situation
or just living in a different life of hiding out somewhere. But I think
it would be fun for a while, but I think eventually Iíd miss probably
everything, simple things like going to the supermarket and saying hello
to my neighbor and not wondering if theyíre going to recognize me or
not. That would be a lot of pressure, I think.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Rosa Cordero,
Accidentalsexiness.com. Please go ahead.
R. Cordero Iím following my friend, Icess and sheís actually your number
D. Wahlberg I actually went on a link of yours yesterday, so Iím aware
of who you are.
R. Cordero Iím flattered. I actually had face time with you when you
were here in Fort Lauderdale. Now I get to show off on Twitter saying I
had ear time.
D. Wahlberg Well, letís hear what you have to say.
R. Cordero I saw the episode and you were fantastic. It was really nice
to see you in the role of a dad. How can you relate to your character on
In Plain Sight and what element of yourself do you see in the character?
D. Wahlberg Well, I think being a dad, thatís certainly something I was
able to relate to immediately. I have a 17 year old boy and Iím starting
to experience what that means, the different things that they get into,
17 year olds and teenagers in general and the pressure and sometimes the
head scratching that comes along with it. Itís amazing. Thereís so many
clichťs about getting older or are kids doing things that we did or
having their own way of going about doing similar things to what we did
and Iím experiencing it all right now from the flying to the styles to
the music to everything. I thought everything that I liked when I was 17
was the coolest. But I guess liking a band like New Edition is like my
mom loving the Four Tops to my 17 year old. Itís not so cool to them.
But I think that was really the thing that I zeroed in on the most was
just being a parent and understanding the pressure and responsibility of
taking care of and protecting the child. Thereís a lot of Ö.and stuff on
the show and different elements that I actually borrowed from a friend
of mine whoís had similar life experience. I talked to him about it and
brought those things to the table in terms of witness protection and
stuff like that. But I think really the thing that was most important
thing to me was the family aspect of it and the responsibility that a
dad has, no matter where he is or what his circumstances are. I think my
character on the show was just, it was just important for him to be a
good day when he was out of the streets being a criminal as it was for
him being a straight laced guy in this witness protection program. His
son was the most important thing to him in both scenarios.
Moderator Next question is from Reg Seeton, Thedeadbolt.com. Please go
R. Seeton I loved the ski mask. That was pretty sweet.
D. Wahlberg The ski mask? I couldnít keep it from blocking my eyes, but
it worked out okay.
R. Seeton Growing up in Boston with guys like Whitey Bolger in the city,
how easy is it for you to relate to that world Ö.?
D. Wahlberg I was never really around Whitey Bolger. He was a little bit
before at least me and my brother, Markís, time. He was a little bit out
of the way by the time we really started, when we were out in the
streets. The thing is that Boston is such a small city that everybody
knows everybody. So even if I never crossed paths with Whitey Bolger
directly, I know a lot of people who did. I know a lot people who did
their thing as well and basically do what they had to do to survive or
made a choice to survive a certain way.
But thereís always something to draw on. Thereís always someone that you
could just pluck off the street, a friend, a cousin, an uncle or
somebody who you could look at as a character study for a character like
Jimmy. But the thing for me also is that whenever you play somebody who
comes from your home town, itís sort of responsibility to not goof it
up. Nobody wants to be that guy that is representing somebody built from
a character or characters from Boston. It may be the worst thing in the
world to get it wrong and we take pride in people getting it right. So
it adds a little pressure to it as well. It makes it easier in some
aspects because I have a lot to draw on, but at the same time, it does
put a great pressure because if I stink it up as a Boston guy, then Iím
going to get a lot of flack when I come home.
Moderator The next question is from Pattye Grippo, please state your
P. Grippo Itís pazsaz.com. The question I have for you is throughout
your career, youíve done a bit of everything, singing, dancing,
performing live, movies, TV shows. Which of those have you enjoyed the
most and why?
D. Wahlberg Itís really hard to say. If you asked me six months ago, I
would say probably doing concerts again. But if you asked me six months
before that, I might have said song writing. If you asked me six months
before that, I might have said acting. If you asked me today, Iím
shooting something right now and working with an amazing team and just
work In Plain Sight, which was a really, really great experience. Iím
really enjoying acting again right now.
