Co-stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg casually walked into the room together as if they were strolling into their own home. Wahlberg, with a calm swag, gripped onto his water bottle and gazed out the window that looked across the Manhattan skyline. There is something about this Dorchester kid turned pop performer, turned action star, that effortlessly oozes cool. Perhaps his time locked behind bars as a problematic adolescent endowed him with a natural badass attitude noticeable even at 10:02 a.m. on a cloudy Sunday morning.
Washington, on the other hand, was not distracted by the beautiful view of the concrete jungle. As he made his way into the room, Denzel smiled with energy while chuckling at a joke someone had quickly whispered into his ear before he made his entrance. “How y’all doin’?” the iconic actor asked. With a genuinely casual demeanor, it was hard to believe this laid-back Denzel was the two-time Academy Award winner recognized for his weighty dramatic roles.
What followed was a conversation about the co-stars’ latest movie, 2 Guns — a classic buddy cop flick in which Wahlberg and Washington team up and play a pair of fast-talking undercover agents. An explosive action film that subtly pays homage to the Western genre, 2 Guns rides the thin line between high-stakes combat and dark humor.
During exclusive interviews with the all-star cast, writer and director of 2 Guns, Heavy got the inside scoop of what went down behind the scenes. Here are some unexpected facts you need to know about this action-comedy.
1. The Actors Improvised a Lot of the Dialogue
When asked if improvisation was used during the shooting of two guns, Washington immediately responded, “we went for it.” Wahlberg then explained, “we just – you know, I’d worked with Baltasar before, so he was coming to the movie with me, kind of doing my thing. Improvisation can always make scenes better as long as it pertains to the moment in the movie… sometimes Denzel would look at me and say ‘did you really just say that?” But for Denzel, the use of improvisation on set was a new experience.
The use of imaginative improv was a smart move by Iclandic director Baltasar Kormakur as Wahlberg and Washington’s banter-heavy dialogue is one of the movie’s highlights.
2. Wahlberg Thinks Washington is ‘Not a Bad Actor’
When Wahlberg was asked what he thought of the iconic Denzel Washington, the Hollywood bad boy responded, “well, he’s not what I would call a ‘bad actor.'” Washington chuckled at Wahlberg’s humorous response. “But seriously it was so entertaining just to watch him…he is a great comedic actor, which is unfortunate… what I mean is, it’s unfortunate that people don’t get to see him in more comedy,” he explained while sharing glances with his co-star.
“I’m quick but being funny on purpose, take after take, for me it was new territory,” Washington admitted. “It’s not easy there’s a pressure to be funny.”
3. There Was No Flirting On Set With Paula Patton
“I didn’t, like to talk between takes, or get distracted you know,” said the beautiful Paula Patton who played Washington’s love interest Agent Deb in the film. “I like to stay on my game. No partying or drinking with anybody… I like to keep it real professional.” Patton mentioned that her top-less appearance in the movie was her idea. “I told Baltasar it just felt unnatural to be wearing a shirt in such a romantic scene,” raspy-voiced Patton chuckled. “So Denzel also took his shirt off.”
When Patton — who is married to singer Robin Thicke — was asked if she would have liked to have been part of her husband’s recent ‘Blurred Lines’ video she chuckled and replied, “No, no, not my thing.”
4. This is the First Time Buddies Wahlberg and Washington Worked Together
“Well, we’ve known each other for a while. I think what surprised me was how willing Denzel was to just try anything.” Mark explained, “Because we wanted to add some humor and kind of shake it up a bit and combine comedic elements with the dramatic aspect of the movie.” Wahlberg also mentioned that working with his buddy Denzel, “was a dream come true.”
5. The Writer Wanted to Create 3-Dimensional Characters
“I didn’t her to be a b*tch,” screenwriter Blake Masters frankly said referring to Paula Patton’s character in the film. “That would be so boring, such a boring character…fu*ck it. I didn’t want a femme fatal, ” Masters felt this way about all of the characters in the script. In fact, the writer stressed that he aimed to create “three dimensional” human beings even for the movie’s villains. “I did it also for the bad guys,” Masters explain “I wanted real honest emotional logic…and show how f*cked up the whole situation was.”
6.2 Guns is Really a Movie About ‘Two Guys’
Sure, 2 Guns is an action move jam-packed with explosions, chase sequences and guns. Lots of them. But Wahlberg was very clear about what the movie is really about and opened up about why Washington was the perfect person to pick up the role as his co-star.
Mark: I was attached to the movie first, and it was always about who is the other guy [Denzel's role]. It’s about the two guys… no matter what they’re doing. You look at ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ they’re running from something that you never really saw. But with these guys, it’s like … usually they’ll take the comedy guy, the really out there comedy guy and then the very straight guy and put them together. We didn’t want to do that. I felt like you had to have two really formidable opponents and to earn that camaraderie, to earn that trust in one another. And that was really the movie.
7. Washington Did This Movie For ‘Fun’
Denzel Washington, who recently finished wrapping for “Flight” where he plays an alcoholic pilot, found the light-hearted action flick that could showcase his comedic spark. When asked why he took on the role of agent Stig in this film, Washington also Mark’s recent role in the movie Ted.
Denzel: Especially coming off of ‘Flight,’ I was looking to do something … more fun. So when I read the script and … I heard that Mark was involved, I was like, ‘Oh, okay, I could be safe.’ Because I knew Mark was not just funny, but he has a warmth and a heart about him that I’ve loved and … I watched ‘Ted‘ the other night. That’s a sick movie. How’d you do that fight scene? That was crazy!
Mark: That was embarrassing.
Denzel: But you were willing! You got spanked and everything. So all of that – I was like, ‘Okay, I want to be a part of this [kind of thing].’ I wasn’t ready to be spanked yet , not right out of the gate. But he really helped free me up, you know, to go for it, to not worry about being silly or being too whatever.”
8. One Scene Was Very Uncomfortable to Shoot
When asked what the most difficult scene to shoot was, there was no hesitation. Washington and Wahlberg immediately mentioned the ‘bull scene’. During this part of the movie, the two actors are hung by their feet and are forced to hang upside down inside a bull pen.
Mark: Well, I thought it was no big deal being hung upside down…. but then all the blood is rushing to your head and it’s like, it was not fun. Denzel actually wanted to go up at the last second and I was just like, ‘Oh, let’s just go up now.’ And then of course, I started complaining quite a few minutes before he started complaining. It’s not a fun position to be in. But I think it’s a really cool scene, it’s really different, you haven’t seen it before.
Denzel: The bull enjoyed the scene.
Mark: Denzel kept saying, ‘The bull doesn’t give a s*ht. He doesn’t know we’re making the movie.’
9. Wahlberg and Director Kormakur Are a Dynamic Duo
This is the third time Wahlberg and Icelandic director Kormakur joined forces. The dynamic duo worked together on last years hit “Contraband” and recently shot HBO pilot “Missionary.” When Wahlberg, who is also a known producer, first showed 2 Guns to Kormakur, the director was attracted to how “entertaining” the movie could be.
10. Denzel Washington’s IMDB Page Is Inaccurate
“I dont even know who put that there,” Washington said referring to his 53 accredited roles on his IMDB page. “I haven’t been in fifty movies, I’ve been in 48…but then I am accredited as like, ‘alley mugger’ in a movie I didn’t even do. Someone needs to do something about that.”