Director John Moore had to pull out of the Max Payne press conference due to laryngitis, but the stars of the film – Mark Wahlberg, Beau Bridges, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, and Mila Kunis – had no problem whatsoever talking about the movie. Based on the popular video game, Max Payne features Wahlberg as the title character hell bent on getting revenge for the murders of his wife and daughter, Kunis as a kick-ass Russian assassin out to avenge her sister's death, Chris Bridges as an internal affairs detective, and Beau Bridges as Max Payne's mentor. There's a lot of action, lots of effects, and as director John Moore says (when he doesn't have laryngitis), "This film is not Minimum Payne. And it's not Medium Payne. It's Max Payne."
Max Payne Press Conference
Mila, this is your first action role, did you enjoy the clothes, the guns and the training? Was it different for you?
Mila Kunis: "I didn’t enjoy the clothes very much. I enjoyed the guns and I enjoyed the training a lot."
What did you have to do?
Mila Kunis: "I had weapons safety and then I had to…John for some reason made me learn how to take an MK5H apart and put it back together blindfolded. I really don’t know why, but I now know how to do that in case anyone wants it. I liked shooting the gun a lot more than I thought I would. I think I like that. The clothes sucked. Oh my God, it was awful. Mark was like bundled up in jackets and wet suits and coats and turtlenecks and I was in a leather bustier and black pants and 5 inch heels."
Chris Bridges: "Well, it looked good. It was sexy."
Mark Wahlberg: "She needed to understand actor safety. She’s swinging that stick at me like a wild person. You’re not supposed to hit somebody in the movies."
Mila Kunis: "You kind of liked it."
Mark Wahlberg: "It’s just make pretend. Only I get to hit for real."
For each of you, can you talk about what attracted you to this project and what you enjoyed most about making this film?
Chris Bridges: "Well, I’ve already said what attracted me to the project was being able to point a gun at Mark Wahlberg and get away with it and live to tell about it today. So, you know, that’s definitely why I signed on to do this movie. Just to point a gun at this man."
Mark Wahlberg: "I thought he liked me."
Chris Bridges: "No, I’m just messing with him. But honestly, I try to pick those diverse roles and things that I haven’t done before. This is my first time getting a little piece of the action and then playing on that side of the law. You know, I love surprising myself and of course everyone else that watches. So Jim Bravura, Internal Affairs Agent, my first time actually playing that role and enjoyed doing it. It was actually written for a 60-year-old white man. I went to audition for it. I got the call from John Moore two days later saying that I got the part and I was extremely excited. I’m even more excited for this to come out on October 17th."
Mila Kunis: "I just really wanted to beat Mark up and I did and it was really great."
Mark Wahlberg: "I'm a parent."
Mila Kunis: "It was really empowering. I got a lot of my anger out and angst and yeah, that’s it."
Beau Bridges: "I had never heard of the game, Max Payne, but I have five kids. When I told them, I said, 'I’m going to be in Max Payne," they said, “Max Payne! Oh, man!' So I knew it was a game that had a big following, so that was exciting. And then I read the script and you could just tell by the descriptions that it was going to have a real high sense of style, and John Moore really brought that. It’s always exciting to be in something that has that going for it. He’s from that whole technical side and brought that understanding to it. But apart from that, we also in the very beginning talked a lot about the human element to the characters and I always like that, you know, getting into background. We didn’t rehearse so much all the words but just really talking about where these people come from and why they do what they do. I think it’s a real strong story – this guy who’s going off to find the killer of his wife and child. That’s something different from a lot of movies that come out of games and the play’s the thing, like Shakespeare said a long time ago. So I’m glad to be a part of it. I enjoyed it thoroughly."
Mark Wahlberg: "I just did it because they offered it to me. (Laughing) I just played a science teacher in The Happening, I played an accountant in The Lovely Bones, and it was time to go back and do what I think best suits me, busting some heads and having some fun and kicking ass on the bad guys."
Chris, were you looking for a role like this? It’s very different from what you’ve played before.
Chris Bridges: "I always look for something that I haven’t necessarily done yet because I like to, of course, expand my body of work. I think that this adds to the resume of me continuing to do different roles. So absolutely, I was looking for a role like this."
Mark, there are some signature Max Payne moves that you get to do, like the devil guns and the slow motion. How did it feel to act those out?
Mark Wahlberg: "The idea of it was fun, but I'm not as young as I used to be. It wasn't like we had a gigantic budget so we were on a green screen with wires and everything. We basically shot all the action on film. But no, being able to do those kinds of things and especially the third act of the film when he finally actually takes the drug and really goes crazy, it's what every kid dreams about doing."
Beau Bridges: "He'd come to work every time, he would probably never talk about this, but he'd have some new band-aid on him, a new thing wrapped up. He does some pretty remarkable physical feats in this."
Mark Wahlberg: "Yeah, John is a very demanding director, you know, and he knows exactly what he's doing. We wanted to make it look real so we just basically got in there and tried to do as much as possible."
Page 2: On Stunts and the PG-13 Rating