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'Deepwater Horizon' Star Mark Wahlberg Hopes Movie Honors Victims

  • Reuters

Director Peter Berg, from right, oil rig manager Mike Williams and actor Mark Wahlberg arrive at the premiere of the film 'Deepwater Horizon' in London, Sept. 26, 2016.

Director Peter Berg, from right, oil rig manager Mike Williams and actor Mark Wahlberg arrive at the premiere of the film 'Deepwater Horizon' in London, Sept. 26, 2016.

Actor Mark Wahlberg said "the biggest responsibility" for himself and the makers of the new movie, "Deepwater Horizon," was to honor the victims of the 2010 oil rig disaster.

"The oil can ultimately be cleaned up, [but] those 11 men can't be replaced," Mike Williams, oil rig engineer and survivor of the disaster, told Reuters at the film's London premiere Monday.

Wahlberg plays Williams in the film.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, left, arrives with oil rig manager Mike Williams, right, at the premiere of the film 'Deepwater Horizon' in London. The movie opens in theaters Friday.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, left, arrives with oil rig manager Mike Williams, right, at the premiere of the film 'Deepwater Horizon' in London. The movie opens in theaters Friday.

"Those were fathers, brothers, husbands, uncles, cousins. We can't replace those guys, and so when they approached me about doing this film, I thought, 'What better way to promote their story,'" he added.

"Deepwater Horizon," scheduled to open in theaters Friday, focuses on the hours before and after the BP rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, leading to the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history.

Eleven workers were killed and millions of barrels of oil spewed onto the shorelines of several states for nearly three months.

In the movie directed by Peter Berg, Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, one of the last people to escape from the burning rig.

Williams joined Wahlberg at the premiere. The film also stars Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich and Kate Hudson, who did not attend the London opening.

"The focus wasn't really on who made what mistakes and who was responsible. Really, it was about the heroics of the 11 people and the inspiring things that they did to survive and help one another," Wahlberg said.

"Deepwater Horizon" examines the decisions concerning safety made by BP executives leading up to the disaster, highlighting the pressure that workers were under to save money as drilling fell behind.

FILE - The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico, April 21, 2010, after an explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in the nation's history.

FILE - The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico, April 21, 2010, after an explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in the nation's history.

In July, BP estimated the disaster will cost $62 billion.

"I never faulted BP for being a company for profit. That's what fuels our economy. We all use fuel. I get that they're a company for profit," Berg, the film’s director, said. "Where I think they erred was when they got behind schedule and behind budget, some of the guys from BP pushed too hard, they moved too quickly."

In October 2015, U.S. officials announced an agreement of more than $20 billion to settle federal and state claims against BP over the spill.

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