Mark Wahlberg Says Working With 'Broken City' Co-Star Russell Crowe Raised His Game

It's been a banner week for Mark Wahlberg. Yesterday, we got a glimpse at the trailer for his upcoming actioner "Pain and Gain," co-starring Dwayne Johnson, in addition to a look at his 2013 opener "Broken City" by way of our exclusive set visit.

From all appearances, the draw of this thriller is in getting to watch Wahlberg go toe-to-toe with co-star Russell Crowe, an experience which the "Ted" star told us was as challenging as it was satisfying.

"It was intense, but it was intense in a great way," Wahlberg told MTV News of working with Crowe. "When he showed up we had already shot most of the movie except for his scenes, and he just showed up and we didn't have any time to really talk or anything. [Director] Allen [Hughes] asked us, 'Do you guys want to rehearse?' and we both said, 'No let's do it,' and we dove into the biggest scene in the movie. It's really two guys going at it, and it was great for us as actors because we weren't trying to outdo each other as actors, but the characters were, so you had that freedom to really push each others' buttons.

Wahlberg went on to say that he was the most impressed with Crowe's preparation and professionalism.

"I've never seen a guy as prepared or more prepared as me and focused," he said. "I'm a preparation freak and it was just such a nice thing to see. You work with so many people and you think, "Oh people forgot that they're professionals and they're being paid to show up on time and be prepared,' that was not the case with Mr. Crowe. And when you're working with people that talented, I always love the opportunity because it just raises your game. He is the kind of actor I want to be," he said.

Adding to the star power behind Wahlberg and Crowe are a noteworthy group of supporting players: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Jeffrey Wright ("Source Code"), Barry Pepper ("True Grit"), and Justin Chambers ("Grey's Anatomy"). Look for "Broken City" in theaters everywhere January 18.

Do you plan to see "Broken City"?