The night after his highly rated “Boardwalk Empire” wrapped up on HBO, actor/producer Mark Wahlberg saved the emotional knockout for last at the premiere of “The Fighter."
During the last credit scroll Monday night, Wahlberg jumped up and grabbed the microphone, which caused the Grauman audience to spontaneously stand up.
After urging the crowd to be “at ease," he called co-star Christian Bale down to join him so the two fake brothers could introduce the two real brothers they played.
Mickey Ward and Dicky Eklund spoke of their gratitude to the filmmakers, drawing some genuine emotion — and a standing ovation — from the audience.
“The sincerity, the appreciation … (it’s) phenomenal. The life journey that these guys have been though together is quite astounding and I was so touched watching them get up there in front of everyone,” producer Todd Lieberman told TheWrap.
In addition to several of the real people from Lowell, Massachusetts who are featured in the film, a broad cross section of young and old Hollywood guests added to the communal feeling in the room.
Sprinkled amongst the 1400 guests and two theaters: Bale’s “Dark Knight” co-star Eric Roberts, Mace Neufeld, John Singleton, retired boxers Tony Danza and Sugar Ray Leonard (who once got taken the distance in a fight with Eklund), Jeremy Piven, and an icon from Paramount’s past, Michael Nouri (“Flashdance”).
Of note during awards season, the crowd also included about 200 Academy members.
Afterwards, co-stars Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Paramount brass Sumner Redstone,Brad Grey, and Adam Goodman retreated to the to the party upstairs on Hollywood and Highland’s fifth floor. In contrast to Wahlberg’s suit, Bale went casual in jeans and black jacket that said “Team Dicky Ecklund” on the back.