Mark Wahlberg Interview For Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Ted’
‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of ‘Ted.’ In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…. and has refused to leave his side ever since. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Patrick Warburton, Giovanni Ribisi and Seth MacFarlane playing Ted through motion-capture, the R-rated comedy arrives in cinemas June 29th in the US and August 1st in the UK.
‘Ted’ is a film that people may not automatically expect from you? Especially seeing as you were last seen on the big screen in ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Contraband.’
Mark Wahlberg: Yeah. I still have some action with ‘Ted.’ I have a great fight sequence in the movie. A chase sequence, climbing over some stuff. But I do play a very different character, my character has never been in an altercation until he has to punch this twelve year old boy in the face (laughs). So it was very different. My character’s very child-like, I wouldn’t say naive, but he’s a sweet guy. He’s not the edgy sort of character that people have seen me play recently.
My character, John, he gets Ted as a Christmas gift. It’s one of those talking bears that when you squeeze its hand it says a couple different sentences. John doesn’t have many friends in the neighbourhood that he’s growing up in, so Ted becomes his best friend and he makes a wish that the bear will come to life and, you know, his Christmas wish is granted (laughs). It’s a very funny scene when the bear starts talking in the kitchen with his parents.
You did two things in ‘Ted’ that you don’t really care to do….
Mark Wahlberg: (Laughs) Singing and dancing. I hate it. I don’t mind it in the shower or singing in the car – I was belting out an Adele song this morning. But, I dunno, it just feels silly. With the film, people love it so what do I know? My judgement is shot (laughs). I think with ‘Ted,’ people will not be disappointed, it’s like Seth MacFarlane on steroids. It really is. I saw ‘Family Guy’ and I thought, “Wow, he’s getting away with some of that stuff in a cartoon.” But now a feature film, Rated R, he pushes the envelope – there’s nobody he doesn’t offend either, everyone is fair game. I was down with signing and dancing on something like that.
With the nature of working with someone like Seth MacFarlane and his brand humour, I can imagine there needs to be a lot of trust? Especially since you haven’t worked with him before.
Mark Wahlberg: Yeah. Well, I read the script first of all….actually, when I first heard the concept of the movie I said, “You know what? This is not for me.” But my agent convinced me to read the script and I loved it. Then I sat with Seth for an hour and we clicked right away. You can just tell when somebody gets it, they know what they want and they know how to execute. Because I’ve been in a room with a lot of people who are just kind of trying to convince themselves that they know what they’re going to do, how they’re going to execute it. You could tell pretty quickly with Seth that he knew what he was doing.
What was it like working against CGI and with Seth MacFarlane?
Mark Wahlberg: The CGI, it took a little while getting used to. But once I started getting into the swing of things, I started being very comfortable with the idea of acting opposite whatever they had. Whether it was the stuffed bear or the little stick with the eyes. And then of course having Seth somewhere in the room doing the voice was also very helpful. Working with Seth, you never know what to expect. But we hit it off really well when we first met and hung out. It was a very very pleasant experience working with Seth. He’s just such a nice, warm guy. He’s as funny as any human being I’ve met in my life, but he’s just really cool and easy to work with. There was never any stress or difficulty.
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