Director Peter Berg: Bannon's 'Intensity' Inspired Wahlberg's Character in New Action Movie

August 14, 2018

Director Peter Berg said Steve Bannon's intense personality inspired aspects of Mark Wahlberg character in his new movie about a special CIA unit extracting a foreign intelligence asset being hunted by terrorists.

Berg appeared on "Fox & Friends" to discuss his new action thriller Mile 22, which is based on the CIA's covert Special Activities Division. Kilmeade asked him to elaborate on why he asked Wahlberg to study Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive who joined Trump's campaign in 2016 and served as his chief strategist for the first seven months of his administration.

"Wahlberg and I were trying to figure out how to create an interesting character, and I'm not going to say his character is Steve Bannon, because he's not," Berg said. "And I'm not going to say we are unilaterally supporting Steve Bannon, because I think that it's impossible. Steve is a very complex human being."

Berg said they had watched Bannon's "60 Minutes" interview and it was difficult not to be "mesmerized" by how his mind worked.

"He's a febrile, intense, hard-charging, hard-speaking human being. We took some of that kind of Bannon intensity and put it in Wahlberg's character," Berg said, stressing again that Wahlberg wasn't simply playing Bannon.

Bannon isn't an "action star," host Brian Kilmeade noted. The movie comes out Friday and co-stars John Malkovich and Rhonda Rousey. There are already plans to launch at least one sequel.

Berg is a prolific director whose recent films include Patriot's Day about the Boston Marathon bombings and the war drama Lone Survivor about Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.