Spenser Confidential Wasn’t Necessarily Going To Be An Action Comedy During Production

Winston Duke and Mark Wahlberg in Spenser Confidential
(Image credit: (Netflix))

If you’ve seen a movie starring Mark Wahlberg in the past few years, there's a good chance it was directed by Peter Berg. The collaborators have made a ton of movies together, such as Lonesome Survivors, Patriots Day and Deepwater Horizon – most of which are based on true and tragic stories. So if you click play their latest project, Spenser Confidential, on Netflix this weekend, its tone may surprise you. It’s a total comedic buddy cop flick with Black Panther’s M’Baku, Winston Duke.

When CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg sat down with the cast of Spenser Confidential, he asked Mark Wahlberg about the lighter tone. It turns out it wasn’t always going to be his and Peter Berg's first comedy. Check out what he said below:

It sounds like it was a happy accident! As Mark Wahlberg explains, the pair had spent years making some incredibly serious movies involving actual devastating events, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico. Spenser Confidential gave them the opportunity to let loose for once and just have fun. But as Wahlberg admits, Peter Berg was playing with both drama and comedy while they were shooting.

Mark Wahlberg told us that he was super focused on the tone of the flick throughout the making of it, but Peter Berg was still figuring things out. The director even shot extra coverage of the movie so he could figure it out in post-production. But hey, stand-up comic Iliza Shlesinger is among the cast, so of course it was going to be hilarious!

Winston Duke echoed Mark Wahlberg’s experience in a way by explaining how the cast played around a lot with the material through the making of Spenser Confidential. The Us actor talked about how they were given a ton of freedom to improvise lines and experiment with the tone. It had to be a much-needed break for the main actors after doing so much serious work.

Apparently Mark Wahlberg spent half the movie being attacked by a dog for laughs too. Spenser Confidential follows the titular character (Wahlberg) after being freed from prison after a five-year sentence. He becomes roommates with an aspiring MMA fighter named Hawk (Duke) against his will and they end up teaming up to take down some dangerous criminals. Comedy gold.

Yet, it’s understandable that Peter Berg might have felt strange leaning into comedy when it was out of his comfort zone. Strangely enough, this is the movie Mark Wahlberg decided to really buff up for and he lost 10 pounds in five days. Spenser Confidential also stars Post Malone, Alan Arkin and Marc Maron.

Mark Wahlberg is also gearing up to star in Uncharted with Tom Holland as the Sully to Holland's Nathan Drake. Check out Spenser Confidential on Netflix on March 6.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.