How Mark Wahlberg Kept His Cool in Flaming Water in Deepwater Horizon

Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon
Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon

Mark Wahlberg on Working in Burning Water in Deepwater Horizon

You know it’s hot when the water’s on fire.

In “Deepwater Horizon,” Mark Wahlberg braved flames and torrid Gulf heat to play an oil rig worker fighting to survive one of the biggest-man disasters of all time.

“Not fun,” the actor tells Made in Hollywood reporter Patrick Stinson. “But thinking about what the

real people went through is enough to keep you going.”

Still, the 45-year-old star acknowledges that the punishing shoot for the ripped-from-the-headlines story “reminds you of how old you are, that’s for sure.”

“We’re shooting during hurricane season on a giant steel platform, in 100-and-something-degree weather,” he says. “And when the fire is going and the explosions, who knows how hot it was.”

Mark Wahlberg on Honoring the Workers and Families in Deepwater Horizon

Based on the true story of the 2010 marine disaster that killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, “Deepwater Horizon” focuses on the bravery and sacrifices of the workers and their families, often overlooked at the time, Wahlberg says.

“Everybody was exposed to what the media shows as far as the environmental disaster,” he says. “But I don’t think a lot people realized — I certainly didn’t realize — that 11 people had lost their lives. And so I wanted to honor them and tell their story. I thought it was important.”

Wahlberg met with the real oil worker Mike on which his character is based, ultimately making him a consultant on the film. Producers also worked closely with the oil crew and their relatives.

“When trying to reach out to the families to get their approval, they were obviously reluctant because of the fact all the media attention was about the environmental disaster and no one had mentioned that their loved ones had perished,” says Wahlberg. “So to communicate to them what our intentions were was enough to make them feel comfortable and come on board with us.”

Mark Wahlberg Talks Building an Oil Rig Set for Deepwater Horizon

The other challenge was to build a set — in this case a huge one, a steel platform constructed in New Orleans. “We didn’t have access to a real rig so we had to create our own, which posed a lot of problems,” says Wahlberg. “But I think the pros definitely outweighed the cons, because we had that rig and it’s as close as you could get to the real thing.”