More Gonz Show: Donnie Wahlberg
Tell me about The Kill Point. It’s based on a group of former soldiers who plan a bank heist, right?
It’s a couple of guys from a military unit who come on hard times and try to rob a bank, and it goes wrong—way worse than they expect. It turns into a hostage standoff.
Your character is a Pittsburgh Police hostage negotiator named Horst Cali? Horst? Did you just select letters at random? Because that can’t be a real name.
I didn’t come up with it. I really can’t explain most of the names to be honest with you. I never even asked. Most of the names are kinda strange. But he’s Captain Cali—which is kinda cool. Horst, who knows what it means?
So you’re returning to TV. Are you nervous about that? Because the critics loved your stint on Boomtown, but NBC never gave it a chance.
I don’t know if I’d categorize it like that. It was a good show, and it had a good run. Right around the time it got canceled, it was taking a turn for the worse creatively. It was time, anyway. I’m not nervous about this show, though. TV is a very difficult medium to work in. I like the project, I like the character, and I have a lot of faith in it. If the show is a hit, great. If not, so be it. I just try to do what I like and see what happens. I don’t have too many regrets, except for maybe the last series I did.
It was called Runaway, right?
Yeah. It was just a bad fit. That network—I’m not a CW guy. They have their idea of a leading man, and I’m not it. Guys from Dorchester shouldn’t be on that network. The only people on that network are extremely pretty or dumb, and that’s not the place for me. More times than not, they were more concerned about the color of my shirt. That was one of the few times I didn’t listen to my gut.
I was looking at some of the things you’ve done in the past. You really participated in Wrestlemania X?
I just showed up. It was no big deal. It wasn’t like I wrestling Hulk Hogan.
No one hit you with a chair? That’s a shame.
I’ve hit my brother with a chair. Me and Mark used to do that stuff all the time and beat the shit out of each other.
You were in what was possibly the best WWII series of all time—Band of Brothers. I’ve seen it beginning to end about 50 times now. Are you a WWII nut, too, or did you just kind of fall into the Sgt. Lipton role?
I’m not a WWII fanatic, but I think it’s hard to not be interested in that war on some level if you’re a guy. I don’t mean to exclude women, but we grew up watching that stuff and playing army. We didn’t play Vietnam. We grew up with GI Joe and watching the Great Escape and those things. You just kind of easily sink right into that stuff. Becoming part of that project was a tremendous honor. With Hanks and Spielberg involved, and having been a huge fan of Saving Private Ryan, it was a fantastic opportunity.
What was it like working with David Schwimmer? At first, I didn’t think I’d buy him at all in a WWII series, but he really grew on me. He’s good at playing the prick.
A lot of people didn’t like him in the part. The New York Times review said he almost ruins the show before it gets off the ground. But I thought he was great in the role. I thought his interest—he was determined to be great and to honor the veterans, and that’s a difficult thing to do. But he pulled it off.
I read somewhere that you’re the distant relative of Halle Berry. True?
I never heard that.
IMDB has it on your profile.
If that’s true, there won’t be any relations with her sexually.
That’s a bummer. I think every guy would like to have relations with her.
Yeah, I don’t know about that. She used to hang out with a guy in my crew, so I’m not sure I’d go there.
Speaking of crews, if Entourage is based on Mark’s life, do people assume you’re Drama?
I’ve been asked that a few times, but I don’t freeload off of Mark. If you do your history, I was never part of Mark’s entourage, and I never will be. He was part of my entourage.
Oh. Does that mean you won’t scream “victory!” for me?