Wahlberg, who plays a Boston police sergeant stationed at the finish line, spoke of survivors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes and how they were the ones that made it very clear that the movie was a message of love.
“I don’t know if I would have the courage to move forward, and to look at like and have that light that they shine to brightly,” said Wahlberg at the movie’s press day on Saturday. “If I was there on the day the explosions went off, would I run to these people or would I run away in fear?”
While he admits he doesn’t know the answer to that question and hopes he never will, he’s moved by how they responded and how they moved forward.
“I’ve never been more inspired and I’ve never been more proud. I could only hope to have a quarter of the courage that both of them possess in one hand,” he said. “It is really remarkable.”
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The Boston native also spoke about how much the city has changed since he was a child.
“There was this huge racial divide,” he said. “And cut to this horrific accident and everybody from all walks of life is coming together to help out. It made me extremely proud to be from Boston and I wanted to share that message.”
At times, he and director Peter Berg wondered if it was the right time to make the movie.
“Pete and I were constantly talking about, ‘Is it too soon?’ and I thought it wasn’t soon enough,” he said. “Because these things continue to happen and will continue to happen but we need to come together.”
He added, “I’m just proud that we can show people what ‘Boston Strong’ really means.”