So I think Iím smart enough and honest enough to know that itís really
all of the above. I think one thing I do is I really get an incredible
high off of the creative process. That extends with acting, beyond just
being on screen or being in front of the camera. I love sitting down
with a director and a writer and bringing different ideas to the table
and really diving into a character, the behind the scenes, the
preparation, the rehearsals, the wardrobe.
I love it all. I love being creative. I love being around creative
people and thatís really it. Itís music or movies or acting. I love the
rush of being creative. I really think I live for it. It kinds of fills
my soul and so Iím very lucky. I remember my time in New Mexico, I just
really started sort of shooting In Plain Sight, I really felt myself
getting back into the groove. I was a little rusty at first, but after a
day or two, just having that rapport with other actors and a director,
itís an amazing high that I get from doing it. I take great pride and I
have a great sense of responsibility for it. I donít know if I answered
the question, but I tried.
Moderator Our next question is from Amy Harrington, Pop Culture
Passionistas. Please go ahead.
A. Harrington Iím actually here with my sister, Nancy, whoís my writing
D. Wahlberg Hello, Nancy.
A. Harrington We were wondering if you could tell us about the Send a
Kid to Camp charity event that you held with your brothers earlier this
D. Wahlberg That was actually an event that I had planned or wanted to
do for a while. Mark and I do different events with the Mark Wahlberg
Foundation. He does a couple different events a year. I tend to pick
specific things that I want to do and I will do it in conjunction with
my brother, Jim, who runs the Mark Wahlberg Foundation. As an example a
couple of years ago, I did a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina and I put
it together and was the host and the force behind it. But Mark lent his
time and energy to it as well and we end up raising with the week of
preparation, $750,000 for Hurricane Katrina.
I know thereís poker has become a very popular game. I know there are
tons and tons of poker players in Massachusetts, so I have tons of
relationships. But I just thought it would be a very successful way for
us to raise money. What we were raising it for is to send inner city
kids from the neighborhoods that we grew up in to go to summer camp and
to be able to do something that we never could do. We didnít go to
summer camps. We hung out on the street corners and either got in
trouble or not, depending on what the day was and what we got into.
So this is something that was really important to us was to give inner
city kids something constructive to do and something that may steer them
in a different direction than the options and opportunities that we had
ourselves. We raised $300,000 incidentally. And weíre going to be
sending, I think, 200 kids to camp this summer and next summer off of
the success of that, so it was a pretty amazing night.
Moderator Our next question is from Lena LaMoray of Lenalamoray.com.
Please go ahead.
L. LaMoray Your character on In Plain Sight is a bad boy with a big
heart and in New Kids, you were considered the bad boy. So is it more
fun to play a shady character and why?
D. Wahlberg I donít know. I think I enjoy playing all types of
difference characters. I think the challenge with this particular
character was to do something different with the character that was
somewhat similar to things Iíve done in the past. I played a lot of
cops. Heís obviously not a cop, but itís tricky because in playing this
guy, I didnít want to do things that Iíd done before, mannerisms or
certain behaviors or actions or even the way that I spoke.
But at the same time, I didnít want to be too selfish because the
character is written, the way heís written for a reason. My insecurities
or whatever, I didnít want to bring those to the table and try and to
overdo something in order to satisfy myself and say I made this
character different than anything Iíve ever done and itís very unique. I
wanted to accomplish that, but at the same time, I couldnít do it in a
way that was selfish and not in the best interest of the show.
John McNamara is an amazing writer. He wanted me for a lot of specific
reasons. Those sort of things that he saw in my past work, itís a
responsibility for me to bring those things to the table and then add
something to that. So Iíve played ballroom dancers. Iíve play
psychotics. Iíve played cops. Iíve play silly cops and serious cops.
Iíve played so many different roles, but I just try to take each role
based on the material. And if I like the material, then Iím attracted to
it. If Iím attracted to it, then Iím going to give all my energy to it.
