Irish-American actor Mark Wahlberg put himself through "emotional torture" making "The Lovely Bones."

The actor was left emotionally and physically drained while shooting the movie — in which he plays Jack Salmon, the father of a 14-year-old girl who is brutally murdered leaving him torn between grief and revenge.

Wahlberg, 38, said: "I've put myself through emotional torture making this movie. It's taken me to unimaginably dark places. 'The Lovely Bones' is a chilling story, especially if you're a parent.

"The murder of a child is the very last thing any mother or father ever wants to think about. I read about the terrible things that people do to children and I know that if anyone like them came near my kids, I'd kill them."

Wahlberg found the filmmaking process so difficult he thought about quitting on numerous occasions.

He added: "I've never been daunted by a script. But as soon as I realized what this film involved, I really had to think about whether I wanted to go to that dark place every day during filming.

"There were countless times when I felt perilously out of my depth."

"The Lovely Bones" — which is based on the novel of the same name by Alice Sebold — also stars Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon and is released worldwide in January.