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2 GUNS

You're My People: Going Undercover
While neither Washington nor Wahlberg are strangers to the action genre, they knew that understanding the world of deep undercover would take expert educators. When the production brought on board DEA technical advisor RICHARD WOODFORK and Navy SEAL technical advisor JAMIE WALL, the cast and crew alike learned more about the drug war than they could have imagined.

Recalls Washington: "Just observing Richard's personality and his style was important. I was able to ask him questions like 'How do you not get shot on the job?' I think a lot of those men and women are, to a degree, adrenaline junkies because they put themselves in very dangerous situations. They thrive on that."

From Three Kings to Shooter, Wahlberg has spent a good deal of time undergoing military-style training for his film career. 2 Guns represents his latest effort, and he was up for the challenge to train as and to portray Petty Officer Michael Stigman. Wahlberg states that it was Stig's commitment to his code that was most reflective of the military the performer has grown to know: "I had this mantra throughout the movie that I wrote on the front of my script, which was 'duty, honor, loyalty and trust.' Those things are very important to Stig; there isn't anything that he wouldn't do for his brothers, for his people."

With this project and the upcoming epic Lone Survivor, Wahlberg shot two military-inspired films back to back. About his experience, he offers: "I went into Navy SEAL training immediately after shooting 2 Guns, and I'd been doing a lot of research into and reading about that world before this film. I've been lucky enough to have played military guys before, and I've had quite a bit of military training for other roles."

For her part, Patton shares that working for the DEA is not remotely what she expected it to be. It turns out her role as Bobby's controller, Agent Deb Rees, would be one involving more intense questioning than action. The performer explains a few steps in her preparation: "I like to start in a place of truth because it's so difficult to step in someone's shoes just on imagination. From there, you also want to make it entertaining and put your instincts into the character. Richard introduced me to an incredible woman who allowed me to have intense discussions with her about her job. She worked for many years in the DEA and brought down many narcotics syndicates during her time as an agent. I was able to learn not just about the work, but about her personal life as well."

As Patton surmised, a female undercover operative gets nowhere with her contacts by simply cracking their heads, although she has to be prepared for that distinct possibility. The actress reflects: "A woman's experience as a DEA agent is very different from a man's. It takes a great deal of fearlessness to go into a dark room and handle a drug deal. What I found fascinating about my contact is that she has this very sweet voice. In order for her to become friends with her marks and lead them to believe that she's one of them, she couldn't be too brusque or off-putting. This agent used her femininity to help infiltrate these places, and yet she was fully confident in her strength, intelligence and wit."

Learning how to think and act like a double agent wasn't the only challenge on set for the performers. Figuring out what they would do to get out of being tortured was another matter entirely. All veterans of action films, our players would be required to rob banks, get thrown out of moving trucks and dodge bullets raining down upon them. Artfully choreographed by stunt coordinator DARRIN PRESCOTT and 2nd unit stunt coordinator WADE ALLEN, these sequences paled in comparison, however, when it came time to maneuver around some very angry livestock.

As Papi Greco runs a steer ranch in Sonora, Mexico, multiple scenes in 2 Guns -- from our introduction to the drug kingpin to the film's explosive finale -- occur there. Wahlberg walks us through what it was like to be strung up by his feet and pummeled by the land baron with a baseball bat. He laughs: "I didn't like being upside down. Edward loved it because there are different times in the movie where he has the upper hand, or we have the upper hand; we were always pushing it a little too far. He was milking it for everything it was worth. Denzel didn't want to hang upside down too long either. So we shot the essentials and got out of there. Working with cattle is a completely different ball game."

Although bull handlers MARSHALL DeSOUGE and REGINALD PURRIS kept the cast and crew out of harm's way, Washington would have preferred the two trainers were the ones with feet over heads during an interrogation. He dryly adds: "My back is better now, much better, but I had fun doing that scene. Mark and I were both game and went for it. Still, with a bull snorting at you, that's enough to tell your secrets." Washington notes that they had a bit of unexpected competition on screen: "That bull tried to steal the scene. He actually kicked his feet and started snorting at us, but thank goodness that the fence was between us. That was one big, mean animal."

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