And if I give all my energy to something, it usually if nothing else,
then I know that Iíve been committed and gave all I could. And I usually
feel very satisfied at the end when Iím in that predicament. If I donít
like the material, I just generally pass, no matter what it is. If itís
a studio movie or a big opportunity, if I canít pile into something in
the character, I usually donít do it.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Judy Manning, Series.nu.
Please go ahead.
J. Manning You have played so many diverse characters from obviously the
psychotic that you said and one of my favorite characters is from
Dreamcatcher, Duddits. Playing harder characters like that, was it just
harder to get into those types of characters? Or do you think itís
harder to get into the character like a Jimmy versus going into
something a little bit darker?
D. Wahlberg Well, I think every character presents a difference
challenge and a different opportunity. Itís just some characters require
a different level of commitment, other than internalizing the character
and making it my own.
The Sixth Sense, for example, I sort of underwent a physical
transformation. And in committing to the physical transformation, that
actually helped me emotionally get to where I needed to get. I suffered
a lot in my preparation for that part. And so when it came time to
shoot, I really was a lot closer to the character I was playing because
I suffered. I wasnít sitting in a cushy hotel rooms eating lobster every
night, waiting for them to call action. I was really committed to a
certain physical state. And as I was preparing alongside that, it took
me to a tremendous emotional places that allowed me to really play the
character a certain way on screen.
For Jimmy, I think itís certainly not the same type of preparation
process. But what I did similar is I engaged in things that would help
transform me. I went into New Mexico early and I kind of laid low. I
usually end up in a Ö.and I get on the Blackberry and start Twittering
and meeting with fans and having dinner and stuff like that. I have no
problem going out and about in towns that I go to and meeting people and
When I went to New Mexico, I really wanted to lay low. I wanted to feel
alone and not really attract a lot of attention. In fact, I wanted to do
the opposite and I did that. I spent probably the first week just sort
of hiding out and not really being specific to anyone about where I was.
In doing that alongside of my preparation for the character, I think I
did isolate myself and create a little bit of loneliness. I only had
about a week to prepare for the show, so thatís really all I could do,
but it helps. Every amount of preparation helps. Every little ounce of
it helps and so I did as much as I could and being isolated down there
in New Mexico wasnít really the same as having been in the witness
protection program for a long time, but I certainly got enough of a feel
and an energy around me that I was able to bring that do work everyday.
Moderator Our next question is from Josh Bozeman, The Bluesite.com.
Please go ahead.
J. Bozeman Iíve actually been going through the Boom Town on DVD the
first and second season, great work there. I wondered is it hard for you
to transition, you do two seasons a show or three seasons here or a
movie there, and there are gaps in between it. Is it hard for you to
transition between character to character?
D. Wahlberg It depends. Itís always easier if you like the material. If
I read a character that just jumps of the page at me, then that usually
gets my juices flowing and gets me really excited about wanting to do
it. Sometimes I can read a script and just really ideas and
idiosyncratic behaviors are just popping in my mind about a character.
But the reality is we work in a business where weíre at the mercy of a
lot of outside factors. With Boom Town, I had a great time. I loved
going to work every day. I loved my character, I loved the show. I loved
the people I worked with. But thereís an audience that has certain
demands. Thereís a network and sponsors and all these different people
who have certain demands. If we canít meet them, which is really beyond
my control, then the show stops.
I think I do a pretty good job of letting go of that which I cannot
control in this business. Itís my obligation and responsibility is to
bring as much realness to whatever character I play, to be as committed
as possible to the project and the character. Thatís why I gravitate
towards material that I like. If I read a script and I donít like it or
I donít find something that I think would be fun or challenging in a
character, I generally walk away from it. I think giving my all to what
I do is really the only thing I can control and whatís what I try to
Itís easy to change gears and go from character to character if Iím
committed and focus. Itís not easy if I donít care about what Iím doing.
It becomes a burden and a drag. So I try not to do that.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Kristyn Clarke, Pop
Culture Madness.com. Please go ahead.
K. Clarke You touched on some of your charitable projects that youíre
working on. I was wondering what other film or TV projects do you have
going on these days?
