BOSTON (CBS) — The director of “Patriots Day,” Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming movie about the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath, said there’s no actor that looks more like former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis than John Goodman. “They’re both tall, larger than life,” Peter Berg said.
To that, Goodman says, “I think Ed’s larger than life than I am.”
With the film premiering in just over a week, Goodman and Davis sat down together on CBS This Morning to talk about the film and the relationship they formed while working on it.
Davis, who headed the Boston Police Department for seven years, is now a security analyst for WBZ-TV. He consulted on the film, giving Goodman his phone number in case he needed help with certain scenes. He recalled the first moment he met Goodman.
“When I first met him, I walked in the room, and he was practicing with Peter and Mark, trying to practice my accent,” said Davis. “I tapped him on the back, and he said, ‘I can’t do this with you here!'”
In order to “get” Davis’s character, Goodman said he simply reacted to the way people treated Davis.
“He knows everybody–he’s Mr. Boston,” said Goodman. “There’s a respect, there’s a command there, naturally, but he also shows up at a scene, and he knows all the officers’ names, how their families are doing.”
CBS This Morning showed a clip from the movie, in which Ed Davis, played by Goodman, argues with FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers, played by Kevin Bacon, about whether or not to release photos of the suspects in the bombings. Davis said that scene was rooted in fact.
“This is a complex undertaking, and there were a lot of agencies involved in it,” said Davis. “There was a disagreement about when to put the photos out. I’ve always been focused on the community, so I wanted to get them out quickly. The truth is, Rick DesLauriers and I are good friends. The Bureau was incredible during this, we could not have done it without them. There was stress, but it all worked itself out.”
Goodman said he took his role in the film very seriously.
“I put so much pressure on myself, and we had such a big job to do, that I had to just forget about it and focus on what we were doing,” said Goodman. “I had too many good people to work with to hang them up.”
Davis said there were two lessons to be learned from the bombings.
“I think one is that the police officers who are out there are compassionate and really focused on putting things right, getting the community back together,” he said. “But the other one is the community response, the Boston Strong response. The terrorists have to understand they’re trying to tear us apart, but they’re actually making us stronger by doing this to us. It’s a failed strategy.”
Goodman and Davis also had high praise for Mark Wahlberg. A Dorchester native, Wahlberg stars in the film as Boston Police Sgt. Tommy Saunders, a composite character based on several people involved in the response to the bombings.
“Mark has an incredible commitment to the community, to the city, and so when you combined him with Peter Berg’s sort of human side of telling a story, and then Michael Ruditsky’s hard-hitting journalist, that combination was really incredible,” said Davis. “They got real, good content in this. They got real facts, behind-the-scenes stuff.”
Also starring in the film are Michelle Monaghan as nurse Carol Saunders and J.K. Simmons as Watertown Police Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese.
The movie will be released in theaters in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles on December 21, and will have a nationwide opening January 13.
Patriots Day is being produced by WBZ-TV’s sister company CBS Films.