"For actors to sit there and talk about, 'Oh I went to SEAL training'? I don’t give a f–– what you did," Wahlberg said Tuesday. "You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f––ing dare you, while you sit in a makeup chair for two hours."
Media outlets began speculating whether he was lashing out at Tom Cruise, who was asked during his deposition for his libel suit against Bauer Publishing if he was aware his lawyers had likened his absences from his family for movie-making to those in the military serving overseas.
Part of Cruise's response – "That’s what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal" – was widely reported.
But later in the deposition, asked if movie-making and fighting in Afghanistan could be compared, Cruise answered, "Oh, come on." Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields issued a statement that Cruise is "a staunch supporter of our troops and would never say that making a movie was even remotely comparable to fighting in Afghanistan."
A source close to Wahlberg insists the actor intended absolutely no comparison to Cruise with his quotes.
"Mark was asked about the rigors of training for the role and brushed off any comparison between what he (or any other actor) did and what actual Navy SEALS go through," says the source. "He said the same thing at a Q&A two weeks ago" before the Cruise comments were made public.
On Wednesday, Wahlberg clarified that he wasn't talking about anyone in particular, telling TMZ, "I didn't know that it was Tom Cruise who had said that. ... Somebody had just mentioned that people were comparing [acting and being in the military]. I love Tom Cruise. He's a great actor."
Additional reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA