MIAMI (CBSMiami) – “Pain and Gain” is a story so bizarre it’s tough to believe it actually happened. But, for the most part, the Hollywood film is based on a true story.
“Pain and Gain” is the story of three personal trainers who, in pursuit of the American dream, get tangled in an extortion and kidnapping scheme that eventually goes horribly wrong.
A dark comedy with plenty of action, the film was directed by Michael Bay and shot primarily in South Florida.
“With it being real, and then funny, and then tragic, what was the balance like for you as the director?” CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo asked director Michael Bay.
“You have to keep it believable. You show the absurdity, you show these are criminals and show their delusions,” said Michael Bay. “What I like is the gray area because you see it from criminal minds as well the cops perspective. These criminals think we’re just taking money, we’re not doing anything bad. We deserve this.”
Mark Wahlberg plays Danny Lugo, the real life trainer who concocted a plan that eventually led to the murder of a Miami couple.
Dwayne Johnson plays Paul Doyle, a bit of a goof who is easily influenced by bad ideas. Adrian Doorbal, played by Anthony Mackie, is Lugo’s sidekick.
“Everything about it was appealing except some people were obviously affected in very horrible way, so we were hyper sensitive to that, ” said Wahlberg, “but to have these outrageous characters , as an actor, it’s too good to pass up an opportunity like that because they don’t come around that often.”
Actor Dwayne Johnson agreed with Wahlberg, “It’s not every day we have opportunities like this where you have original material and outrageous characters. For me I was jumping at the opportunity for something like this.”
Anthony Mackie knew that working with both Wahlberg and Johnson would be a pivotal moment in his career.
“If you look at it, Mark and Dwayne, two of the biggest stars in the business right now, and Michael (Bay) hasn’t had a miss yet, so I when I read the script, it was a no brainer that I would want to be involved with them in a project.”
Tony Shalhoub plays Victor Kershaw, an unlikeable guy who survived more than a month of torture from the trio.
“How did he make it through all that?” asked Petrillo.
“I think a lot of it had to do with his spite and disdain for his 3 assistants. He was so resentful it became a battle of wills,” said Shalhoub.
For Wahlberg and Johnson, this movie was all about doing something neither had done before and that’s what keeps it exciting.
“For me, as an actor, I want to be challenged, I want to push the envelope. I want to get crazy!” laughed Wahlberg.
“It was a big departure for me by the way,” explained Johnson. “I know it was a big departure for audiences too, so if I could grab that opportunity and nail it, hopefully they’d be satisfied. Then, we had a good shot at making something really good ”
Pain and Gain, rated R, hits theaters Friday April 26th.