Actor Mark Wahlberg was back in town Tuesday, screening his latest movie for a crowd that included lots of family, friends, and costar Bill Paxton. We were hoping Denzel Washington, Wahlberg’s costar in “2 Guns,” might also make the scene, but no luck. (Washington has been in our midst — in Haverhill and Chelsea — shooting “The Equalizer.”)
Tuesday’s screening at Patriot Cinemas in Hingham was a fund-raiser for the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, and it was preceded by a red-carpet reception at Alma Nove, the Wahlberg-owned restaurant at Hingham Shipyard named for the actor’s mother, Alma. She was by his side as he and Paxton spoke to reporters.
“She’s in a love triangle with Bill Paxton and Denzel Washington right now,” Wahlberg joked, wrapping a muscular arm around his mom.
Wahlberg said he and Washington come from different backgrounds, but have a similar approach to their work.
“I’m an average guy but — me
and Denzel have talked a lot about this — we have these amazing jobs and love the opportunities we’ve had,” he said. “Denzel also has that kind of
producer/actor mentality that I have.”
Wahlberg likes to talk about his back story, growing up on the mean streets of Dorchester, and he mentioned it several times Tuesday, once when asked about former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who sits in jail charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd.
“It’s a tragedy all the way around. First and foremost, my thoughts are with the Lloyd family,” said Wahlberg. “You’d like to think that someone who was given an opportunity to do what he’d always wanted to do, such an incredible opportunity, would cherish and hold onto that. Look, if I can do it, anything is possible.”
On a lighter note, Wahlberg was asked about the rumored romance between his brother Donnie and former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy.
“I really haven’t heard,” he said. “As long as he’s happy. I just want him to enjoy his life.”
Wahlberg’s brothers Jimmy, who works with the foundation, Paul, the chef at Alma Nove, and Bob, an actor who has a role in “The Equalizer,” were all there Tuesday, as was “Person of Interest” star Kevin Chapman, and former Pats lineman Matt Light.
“2 Guns,” which opens Friday, is an action film about two operatives from competing bureaus — Wahlberg is a DEA agent and Washington is a naval intelligence officer — who are on the run together. Based on the graphic novel by Steven Grant, the movie is directed by Baltasar Kormakur, who’s said he was trying for a “masculine but lighthearted movie in the vein of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ the kind of movies that don’t take themselves too seriously but have fun.”
Wahlberg told us “2 Guns” is “not your typical buddy movie” because he and Washington are enemies in the film before they become friends.
“We’re going at each other right from the beginning,” he said.
Wahlberg signed autographs for a crowd of mostly teenage girls and then hustled into the theater to introduce the film. Ten minutes later, he was gone, headed for Logan Airport and a flight to Detroit to shoot the new “Transformers” movie.