Mark Wahlberg has claimed 'Mile 22' needed its R rating - and violent content - to capture the intensity of its characters.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

The 47-year-old actor - who also produced the action blockbuster - has opened up on the intensity of the movie, and explained why it needed to go as far as it did.

Speaking to Cinemablend, he said: "We just tried to make it as real as possible. These guys are out there, and they really perform these duties and with a guy like Jimmy Silva, which we love, initially it was just supposed to be like a secondary villain and then all of the sudden we started falling in love with this character and just ended up becoming the focus of the film.

"Here's a guy who's very unapologetic, relentless, super intense, very opinionated and not one of those man of few words brooding anti-heroes.

"We just loved the character and then so saying, 'Okay how do we create a really smart character-driven action movie, but then once we step on the gas we just don't let off. It's just non-stop with the action."

Wahlberg - who has reunited with 'Lone Survivor' director and long-time collaborator Peter Berg on the project - recently revealed the reunion is what they enjoy.

Opening up on the pairing - which also saw them work together on 'Deepwater Horizon' and 'Patriots day' - the star said: "Our idea of fun might be different from some other peoples. Our idea of fun is we go and make pretty violent action movies."

The movie follows a CIA task force escorting a high priority asset 22 miles to an extraction point, while battling off terrorists.