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'You'd Never Seen The City Like That': Mark Wahlberg Taps Boston Roots For 'Patriots Day'

The new film “Patriots Day” tells the story of the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. For producer and star Mark Wahlberg ( @mark_wahlberg), it was a very personal project: he was born and raised in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young caught up with Wahlberg after a Boston screening to talk about the film.

Interview Highlights

On his memories of the bombing

“I came in town the very next day to see my mom, my family and see if everybody was OK. It was one of those things where, as you started coming out of the airport, you’d never seen the city like that. It was deserted and it was a very eerie, uncomfortable feeling.”

On what “Patriots Day” conveys about the city of Boston’s response to the bombing

“The strength, the love, the heroic acts of our brave men and women. Being a Bostonian, I always had my sports heroes to kind of look up to and put on a pedestal, but the brave men and women of Boston redefined the term of hero in the way they responded in the face of this tragedy.”

On conversations with the real officers involved with the bombing investigation

“These guys had never been faced with something like this, and they had seen quite a bit. But in talking them and gathering how disturbing it was to be in a situation like this, yet how they just found the energy to continue, to keep going, and never give up, and they knew the responsibility that lie on their shoulders to protect the citizens. They were definitely scared. You look at even the officers in Watertown. Those guys had never even fired their weapon in the line of duty. This was something completely new to everybody, and then working with other law enforcement agencies, it was new for everybody. … But ultimately people came together and figured out how to work together.”


On reenacting traumatizing scenes from the movie

“Just so you can understand how sensitive we were to all of that. When we talked about shooting in Watertown and reenacting the shootout there, they did a survey of 200 people: 199 people wanted the shootout, and one person didn’t. So we said, ‘OK, we’re not gonna do it there.'”


On those who didn’t want the movie to be made

“When it comes to other people not wanting the movie to be made, I was probably one of those people for a time, but then they were gonna make it anyway. So, what do you do? Do you just kinda hope that somebody else is gonna get it right and be respectful, or do you have dreams of somebody coming in and making it gratuitous and exploiting our community? That, on top of the enormous sense of pride that I felt in seeing how my community responded, felt like, you know, should make the movie and the message of the movie, is not too soon.”

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