It was a tough and emotional day on set for the cast and crew of Patriots Day as they began their attempt to recreate the horrifying details of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. But according to director Peter Berg, the morale on set was lifted with a little help from The Purple One.
In the clip above, Berg and Mark Wahlberg, who plays Sgt. Tommy Saunders in the film, sat down with EW’s Jessica Shaw at a Sirius XM Town Hall to discuss how playing Prince’s music during filming helped everyone get through shooting the “heavy and painful” marathon scenes.
“We started playing Prince and everybody started dancing and holding hands and singing along,” Berg started. “And it ended up being eight days of real celebration, in a way, which further reminded me, kind of, [of] our theme of love and of community. And what I thought was going to be really heavy and painful ended up being very joyful.”
Berg then explained his decision to include a tribute to the survivors of the attack in the film.
“I think at the end we wanted to refocus the film back to the real survivors, and that’s why we made the movie,” he said. “Those people are the inspiration for us. So it felt fitting that we kind of find a way to end the movie with the real people.”
Wahlberg also chimed in to talk about the impression that he hopes the film and its inclusion of the survivors will have on moviegoers.
“Their strength that they display and the light and love that they exude is a thing that makes people leave the theater with tears of hope,” he said.
Wahlberg ends the clip with a plea for people to “continue to support one another.”
“That’s a message, really, not just for Boston or New York or America. These things are happening all over the world and we all need to come together.”
Patriots Day hits theaters on Dec. 21. Tune in to hear the full interview with Wahlberg and Berg on SiriusXM EW Radio on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. ET.