A parent’s job isn’t easy.
A co-parent’s job? Even harder.
This is a theme (kind of) revisited in the sequel to “Daddy’s Home.”
Mark Wahlberg is back as cool, he-man biological father Dusty, attempting to raise his kids peacefully with his ex wife and her nerdy, do-gooder husband Brad (Will Ferrell).
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In the first movie, out in 2015, Dusty and Brad hit a few bumps in the road.
But in the second flick, out Friday, it seems the two very different men had worked out their differences and were humming along — until the holidays.
That’s when Dusty’s and Brad’s fathers (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow, respectively) decide to visit.
“We finally figured out a way to coexist and coparent, even though we had a lot of issues that were unresolved,” said Wahlberg, from The Four Seasons Hotel Miami. “Now my dad shows up and turns our world upside down. Nobody can make Dusty uncomfortable or anxious or nervous the way that his dad can, and it creates a big problem. Obviously he chips away from that little safety net that we’ve built and causes havoc between Brad and I to the point that we hate each other more than the first go around.”
Even though on screen there was a ton of infighting, behind the scenes, the cast got along, um, famously.
Wahlberg and Ferrell are a well-oiled machine at this point.
“It’s all kind of a shorthand right now, we can pick up where we left off,” said the Boston native of the former “Saturday Night Live” comedian. “We push each others’ buttons and try to mess with each other. It took awhile to make sure we’re not overstepping the boundaries or anything like that. At the end of the day, we’re both parents and husbands first and we just happen to have a great job to go make pretend and make people laugh.”
As for Gibson, Wahlberg, 46, had been a huge fan of his as an actor and director, and was impressed how the Oscar winner was able to transition so seamlessly into his role.
“To see him do a broad comedy — which is not necessarily something we’re used to seeing him do — but still willing to kind of go for it and throw caution to the wind? It was awesome to see.”
One of the funnier days on set had nothing to do with Ferrell or Gibson or zany slapstick. It was the day Wahlberg’s mother, Alma Wahlberg, came to visit. The matriarch, who stars in the reality show “Wahlburgers” about the family’s chain of hamburger restaurants, felt comfortable around Hollywood types.
“I was actually running late that day — and I’m never late,” recounted the “Boogie Nights” star. “She basically came on set and everyone was there rehearsing the big Nativity scene. Mel was just reading his lines from the sides and she was like making comments about him not knowing his lines and he didn’t know who she was. He was like, ‘Who is this lady?’ She thinks because she’s on a TV show everyone knows who she is.”
Wahlberg finally had to tell mom to take a powder.
“I was embarrassed,” he laughed. “I didn’t make her go home, but I made her walk off the set for a little while and apologize.”
Alma and Wahlberg’s biological father divorced when Mark was 10, so even though the actor is happily married, the father of four knows about divided families.
“You know your stepdad is not your real dad, but he’s going to do everything he can to be a father figure … firm, disciplined, loving and understanding.”
As for his own stepfather, Wahlberg said he was a “chump.”
“I wanted to bust him up. I better not run into him or there’s going to be a problem,” he said.
But, he added, “No. I don’t have any more hard feelings toward him.”