Mark Wahlberg has faced grief (“The Lovely Bones”), war (“Three Kings”), a wave the size of a skyscraper (“The Perfect Storm”) and nothing less than the apocalypse. Twice (“The Happening” and “Planet of the Apes”). But his most draining, emotionally charged role to date? Would you believe a video game character?
“Two weeks out I was just dying,” Wahlberg said of his titular role in the upcoming video game adaptation “Max Payne.” “I wanted my life back.”
The film-noirish, John Woo-esque “Payne” was a huge hit when it premiered for PCs in 2001, spawning a sequel and selling more than 7 million units. But its success comes not just from gameplay, which is untranslatable to the big screen anyway, said Wahlberg, but from a surprisingly adult, sophisticated, and yes, complex lead character unusual for the medium.
“I read the script and said either somebody got really creative or it’s actually more like a movie than most games,” Wahlberg enthused.
“Max Payne is not a one-trick pony. It’s probably one of the edgier roles I’ve played but also the most layered. Here’s a very happy guy who worked a dismal job, had a beautiful family. But the beauty in his life was taken away. He just goes on a rampage. It’s all driven by emotion.”
And guns -- lots and lots of guns.
Co-starring Mila Kunis, “Max Payne” is scheduled to hit theaters October 17.
Is Wahlberg right? Is Max Payne the most complex video game lead of all time? If not, who is? Sound off below.