Mark Wahlberg doesn’t just star in “Broken City,” the crime thriller now in theaters about a detective, a mercurial mayor, his seductive wife and a dangerous search for the truth.
He is also among its producers and has been traveling around the country with director Allen Hughes to promote it.
“I’m excited to be here!” Wahlberg told an enraptured crowd at an advance screening held recently at the Regal Atlantic Station theater. “Hopefully I’ll come here to make a movie. This is my town. I love Atlanta!”
The next day he and Hughes sat for a long day of press interviews to further promote their project. Their tone was a bit more subdued but no less enthusiastic about “Broken City,” which also stars Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler, Natalie Martinez and Jeffrey Wright.
“Right away when I started reading it I was like whoa,” Hughes said, referring to the script by Brian Tucker.
Wahlberg was drawn to the complexity of his character, a police detective forced off the force, then lured back under cloudy cirucmstances. The movie weaves in political and social commentary with a good old-fashioned detective story. It does not rely on explosions and car chases like too many blockbusters, but rather focuses on character development and narrative. There’s not a clear white hat-black hat situation, though. More like shades of gray.
“It’s the kind of movie that will definitely spark some converstaion, some debate,” Wahlberg said. “Brian did such a good job of putting it on the page.”
Although the movie’s been in the works for some time, it feels somewhat ripped from the headlines, with subplots concerning wealthy, well-connected developers and the low-income residents whose circumstances are affected by shady connections in high places.
“We’re trying to make it as real as possible,” Hughes said.