Mark Wahlberg Clarifies Afghanistan Rant, Backs Off Tom Cruise Criticism

Mark Wahlberg went on a rant against actors who’ve compared training for a role to soldiers at war, and though the expletive-laced speech came on the heels of a story claiming Tom Cruise had done just that, Mark said his remarks were not directed at Tom.

“I was not talking about Tom Cruise,” Mark told Access Hollywood at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night, of his highly-publicized rant at a Q&A for his new Navy SEALs movie, “Lone Survivor.” “Somebody had mentioned to me as we were going up to talk that an actor had compared what we do to being in Afghanistan.

“I’ve been to Afghanistan and I’ve been acting for quite some time and that is a very unfair comparison, especially considering what happened to those guys up on that mountain, and what continues to happen to our men and women in the armed forces,” he continued, referencing his movie, the true story of Marcus Luttrell and SEAL Team 10.

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The 42-year-old star said he’s known Tom for years, and doesn’t think the “Oblivion” actor would ever make such an ignorant statement.

“Now, I know Tom Cruise wouldn’t think that, so maybe what he said was taken out of context, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Tom’s,” Mark explained. “When you’re making a movie, you spend a lot of time talking about ‘Oh, well I had to do this’ and ‘I had to do that’ and ‘I trained for 12 days’ and it’s nothing compared to what these guys go through.

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Adding, “I mean, I’m guilty of talking extensively about — especially with ‘The Fighter’ — how hard I worked. We don’t work hard compared to what those guys do. So, that was what I was saying and that’s certainly how I feel. And I know Tom, and I know that must be how he feels.”

As for “Lone Survivor,” which hits theaters on January 10, Mark said it’s been difficult for him to view the finished project without being brought to tears, as he thinks about the soldiers who lost their lives during the mission on which the Peter Berg-helmed film is based.

“Ever since I made the movie, I haven’t really been able to watch or critique the movie how I normally would — all I think about is what those guys really went through and it’s really powerful,” he said.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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