Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely Talk PAIN AND GAIN, How the Craziest Stuff in the Film is True, and More

     April 23, 2013


Opening this weekend is director Michael Bay’s fantastic dark comedy Pain & Gain.  The film is based on a crazy true story and stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.  Pain and Gain also stars Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson,  Tony ShalhoubEd Harris, Rob Corddry, Ken Jeong, and Bar Paly.  For more on the film, watch some clips or the red-band trailer.

Last week at the Miami press junket, I landed an exclusive interview with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.  They talked about the crazy true-life story that inspired the movie, the long process of bringing the film to life, how it was always going to be rated R, the cast and their great performances, how the craziest stuff in the movie is real, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch and definitely check it out this weekend.  It’s absolutely worth seeing.

And if you missed what they had to say about Captain America 2 and Thor 2, watch it here.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeelyChristopher Markus and Stephen McFeely:

  • Talk about the crazy true-life story that inspired the movie.
  • 1:20 – The movie is set in the 1990s, when limited internet access may have prevented some of the crimes.
  • 2:10 – McFeely says three-quarters of movie is real and some of the stuff you think is over the top is actually true.
  • 3:10 – “The barbecue thing is real… The Home Depot is real… The ninja outfits are in a different location, but real.”
  • 3:40 – Bay has wanted to make Pain and Gain forever.  The writers began to doubt it would ever be his next project.
  • 4:50 – The structure of the story as always been the same from their initial plans, and it was always meant to be R.
  • 6:00 – Their primary source was investigative magazine articles by Pete Collins.
  • 7:00 – The cast and performances impress.  Maruks says they had Wahlberg in mind based on his cleverly clueless performance in Boogie Nights.
  • 8:40 – Talk about the premiere in Miami.


  • Marc Schiller

    I think it’s absurd that these writers think that they and Pete Collins knew the story better than anyone else. i was there, they all wrote from a different perspective. I lived it. They missed so much good material by refusing to talk to me. I gave Collins the interview that became the basis for his articles, but there was much more. I guess that the one who actually was tortured and almost died did not really know what happened. i find this interview insulting as mush as the movie

    Marc Schiller

    • zac

      go away!

  • Geen

    Awesome interview, Frosty. Looking forward to the movie. As a huge Bay fan I already know it’s gonna be pretty awesome. As for the other comment: Marc Schiller, if that’s really you you’re certainly not doing yourself any favors. Ending up complaining on a comment section of a website for movies? Really classy. And no offence, but for such a strong advocate against the film you seem pretty excited about it (judging by some other stuff I’ve seen and read) and you’re willing to use direct quotes from The Rock and Michael Bay to hype up your books. Books that conveniently came to light around the film’s release and ride on its publicity.

    Anyway, from what I know no one behind the movie said that they’re doing a complete recreation of what really happened. It’s a movie and it will contain a lot of fiction.

    • mattinacan

      lol, huge bay fan. that tells us all we need to know about your taste in movies.

      • Geen

        Really, nerd? You came here just to post a dumb comment about someone else’s opinion? Is your life really that pathetic? I guess the guy who did the interview (Frosty) also doesn’t have a taste since he’s also a huge Bay fan? I guess all people on Bay’s website also don’t have a taste? I guess all people who make his films huge hits also don’t have taste in movies?

        Oh wait, you’re probably fan of film critics and you automatically agree with them. You sad, sad soul.

        Anyway, do the world a favor, troll: don’t post dumb stuff that just make you look like a complete idiot. But you’re clearly a teenager with nothing else to do so it’s understandable that you waste your time on comment sections trashing other people. And a free advice: drop the kiddy “lol” if you want to be taken seriosuly. Now scram and when you grow up maybe people will start caring about your insignificant opinion. Until then you’re just a random troll. Small, useless, pathetic troll.