Mark Wahlberg: I’ve worked with actors who ‘phone it in’

In "Broken City," Mark Wahlberg's new thriller, the actor takes on the role of a man fighting a miscarriage of justice opposite a corrupt politician, played by Russell Crowe. But while the two battle it out on the big screen, behind the scenes, they had nothing but respect for one another as actors.

Mark Wahlberg: I relate to 'underdog characters' 4:57

During a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY, Wahlberg explained that's not always how it goes when sharing the set with other stars. Respect is earned, after all.

"You know, Russell and I had a lot of dialog. ... The first thing we did was a five-page scene," he recalled. "The director said, 'You want to rehearse? Want to talk about it?' We both said, 'No, let's go.'"

But with certain other actors on past projects, it wouldn't have worked out the same way.

"Not only do they phone it in, but they learn their lines as they go along," he said. "I wouldn't want to drop the names -- it would be a big problem -- but I tell you, I've worked with people where they literally try to block the scene around where they have places to hide ... the smaller version of the script with the scene we're doing that day. They'll go over there, take a peek, look at a couple words, go over here, do this, do that."

That's something Wahlberg just can't get behind.

"You know, you're paid -- most people very handsomely -- to show up and be prepared," he stressed.

See how showing up prepared paid off Wahlberg and Crowe when "Broken City" opens in theaters nationwide Jan. 18.

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