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Mark Wahlberg Joins His Band of Brothers

Mark Wahlberg in “Four Brothers.”

Mark Wahlberg

Joins His Band of Brothers

by Brad Balfour

Though 34 year old Mark Wahlberg has projected a hard side to his public persona from the days he was rapper Markie Mark onto when he got leads in such films as Boogie Nights and Three Kings, his character in Four Brothers, Bobby Mercer, may be his toughest. As one of the sibling quartet avenging their foster mother’s death, Wahlberg plays it with an unrelenting pace and violence. Since being raised in a tough working class neighborhood gave him insights to this character, his years as a veteran actor have given him the experience to expand into producing both documentaries and television shows such as Entourage.

If something like happened to your mother or a member of your family, would you react this way?

I really do not want think about it that way. I’ve been raised Catholic and we’re supposed to forgive to be forgiven, but if the situation happened to someone I care about or somebody not able to defend themselves it would make me crazy. I wouldn’t be too rationale about it so I would not like to think about what the right thing would be to do. I’d probably be in jail. God forbid.

So what drew you to this script?

Everything about it. It was the opportunity to play that kind of guy — a guy I could really relate to.  And to I want to make a movie I want to go out to see as opposed to a lot I made before that I would not want to see unless I was see in them in an airplane or a hotel room. Everything about it was right up my wheelhouse — it was done right way with the right guys so how could it not be a special movie.

You wouldn’t want to make Planet of the Apes again?

I would not only not make Planet of the Apes again; I wouldn’t want to see it again. I don’t think Tim Burton would direct it again. I am at a point in my career that I just want to work with directors that want work with. I want to make movies that I want to see and play roles I want to play. I’ve paid my dues and done a lot for the experience and knowledge; now I want make the movies I want to see.

Did you have something to do to have John Singleton as the director?

No. Though I signed on before him, it only like a week earlier. We’ve been friends for a long time and had talked about working together but there was only a week between us. There was talk about different directors in meetings and when different people said “John Singleton” it was a no-brainier from there.

What film do you think was the turning point for you?

One movie I’d like to think was a turning point for me would be Basketball Diaries or Fear. But a lot of people think my establishing performance was Boogie Nights and then Three Kings orThe Perfect Storm. But I think from The Renaissance Man on, I’ve just been an actor, so how I am perceived by people doesn’t really matter to me other than that.

You made the transition from music to acting. Are you glad you made the transition?
Of course. I’d still be waiting on my record contract to do what want to do not what they want me to do. I focused all my attention on acting I have blinders on and not stray away. I made a couple of records and toured overseas for money because I lived an expensive lifestyle; I had to keep the house going and play bills until I found out ways to make a living other ways. I always wanted to make movies and to try growing as an actor.
Do you miss anything about having been in music?
Sometimes I miss the freedom of it. I was shooting Martin Scorcese’s latest film and now can’t screw up. If I was a musician and did not want be there I would not show up; that would cost me a few bucks but that would be it. But now I have too much responsibility and too many people depending on me to mess up.
Copyright ©2005 All rights reserved. Posted: August 22, 2005.

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