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'Ted' premiere: Red carpet report

8:36 AM, Jun 22, 2012   |    comments
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Mark Wahlberg (Getty Images)

Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY

When: Thursday night

Where: Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood

Guest list:Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth, Sam Jones, Laura Vandervoort, Jessica Stroup, writer/director/castmember Seth MacFarlane. Also spotted: Seth Green, Penn, Penny Marshall and Jon Voight

Ted's story: MacFarlane managed the impossible with Ted, a hilarious dirty comedy (out June 29) centered an animated, smack-talking, pot-smoking, beer-swilling teddy bear. How did he get big stars on board like Wahlberg, who plays John Bennett, Ted's best friend and Kunis, who plays Wahlberg's disapproving girlfriend? "When I first got pitched the idea I wasn't that into it," admitted Wahlberg. "And then of course after meeting Seth (and) reading the script, I just immediately thought it was going to be something special, something original."

If Ted were realCould a human get away with what Ted does? "No," laughed MacFarlane. "They'd go to jail." That said, would Wahlberg let his kids anywhere near the fuzzy, crass bear? "My sons, not my daughters," said the star, whose wife, Rhea Durham, walked the red carpet with him.

Building the bear: The computer-generated bear earns major laughs in the film, but it was a three-pronged effort in building him. Acting against Ted (who was voiced by MacFarlane) required "various stages of absurdity," said Walsh, who plays Wahlberg's boss in the film. "There's a fully-stuffed bear that doesn't move, there's a bear that has some limited puppeting ability, and then there's the bizarro tennis ball scenes where you're talking to a tennis ball. That's the weirdest. And sometimes there's nothing there, and you're just talking to nothing."

Triple duty: Family Guy's McFarlane took on his first movie creating, directing and voicing Ted. On set, MacFarlane would pipe the teddy bear's typically filthy lines straight into Wahlberg and Kunis' ears. "We had Seth in our ear(pieces) so listening was the key," said Kunis. Wahlberg said he got so used to it, "I actually ended up starting to like it." Working with CGI, "You don't have to deal with other actors and all their craziness."
Flash Gordon returns:Flash Gordon's Jones makes a not-to-be-missed cameo in the film. "I enjoyed it," said Jones, who stepped back into his vintage costume for the role. "I wear it at home anyway so it doesn't matter," the actor joked on the red carpet.

News you can use: Wahlberg said his Entourage movie is still a go. "I ran into (Entourage creator) Doug Ellin yesterday at a restaurant and he's 40 pages into the script, so we're excited," he said. Meanwhile, was Kunis, who wore a black Dior cocktail dress on the carpet, looking forward to her upcoming reshoots for Oz: The Great and Powerful? "No, to be honest," she said. "I love everybody, I love the special effects department, I do, with all of my heart. But that (Wicked Witch costume) glue - the smell and the 17 hours. You kind of get a little over it."

Director's cut: MacFarlane said that after his directing debut, he was due for a vacation. The hardest part of his new gig? "The 12-hour workday," he said. "You think I'm joking. Hands down, the 12-hour workday was the most challenging." MacFarlane's set was "pretty loose," added Walsh. "He's super talented, but it was very lackadaisical and he kept it light. We went out every night when I was in Boston." Wahlberg's in his corner, too. "He's a very talented guy," said the actor, noting the fun they had on set. "It wasn't like it was all that much work, that's for sure."

USA TODAY

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