So when Mark Wahlberg launched into an expletive-laden rant about Hollywood privilege during promotion for his upcoming movie, Lone Survivor, some observers wondered whether the 42-year-old actor had targeted Cruise.
When Wahlberg was asked about his training for the film, in which he plays a Navy Seal, he responded:
For actors to sit there and talk about, 'Oh I went to SEAL training'? I don’t give a f*** what you did," Wahlberg said during Tuesday's Q&A. "You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f***ing dare you, while you sit in a makeup chair for two hours.
But sources close to Wahlberg's film told The New York Post on Thursday that he hadn't targeted Cruise.
“Mark was not bashing or responding to Tom Cruise at the Q&A. He was responding to a question about his training, and he said that he would not even begin to compare it to SEAL training or anything like what they go through," the source said. “Mark was honoring the real life [former SEAL] Marcus Luttrell, and the SEALS. He answered the same question weeks ago in the same way -- before any of the Tom Cruise story was reported. Though he didn’t go to such an extreme.”
When TMZ cameras caught up with Wahlberg, he said he hadn't heard about how his comments related to Tom Cruise.
"I didn't know it was Tom Cruise who said that," Wahlberg said. "Somebody just mentioned that people were comparing that. I love Tom Cruise."
"I have the utmost respect for Tom Cruise," he added, "but I have the utmost respect for military guys so...it’s just unfair for anybody to comment on that.”