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Mark Wahlberg: ‘I Never Felt More Pressure, But I’ve Never Felt More Pride’ Playing Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell

Universal screens 'Lone Survivor' and Q&A with moderator Tina Brown

Mark Wahlberg admitted that portraying Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell — the protagonist of Universal’s Afghanistan war tale “Lone Survivor”— was more than a bit unnerving.

“I never felt more pressure playing someone, but I’ve never felt more pride,” Wahlberg said, following the screening Wednesday night at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. “It was a hard movie to make with Marcus there.”

Luttrell received a standing ovation at the start of the Q&A, moderated by Tina Brown. Writer-director Peter Berg and star Taylor Kitsch were also on hand.

The film recounts the failed 2005 attempt to capture a Taliban leader and is based on Luttrell’s book “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.” Luttrell needed over a minute to simply list all his injuries and admitted that adjusting to post-soldier life has been a challenge. “I missed the adrenaline, I missed my buddies,” he allowed. “My wife keeps me out of the shadows.”

Luttrell also provides support to war vets via the Lone Survivor Foundation and supplies aid for the Pashtun village that sheltered him for five days from the Taliban. “There’s a life debt I can never repay,” he added.

Although Luttrell questions how he handled the command decision in 2005 to not kill civilians — “It just did not play out the way we thought it would” — he has no second thoughts about his military service in Afghanistan.

“I think we had a reason for being over there after the Towers fell,” he said.

Wahlberg, who is also a producer on the film, said that he and producer Randall Emmett decided that the film needed to have a gritty feel. “We wanted to make this as raw and guerilla-film style as possible,” he noted.

Berg said that he hopes that the film reminds the general public of the human cost of the conflict.

“This story has happened over and over,” he added. “These are remarkable men of extraordinary character.”

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