What They Said: Mark Wahlberg on New Street Ball Film and Working With Justin Bieber

What They Said: Mark Wahlberg on New Street Ball Film and Working With Justin Bieber

Dec 28, 2011

Actor Mark WahlbergChristmas is a time of giving and Hollywood apparently decided that we all didn’t get enough presents on Sunday – so, generous souls that they are, they have one last gift for us in the form of an exciting new film. What could possibly be better than a film starring Mark Wahlberg and Justin Bieber set in the world of street basketball? Nothing. That’s what.

We’ve heard about Marky Mark and Biebs teaming up for this still untitled project since early last year, but now Wahlberg’s come out talking about what he expects the film to be like, what he thinks Bieber brings to the table, and how his intuition is always spot on when it comes to selecting projects (perhaps his intuition was on vacation when he signed up for The Happening…)

When asked what viewers could expect from this film, Wahlberg made a fairly startling comparison, stating that we should “think of it like The Color of Money.” Yes, Wahlberg just compared a film featuring performances from himself and Justin Bieber to a Scorsese film that starred Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. And who wouldn’t? We’re amazed no one made this obvious connection sooner…

For Wahlberg, the part marks a transition for him into what he’s calling “elder statesmen roles.” He tells of how he gracefully handled this move in the following story.

"So I get this call from Paramount [with a story about] an old guy and a young guy. I'm like, 'Cool, let's get Jack [Nicholson]. Let's get Robert De Niro. Let's get Robert Duvall.' And they go, 'What about Garrett Hedlund?' I'm like, 'For what?' They're like, 'For the young guy.' "

Once he got used to the idea of being “the old guy,” Wahlberg campaigned for Bieber to co-star. Paramount agreed and the rest is history…or something. The actor knows there’s a risk involved, but says he thinks it’s the right move based on his intuition. He also spoke glowingly of his teen heartthrob co-star, saying “I see the guy and spent time with him, and you see what he does and how he does it, and then you actually have a conversation with him, and it's there. It's there -- and if it's not, I will extract it." 

We’re not sure what that whole “extracting” thing is about, but we suspect this film will open well if for no other reason than a veritable tidal wave of “Beliebers” will rush theaters on opening weekend to see the film. The real question is, can Bieber become a crossover talent who succeeds in music and film like Cher or is his film career destined to be compared to the likes of Britney Spears and Mariah Carey? We’ll know sometime next year. 

[via MTV]

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