Update: The widow of Flight 93 hero Thomas Burnett, who famously rushed the cockpit of the plane in an attempt to overtake the hijackers, is speaking out against Wahlberg’s recent comments.
TMZ spoke with Deena Burnett-Bailey about the actor’s belief that if he had been on the September 11, 2001 flight, the result would have been much different.
“Does Mark Wahlberg have a pilot’s license? Then I think hindsight is 20/20 and it’s insignificant to say what you would have done if you weren’t there,” she said.
“The plan for Flight 93 was foiled by heroes. For him to speculate that his presence on board could have stopped everything is silly and disrespectful. Sounds like someone is grandstanding,” Burnett-Bailey added.
Original story: Mark Wahlberg was supposed to be aboard the hijacked United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001, but a twist of fate caused a last minute change in flight plans.
Wahlberg decided to fly out of Toronto, and United Airlines flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after al-Qaeda terrorists attempted a hostile takeover.
The actor’s good fortune hasn’t stopped him from thinking about what could have been.
“If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did,” Wahlberg, 40, recently told Men’s Journal.
“There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.’”
Wahlberg’s life has drastically changed since 2001.
He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, starred in and produced numerous hit television shows and movies, and started a family.
The actor left his hard-partying ways behind when he welcomed his first child with model Rhea Durham in 2003. They have since gotten married and added three more kids to the Wahlberg brood.
“Yeah, a lot of people I thought were my friends were disappointed that I decided to settle down and don’t take them on whirlwind tours of craziness anymore. When I was the life of the party, I definitely wanted to bring as many people along for the ride as possible. But sooner or later, you find out who your friends are,” he shared.
Adding, “If they were my friends, they would have been happy for me changing my life and growing up. I mean, because of ‘Entourage,’ people think that my life is just a big, wild party. And it is. But these days it’s a big, wild Halloween party or Easter egg party. I don’t go out at night anymore. I don’t hang around with the guys. I don’t really play golf. I stopped smoking cigarettes. I stopped smoking pot a lot of years ago, too. I’m focused on my family, my faith, and my work.”
The notorious tough guy even lets his gorgeous wife pick their date night movies…with one stipulation.
“As long as it isn’t a Sarah Jessica Parker movie.”
The actor even discussed his thoughts on his oldest daughter, 9-year-old Ella Rae, dating.
“I’m not going to think about that right now. When the time comes, I will, but it’s not a good thought for me to have. Thinking about it really stresses me out, so don’t stress me out right now, because that’s a stressful thought, OK?”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.