Why has the Oscar nominee been doing more comedies lately?
Mark Wahlberg has played lethal hitmen, deadly snipers, intimidating cops, crusty sailors, hair-triggered soldiers and a championship boxer, but in the new comedy "Ted," he plays a pot-head who ends up on the wrong side of a brawl with his best friend, a stuffed bear.
"I felt like the scene wasn't going work," Wahlberg admitted to me at the "Ted" junket last week. "I felt like it was ridiculous and far-fetched, but Seth [MacFarlane] was like, 'Dude, just trust me.' And everybody loves the scene."
The fracas between Wahlberg's John Bennett and the wise-cracking realization of a childhood wish has, indeed, become a centerpiece of the marketing for "Ted," which marks the live-action writing-directing debut for FOX Animation Domination powerhouse MacFarlane. It's exactly the sort of prolonged, escalating brawl that "Family Guy" fans have come to expect from Peter Griffin and his Giant Chicken nemesis.
In this case, though, it was mostly just Wahlberg fighting with himself, a bit of stuntwork that he explains required conquering insecurities and getting over the feelings of ridiculousness.
In our brief sit-down, Wahlberg also talked about his increased comedic workload and getting to drink from the Stanley Cup while shooting at Fenway Park in Boston.
I already posted my interview with Seth MacFarlane and stay tuned tomorrow for my conversation with Mila Kunis.
"Ted" opens on Friday, June 29.