D. Wahlberg I just finished shooting a film called Zoo Keeper with Kevin
James and the voices talents of Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone,
Nick Nolte, Cher. That was great, great to shoot that film. Itís a
comedy role for me. Itís a very big comedic studio film. Itís something
that I havenít gotten a chance to show in my repertoire. It makes me
excited. And so to do a film like that was going to be seen by so many
people is really, really exciting for me.
Iím currently shooting a pilot for CBS, just at least tentatively titled
Reaganís Law with Tom Selleck and myselfÖ..Alexander. Iím really excited
about that as well. I think that this opportunity in some ways is
indirectly related to In Plain Sight. I think In Plain Sight, working on
a television schedule again, working with a great writer like John
McNamara and a great cast, it really invigorated me and reminded me how
much I like working on television.
It was amazing to do a film like Zoo Keeper, but I really have always
loved television, just for the work, the amount of hours I put in and
the amount of energy it takes and the consistency of it. I love to work
really hard. I love to stay close to the character Iím playing. A lot of
times it becomes you work two days, youíre off for a week. You work
three days, youíre off for a month. Dragging a character out over that
much time and not working very often, it can be very challenging.
With television itís sort like a nine to five. Iíve always loved going
to work every day and staying close to a character. So I think In Plain
Sight relit that fire for me and indirectly a lot of relationships that
I have in the CBS pilot that Iím shooting are sort of somewhat forged
from my time on In Plain Sight. Itís about three degrees of separation
in a lot of instances. I think those degrees are connected. I think In
Plain Sight actually directly led to me finding myself in shooting this
Moderator Our next question is from Laura Raposa, Boston Herald. Please
D. Wahlberg Laura Raposa, she canít ask any questions.
L. Raposa Actually, a lot of people have asked my questions, so Iím
trying to come up with a new one. But you spent an awful lot of time
acting for TV. What do you watch? What do you like? What characters do
you like to see every week?
D. Wahlberg If I tell the truth right now, itís probably going to make
no sense. Iím kind of a big reality TV guy. I donít know why. I like a
lot of train wreck television or something. I like Bad Girls Club. I
like Tool Academy. I like Jersey Shore, but I also like Dog Whisperer. I
watch a lot of Food Network. I like Iron Chef and Chopped. I like the
Dog Whisperer. But in terms of characters on television, Iím really big
into the timeless characters. Colombo is one of my favorites. Rochford
Files, Streets of San Francisco, M.A.S.H., I sort of love the a lot
older series, a lot of series from the Ď70s. A show thatís sort of
similar, I donít think there are many shows nowadays that are similar to
those kinds of shows, but the shows that are built around really
fascinating characters. I think The Shield is one and The Sopranos is
another one, shows that have a really, really an amazing central
character and an amazing cast around it. The characters that arenít
necessarily like the movie star type or just that sort of typical
Hollywood leading man. Those two examples, The Shield and The Sopranos
have very, very different sort of guys, very regular guys in very
amazing circumstances at the center of them. And those kinds of shows
really appeal to me.
But I grew up watching classic movies with my dad and classic television
with him as well. I tend to gravitate to that type of stuff. That has no
connection to any of these reality shows that I mentioned. I think that
those reality shows are just fun. Theyíre a way for me to turn off my
brain a little bit. I work a lot as you know, Laura, sometimes 22, 23
hours a day. Just being able to tune out and watch silliness like Tool
Academy on VH1 is pretty funny at times.
Moderator Our next question is from Annie Venton, Filmmonthly.com.
Please go ahead.
A. Venton Iím about your age, so Iíve heard of your career along the
way. I saw the episode and I really loved it. So my question is I come,
actually, from a really big Irish Catholic family as well. Thereís one
minute where weíre jumping on each other wishing to beat the crap out of
each other. And thereís other moments where we are the best friends in
the world and we know somebody always has our backs. So for you coming
from a big family, not just from your brother, Mark, but how has your
family and your support system played into your career that really could
have gone in so many different ways and not to the success that it has?
