By// Starrene Rhett Rocque
JETmag.com caught up with Allen Hughes and Mark Wahlberg to chat about the guts, grit and suspense of Broken City. It’s a layered story about a New York City cop (Wahlberg) who gets double crossed by the Mayor and embarks on a race against time to get his life back. Hughes and Wahlberg gave us some insight about what this film is a must watch.
The film is really layered but in a nutshell what is this film about?
Allen Hughes: Its about an ex-NYC detective who resigned and he went on to start a private detective agency—
Mark Wahlberg: Then we meet him seven years later and he’s basically slumming around Brooklyn and Stanton Island. He gets involved in extra marital affairs and he gets a call from the mayor and he thinks its his shot to get back into the big show in the city. There the mayor hires him to investigate his wife who he thinks is having an affair. Its reelection time and as I start to investigate her I come across all kinds of corruption. I decide that I might be jeopardizing my own career and freedom I decide to take the man down and put my foot in his ass.
Allen, what attracted you to the film to direct and Mark, what attracted you to the character?
Hughes: I thought it was a great story and great characters and really interesting plot twists. It brought me back to when movies were interesting and character driven stories.
Wahlberg: For me it reminded me of the movies I used to watch with my dad and I just loved the part. I loved the tone of it and it was a very well written screenplay by Brian Tucker a Chicago man.
Mark, you’ve played cops in the past, so what did you learn about yourself as an actor playing this guy?
Wahlberg: You know I’m constantly growing as an actor and feeling more confident in my abilities and my willingness to take on new roles. And I had the extra burden of being the producer on the film, but I enjoy that because it allows you to have more creative control and input. And Al and I just basically had the freedom to do our own thing we didn’t have studio watching over us or someone telling us what we could and could not do.
Allen, what was that like taking on this film without your brother?
Hughes: It was actually cool to do it by myself, because we had been doing it for so long you just don’t know. The director traditionally is a one-woman one-man gig traditionally. I liken it to coaching a basketball team, its just one coach. So it was refreshing I thought especially with this guy (points to Mark) he’s got a lot of vision as we say. He made it simpler for me, I think.
Mark, I know you’ve been a fan of Allen’s since ‘Menace to Society’, what was it about his style that you liked?
Wahlberg: Everything feels really real. You introduce the audience to a world that they might be familiar with. It just seems fascinating because he’s opening up the audience to the world that they may not have been familiar with. It was one of those few times I had that kind of experience in a movie with that type of audience and that energy.
I heard Mark had an impromptu fight on set. Please share that story.
Hughes: It was when his character who has been sober for seven years see’s his actress girlfriend in a sex scene at a premiere of a film; he falls off the wagon at the premiere party. But Mark in real life, we went down to the East Village to shoot some things and he just tore down the East Village in real life like King Kong. There was alcohol involved, cars he was throwing things at, ripping security bricks and talking to real people, he was going into liquor stores going behind the counter, real stuff. We were trying to keep up with him, its in the middle of the film, you can tell he was in a fist fight with a guy in the street and they’re really fighting. You can tell when you hear it. That was a pretty crazy story.
So Mark, do you even remember it? What was that like?
Wahlberg: It was a good time [laughs].
That was pretty much it but is there anything you want to add?
Hughes: I think the coolest point in the movie was to see these to guys in the movie facing off. That also attracted me to the script when I originally read it. Also the rest of the cast and how everyone stepped up, and the last thing is, just the type of movie it is. They just don’t make these movies anymore so that’s it for me.
Wahlberg: For me it’s the cast—working with Catherine Zeta Jones, Barry Clipper; the material, working with this gentleman. It’s such a great crime thriller, obviously this guy’s a politician that’s the backdrop. The whole story and how it unravels is very fascinating.
Broken City is in theaters now.