Dwayne Johnson (from left), Anthony Mackie and Mark Wahlberg star in “Pain and Gain,” based on a grisly real-life murder.
Updated: May 28, 2013 7:26PM
MIAMI — Get two tough guys into a room, and it only takes a second for the macho men to become … whiners.
“I really, really hurt myself,” winces Mark Wahlberg, sitting with an ice bag over his left hand.
Though he’s the star of “Pain & Gain,” an action movie openingApril 26, that’s not where he got this owie.
“I went to a party last night and got stung by something that stung me,” he says. “Now it has blown up like a balloon.”
His “Pain & Gain” co-star, Dwayne Johnson, limps into the room.
“He has a pelvis injury,” Wahlberg rats out.
“I can’t ice my pelvis,” Johnson says, sipping his pineapple Crystal Light and grunting a little cry of pain at the same time.
“I need my hand drained,” Wahlberg says, trumping the actor formerly known as The Rock.
“Pain & Gain,” directed by Michael Bay (“Transformers”), is based on a true story in 1995 in Miami, where lunkhead bodybuilders including Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) and ex-con Paul Doyle (Johnson) kidnapped a wealthy man (Tony Shalhoub) in order to have him sign over his money and property. The crime took a darker turn that culminated in body parts barbecued on a grill and two death sentences.
Though shocked by the script, Wahlberg was in from the start. (The interview took place long before the fatal bombings in his beloved Boston.)
“You get the script and it says ‘based on a true story,’ ” he says. “I kept thinking, ‘That’s impossible.’ But this stuff really happened. We had to take some of the real stuff out of the script because it was too farfetched.”
Johnson was also a bit taken aback.
“I was in Miami during the time this case really happened and during the trial. When I read the script with all the explicit details, it still shocked me.”
Wahlberg says the shocks have been making test movie audiences laugh nervously.
“People tell me, ‘I was laughing during the movie, but I felt like I shouldn’t,’ ” he says.
Bay says he read the article about the case 12 years ago. “It was bizarre and funny. It was also about people who are never happy with what they have. It’s an odd movie. We’re going in criminals’ minds. They don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. It’s a delusional world.
“But people are fascinated by the train wrecks,” he says.
The actors had to bulk up for their roles. “I was trying to compete with Dwayne’s Wrestlemania look,” Wahlberg says. “And his injuries.
“I hurt my pinkie making this movie and I had a lot of aches and pains from all the weightlifting to bulks up. I had a herniated shoulder and some ligament tears, too. I lifted too heavy and made it worse.”
Bay, who will be working with Wahlberg again on the next “Transformers,” got away with just a $26 million budget and no big metal monsters to film. “This was a dream. I was working with actors with no drama. It was just a camera and me with actors acting.
“There’s only one explosion in this film and no visual effects,” he says, adding, “ I want to do a sequel.”
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