D. Wahlberg Itís hard to say. I donít know that I really had anybody
looking over me saying, hey, make the right choice. I think, in fact, it
was the opposite. I had a lot of brothers screwing up in front of me. It
was up to me to look at them and say I could do that theyíre doing or I
could make a different choice. Thatís what I did. I think my tolerance
for danger wasnít quite as great as some of my other brothers. I might
take a ride in a stolen car once in a while, but I wasnít going to get
behind the wheel and hotwire the thing myself. I guess my threshold for
pain and trouble and danger was just a little different.
I think I was really lucky also in the school that I went to. As I said
earlier in I think in the first question, the first or second question
about music or acting, I was very fortunate in that I went to a Boston
public school. In my first year in that school, the city was
experimenting with a new type of high school format. I was able to take
theatre class for two periods a day. That was an amazing situation to be
in, to be in a school like that where arts was really a prominent part
of the curriculum.
I think I was able to find ways to channel a lot of my energy into
positive things. I was in New Kids on the Block outside of school and in
theatre inside of school. Being committed to doing a play, itís a lot of
work. Itís a lot of commitment. I didnít want to get up and embarrass
myself in front of the whole school. I wanted to be ready and I wanted
to be the best that I could be and I had a commitment to that and to my
fellow classmates in theatre.
I think it A, gave me an outlet for my energy and B, gave me something
creative to do to take my mind off of the other bad opportunities that
were there for me. Again, thatís why something like the camp event I did
the other night with my brothers is really important because creating
opportunities for kids to find other avenues for their energy is
something that I benefited from. I certainly want to give that
opportunity to other kids now.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Sheldon Wiebe,
Eclipsemagazine.com. Please go ahead.
S. Wiebe Something that you said earlier struck me and I was thinking if
maybe you taken some of the roles that you were offered while New Kids
were hot, if you had the time, you might have had a brief career as a
big name star, but it might have faded when the New Kids did. And the
way things played out I think is actually better because you got a
really solid reputation as a character actor with a wide range. On the
season premier of In Plain Sight, you reminded me a bit of í70s, Ď80s
icon, Charles Bronson. It got me wonderingó
D. Wahlberg Wow, thatís a compliment, thank you.
S. Wiebe Who are the actors that you like that you most appreciate in
terms of presence, acting skills and have any of them influenced you?
D. Wahlberg Itís funny. Your description of me is sort of how I like to
think of myself. I think I agree with you a lot from youíre saying. I
think jumping into a leading man situation when I wasnít ready probably
could have been disastrous. Doing it at that early age when I really
hadnít worked for it might have sent me on the wrong path because it
took me a while to realize that I am character actor and thatís what I
want to do. Thatís what I want to be.
I look at actors like Gene Hackman and he does the kinds of roles that I
aspire to. Heís the kind of actor I hope to be like one day. Heís very
much a character actor, but heís also capable of being a leading man at
times as he did in The French Connection and being incredibly good at
it. But like James Gandolfini is another example. And then there are
actors like Michael Parks, who a lot of people donít even know who he
is, but every time I see a Ö.movie and he pops up in a totally
unrecognizable role, Iím just amazed by him and I love to do those kinds
of things myself.
I think had I jumped into acting just because the opportunity was there
because I was very famous in the musical group, Iím not sure I might
have taken the time to A, put in the work that was necessary to be the
best actor I could be, but also B, to identify what I really wanted to
do and the kind of roles I wanted to play. When The Sixth Sense came
along, for example, thatís a role that I jumped all over it. My manager
at the time told me to pass on it. Itís like itís a day of work, what
good is that going to do. Itís blah, blah, blah. I said this is the best
script I ever read and this is a character that could be very memorable
if I could commit myself to play it. I would have done that part for
To be able to have that sort of sense of what I wanted to do and what
was important to me, it really came from hard work and Iím building a
career and not just having one handed to me. So while it was the biggest
struggle, Iím certainly glad that it went that way. I appreciate the
kind words you said and I think thatís really it. Sometimes people will
say do you want, do you ever compete with Mark for roles or stuff like
that. We never do. Heís a movie star. Heís a leading man and Iíve always
thought of myself as a character and I take great pride in that. Itís
really all I could ever hope for is to be having a good reputation as a
really solid character actor. Thatís really a great place for me to be
in my opinion.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Jamie Ruby of Media
Blvd. Please go ahead.
