Mark Wahlberg & Burt Reynolds’ First Boogie Nights Scene Went Very Awkwardly
5 mins read

Mark Wahlberg & Burt Reynolds’ First Boogie Nights Scene Went Very Awkwardly


  • Mark Wahlberg recalls his awkward first scene with Burt Reynolds in
    Boogie Nights
  • Reynolds clashed with director Paul Thomas Anderson on
    Boogie Nights
  • Despite the tension,
    Boogie Nights
    was a success, launching Anderson’s career and earning Reynolds acclaim.



Mark Wahlberg recalls shooting his first scene with Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights, which went very awkwardly. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the 1997 film follows a young dishwasher at a nightclub who becomes a popular adult film star known as Dirk Diggler, set in the Fernando Valley of Los Angeles during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Boogie Nights cast includes Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler and Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner, the idealistic producer who discovers him.

During a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast hosted by Josh Horowitz, Wahlberg recalled shooting his first scene with Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights, which went very awkwardly.

According to Wahlberg, Reynolds wasn’t understanding Anderson’s vision for the film, so when the actors shot their first scene together in the kitchen, Reynolds randomly tried an Irish accent, causing Wahlberg to laugh, which angered Reynolds. Read his full recollection below:

He was the biggest movie star in the world for over a decade. He just felt like it was so beneath him. He didn’t really understand the potential of this movie and that it was obviously set in the world of pornography, but it was about some very interesting characters and had a lot of potential to be something special and that Paul was a real talent, and so he just blew his top a couple of times.I remember the first day. Paul comes to me, we’re about to shoot the scene where we meet in the back of the kitchen. Paul goes, “You know Burt came to me, and he doesn’t really understand my rhythm of writing, so he wants to use an Irish accent.” I was like, “What?” He was like, “Yeah he thinks this is going to be more helpful to kind of find the character and just go with it.” I thought he was just pulling my leg. All a sudden, [imitating Burt Reynolds’ Irish accent] “Oh you’re a dancer aren’t you,” and I started laughing. [imitating Burt Reynolds] “Don’t you ever laugh at me kid.”


Boogie Nights Ending Explained

Boogie Nights documents life in the porn industry in the 1970s and 1980s, but did any character manage to escape the cycle of drugs and violence?

Burt Reynolds & PTA Clashed During Boogie Nights

Burt Reynolds directing Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights.

In the late 1990s, Paul Thomas Anderson was a young filmmaker fresh off his debut feature, Hard Eight, and wasn’t the highly respected, 11-time Oscar-nominated director he is today. On the other hand, Burt Reynolds “was the biggest movie star in the world for over a decade,” as Walhberg says, and as a result, he famously clashed with Anderson during filming. First off, the role of Jack Horner was reportedly offered to an array of other actors, including Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, and Warren Beatty who turned down Boogie Nights, before settling on Reynolds.

Even then, Reynolds reportedly turned down the role seven times before finally accepting. There are countless behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Anderson and Reynolds clashing during the filming of Boogie Nights, with the actor randomly trying an Irish accent in defiance of the director being just one of them. After seeing a rough cut of the film, Reynolds hated it and fired his agent for recommending it.

Despite all the tension between Reynolds and Anderson during filming, it didn’t affect the final product. Boogie Nights received immense acclaim and launched Anderson’s career, earning him his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Under Anderson’s direction, Reynolds submitted one of his best performances, which earned him the only Oscar nomination of his career. Perhaps Reynolds randomly trying an Irish accent was just part of his process for finding what would, and wouldn’t work for his performance.

Boogie Nights
is available to rent/buy on Prime Video from $2.99.

Source: Josh Horowitz

Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights is a comedy/drama that follows a young high-school dropout named Eddie Adams in the ’70s who stumbles into the porn industry after a fortuitous meeting with a filmmaker. The film chronicles his career and life, illuminating the problematic stigmas and troubles facing the sector heading into the 1980s.

Release Date
October 7, 1997

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

John C. Reilly , Don Cheadle , Julianne Moore , Heather Graham , Mark Wahlberg , William H. Macy , burt reynolds , Philip Seymour Hoffman

155 minutes

$15 million

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *