Mark, Mischa Make ‘The Happening’


Jun. 12 2008, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

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Mark Wahlberg must be sweating through his suit but he doesn’t let it show during the premiere of The Happening, which takes place at NYC’s Ziegfeld Theater.

He greets Luis Guzman with a pat on the back and a “how you doin’ buddy?” moments before the debut of the highly-anticipated thriller.

How does he feel about director M. Night Shyamalan being so secretive with the plot?

“I don’t want to see a movie when you already know what the movie is about,” Mark says. “I’m saving all the good bits.”

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The 91-degree heat plus major humidity is stifling, and John Leguizamo wipes his brow with a tissue. Oops! A portion is left behind on his face, but a TV reporter picks it off.

What’s the scariest thing that happened on set?

“Craft services,” John laughs to me. “You never knew if it was going to be good or horrible. Blanched vegetables, meat that tasted like wood, desserts that were out of Entenmann’s boxes.”

He continues, “Realistically, the scariest thing was there was this one sequence when I was talking to the extras who were in the scene to set up the shot. They’re all on trees and nooses, on top of ladders, still hanging out and talking. They said ‘action,’ they pull all the ladders out and they’re just hanging – the whole block of oak trees with nooses dangling there.”


By the time Spencer Breslin rolls by, I’m feeling woozy, so I take a few moments to sit down on the sidewalk. (Saved by the bottled water.) What’s the best advice he’s received? “Don’t take advice from people,” he says.

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Sister Abigail Breslin speeds through, and 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander calls out Let’s Scare Jessica To Death and the original Stepfather as the scariest movies he’s seen. “I’m a big horror fan, and this guy knows how to make a movie,” he tells me.

Why is Mark perfect for the role?

“The character that I wrote needed this certain balance of innocence,” M. Night tells me. “He had a charm and a funniness to him. I need actors to be grounded emotionally. It was a no-brainer.”

Hey look, Mischa Barton is here! “M’s a friend of mine,” she says. “This is the first film of his that’s rated R.” What’s her favorite M. Night film? “The Sixth Sense,” she says. “I was a child, but I really did love it.”

The Happening hits theaters Friday.


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