J. Ruby So can you talk about how you got the part? Is there an audition
process for In Plain Sight?
D. Wahlberg It wasnít an audition. It was actually I came, I met with
John McNamara a few times in the past. We both expressed a mutual want
to work with each other. John Ö.for something before, but I just didnít
quite have the right energy for him. I had just come off tour and he
called and asked for a meeting and he said, ďIíve always wanted to work
with you. Iím going to be running the show In Plain Sight now and I want
to build a character for you. I think this is a great opportunity for us
to finally work together.Ē So he sort of told me what he was thinking
for the character and shared some ideas with me and asked me if I had
any ideas. And I presented him with a lot of thoughts and I think we
both saw it in a very similar way. He went and wrote the character.
I think for a guy whoís not from Boston, a guy whoís not from that
world, I didnít know what he would come up with when it was finally on
paper. But I really only had minimal note for him. I think he got the
talk right and thatís the hardest part. He wrote a guy that sounded like
he was a Boston guy and sounded like he was a real guy dealing with real
stuff and that appealed to me. So that was really the process.
Fortunately, I didnít have to audition because I pretty rather stick
nails in my eyes than audition for anything. Itís many people as Iím
saying in front of them in my life and acted in front of them and
performed in front of them, I still get pretty nervous about
Moderator The next question is from Icess Fernandez with Writing to
Insanity. Please go ahead.
I. Fernandez As you were talking, one question did pop up. You were
talking about what script you would accept and what roles you like to
take. One thing that came to mind as we were talking, you walk about
from scripts that you donít think you could have fun with, donít think
that would be good for you. Could you tell us a little bit about when
you read a script, what is that magic in a role or in a script that
makes you say this is it, this is what I want to do? Is it, of course,
itís the character and you being a character actor wanting to do more
stuff? Is it the station in life of the character? What is it exactly?
D. Wahlberg Sometimes itísóI think itís a complicated question to answer
because sometimes it could be as simple as reading a script in a certain
emotional state and the script just connects. Sometimes thereís odd
reasons as well. Obviously a script like The Sixth Sense, I just loved
it immediately and nothing was going to prevent me from being a part of
that movie. And then thereís In Plain Sight, where itís a show that I
like. Itís a leading lady who I think is incredibly underrated and
incredibly talented in Mary McCormick. Itís a show that I think is
fascinating and itís a part thatís crafted for me.
And then thereís a movie like Dead Silence, which a lot of people may
not have seen, but itís a whacky kind of genre horror movie, but I
really felt a great attraction to the character I played because I saw
an opportunity to go against the grain in the role and do something fun,
which Iíve done fun parts, but that particular role presented me with an
opportunity to sort of goof on the movie, while being a part of it. I
thought as I read the script, there was a lot of times I thought this is
kind of preposterous. I saw my character sort of thinking the same
things. And so I attached myself to that and I thought this would be
really fun while everyone else is terrified in this movie theatre if my
character just keeps thinking this is silly. This is silly, this is
ridiculous until that moment when he realizes this is really happening
and by then, itís too late. That character wasnít designed to be a funny
character, but it ended up getting laughs throughout the whole movie.
Itís something that on first read a lot of people said why are you doing
this movie. But for me, the character presented an opportunity for me.
It presented a challenge for me and it gave me an opportunity to play a
different color than I had. I may have looked at that role totally
differently two years earlier than when it came along. Iíve been ready
to go against the grain that much. I think some roles become more
attractive or less attractive with more experience.
So it is what it is. Itís sort of like music. Sometimes I may hear a
song and deciding whether itís going on the New Kids album and it really
may connect with me at a certain point because Iím in a certain
emotional space. And I can be happy or sad or whatever and it may just
be enough of a connection to the song, that it makes something that I
have to be a part of.
Moderator Our next question is from Reg Seeton, Thedeadbolt.com. Please
R. Seeton Given the success that you and Mark had when you were young,
what did you learn from each other now as men? It must be kind of
unbelievable, just given the way you started.
