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Mark Wahlberg

The Yards

12 Oct, 2000

Wahlberg plays Leo Handler, an ex-con who struggles to make a clean life for himself, but his job in a Queens, New York subway rail repair yard embroils him in corruption and murder. This action drama is directed by James Gray. Co-starring Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, Ellen Burstyn and James Caan.

Mark and I blocked it out of ourselves. We wanted it to be an epic battle, falling down the stairs and out on to the street. We had elbow pads and knee pads, but on the first take Mark just grabbed me with his pinkie, flipped me into the air and I landed on my head. Man, did I have a bump. I was black and blue for days. But I sure as hell wasn’t gonna do any fucking John Wayne-style punching. I wanted it to be sloppy and barbaric and painful, like I’m hugging the life out of this guy who’s my friend while I’m pounding at him, said Gray while describing a cinematic fight with Wahlberg.

The Yards (2000) trailer