Mile 22: Mark Wahlberg Likes to Blow Stuff Up

Wahlberg and director Peter Berg set out to create a smart but explosive thriller with Mile 22.

Mile 22 is the new geopolitical thriller from director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg, marking the fourth time filmmaker and star have collaborated on the screen. This time out, Wahlberg stars as Jimmy Silva, the leader of a small but highly efficient secret team within the CIA that carries out only the most sensitive, dangerous and risk-laden missions.

The call comes for Silva and his team to transport a foreign intelligence asset some 22 miles across a Southeast Asia city to a waiting airplane, but the assignment may prove to be the most lethal they’ve experienced yet.

Wahlberg and Berg’s previous films together — Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day — were all based on tragic real-life events, and Wahlberg tell us in our interview below that working within the realm of fiction this time was a nice change of pace.

“We didn’t have the pressure of dealing with a real-life tragedy,” he explains. “So that just allowed us to have fun, push the envelope and get a little crazy, and be boys that like to blow stuff up and create a world that I think is unique and different and fresh.”

That’s not to say that the director and star didn’t do their research into the darkest corners of the U.S. intelligence forces and meet some of the people who work behind the scenes to keep the country safe. But Wahlberg says that he got his inspiration for Jimmy Silva from another source.

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“He’s a guy who is very opinionated, has a lot to say, and is in your face all the time,” Wahlberg offers. “He’s the lighthouse. He’s always lit, he doesn’t stop. I loved the idea of using Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive as an inspiration for this guy…the guy’s on fire, you know, 24/7.”

Mile 22 also stars Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), Ronda Rousey (Furious 7), John Malkovich (Deepwater Horizon), and Indonesian actor and martial arts star Iko Uwais (The Raid). The film opens on Friday (Aug. 17).