D. Wahlberg I think we both, coming from the background that we come
from and the life that we had, I think weíre both very cautious. I think
we both walk around with a fear of a self fulfilling prophecy that
inevitably one day for two street kids coming from such a crazy family
with so much chaos going on, eventually somebody is going to come and
take this all away from us. I think that fear in both of us, the result
is a great work ethic. I think itís the only way that we feel safe is to
continue to work hard. I think we both have identified that hard work is
really the only way to be successful and itís the only way to protect
what weíve worked so hard for is to continue to work hard.
I think the minute I sit back and think, yes, I am a great character
actor and I can do this, that and the other is the minute some other
character actor whoís working much harder than me is going to come in
and take my opportunities away from me. I just think that fight or that
fear, I think itís in a lot of people who grow in really tough
environments. We hadÖ.for food on the table with eight brothers and
I think in Hollywood, itís even harder. With every role, Iím fighting
against hundreds and hundreds and thousands of other actors who want the
same thing. Itís amazing. On the one hand, Ö we can say, yes, I have a
pretty good body of work and Iíve done a lot of things and I continue to
get opportunities. But on the other hand, itís amazingly fortunate
because there are so many actors who are out there fighting for the same
I know the minute I let up and donít work hard or I take anything for
granted, thereís a good chance it is going to go away for me and
desirably so. Itís just my responsibility to build on the foundation
that I have and to build something solid there. And the only way I can
do that is with hard work. I know that Mark, while we donít really talk
about it that much, I know he feels the same way.
Moderator Thereís one question in queue, Jamie Ruby, Media Blvd. Please
J. Ruby So going back to you were saying about the kind of roles you
take and that, what would be your ultimate dream role, if you could
choose or make up a role?
D. Wahlberg Wow. Itís kind of hard to answer. Iíd like to think that
Iíve played it a few times and that the next one is coming, the next
dream role is coming along. I think in some ways, Iíve probably had that
about four times. I think The Sixth Sense was a dream role because it
was the ultimate challenge for me to transform physically and
emotionally and to reallyóI didnít set out to shock people or surprise
people. I just set out to make that character real and to get myself as
close to him as possible physically and emotionally. But I think for me
that was a dream role because I should have never gotten that role. That
role was written for a 14 year old skinny little teenager and at the
time I got it, I was about 30 year old muscular very fit man and the
director took his chance on me and gave me that shot.
Another dream role was in a little independent film that was at Sundance
called Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School. I played a
very complicated ballroom dancer. Again, itís a role that from where I
come from and the upbringing that I had is just a role that I would have
never envisioned myself being able to play. Being allowed to transform
myself to that person and then got such a complicated character, itís an
amazing opportunity and it really is a dream role. It was a dream role
for me. And then to do it with a cast that was in that in movie, it was
Robert Carlyle and Marisa Tomei and Mary Steenburgen, it was just an
amazing cast, thatís a dream role.
So I think every opportunity is a dream role. If the material is good
and the challenge is there and quite frankly, if I leave work smiling, I
guess to bring it full circle, again, I think doing In Plain Sight
reallyóI was with a great cast. I was with a great writer, a great
director, a great network and a great studio who all believe in what
theyíre doing and all really take great pride in their show and have
fun. I left work everyday on that show smiling and feeling very lucky to
have an opportunity to work on something so fun.
I think any time I can leave work at the end of the day smiling and
probably even if itís a stinker of a movie or whatever, then Iím pretty
much in a dream role, because what more can I ask for than to be happy
with what Iím doing? Iím really grateful to John McNamara and the team
on In Plain Sight because I really do think that they helped spark the
acting bug in me again. Hopefully, the work reflect thatís. I know my
experience personally no matter what the result at the end of the day, I
felt that way. I felt very, very blessed to be in New Mexico with that
group of people doing what I love to do.
C. Fehskens Ladies and gentlemen, thatís all the time that we have for
todayís session. Iíd like to once again thank Donnie for being with us
today and remind everybody to tune in to the season premier of In Plain
Sight next Wednesday at 10/9 central on USA Network. Thanks, again,
everyone, and have a great weekend.
D. Wahlberg Thanks, everyone.
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your conference. You
may now disconnect. Have a good day.
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