News

March 31, 2007

Mark Wahlberg: From tearaway to Tinseltown

Filed under: Uncategorized — enews @ 6:38 pm

Mark Wahlberg is a long way from the mean streets of Massachusetts.

The teenage tearaway – who was always getting busted for felonies, and even spent nights in the cells for attempted murder – once seemed destined for a life of crime in downtown Boston.

But the hunky star overcame his troubled youth to become a successful rapper, iconic Calvin Klein model and Oscar-nominated Hollywood actor.

In his new thriller ‘Shooter’ Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger – a marksman who finds himself framed for the assassination of the US President.

To prepare for his role the actor attended long-range shooting training at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute where instructors were impressed at the star’s ability to hit a target at 2,000 yards. Perhaps it comes as no surprise – the Boston-born star hails from a city where armed gang members roam the city’s ghettoes.

And it was Wahlberg’s criminal childhood experiences that helped him put in the stunning performance which earned him an Oscar nomination in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film ‘The Departed’.

He said: “I was locked up by the kind of guy I play in that movie so many times, you know.

“In Boston then I felt there wasn’t so much difference between the cops and the crooks. A lot of the friends I got in trouble with have since become police officers. So it was nice to put that real-life experience to good use.

“It was great to call my parents, who I called 20 or 30 times to say I was staring at a set of bars, to tell them I’d been nominated for an Oscar. For once their tears were tears of joy.”

Wahlberg, 35, confessed he still has nightmares about being back behind bars.

The actor said: “I have this bad dream all the time about being chased by cops and put in prison. It’s getting a little easier – I try to focus on good things when my head hits the pillow, not dwell on darkness. But I guess the nightmares are a good reminder of where I was and where I don’t ever want to go again.”

The “good things” Walhberg focuses on include his long-term girlfriend, model Rhea Durham, and their two children Ella Rae, three, and one-year-old Michael.

Settling down and having a family was something the screen hunk has wanted for a long time.

Five years ago he confessed: “I wish I was already married and starting to have a family.”

Wahlberg is so dedicated to his new family life that he is already planning his retirement so he can spend more time with Rhea and their children.

He said: “I only want to make a few more movies. I know there’s going to come a time when Daddy’s going to need to be there all the time and I look forward to that.”

This devoted family man is a far cry from the juvenile delinquent who used to deal drugs and once served time in prison after attacking a man with a metal hook during a robbery.

The hunk admits he’s “lucky to be alive” and claims his life is now “tame” compared to his teenage days.

Despite his success, Wahlberg hasn’t forgotten his roots – the star has offered his old friends jobs on his Hollywood movies. However, his generous plan backfired when he realised not all his jailbird pals were reformed characters.

Wahlberg revealed: “I try to give them a job and show them another way, but sometimes they’re not capable of adapting to a different world, especially Hollywood.

“I’ve had a number of friends who couldn’t adapt, and have gotten me and themselves into a lot of trouble when they stole equipment from the film set.”

But while Wahlberg’s friends have struggled to keep on the straight and narrow, he has managed to escape his troubled life.

After missing out on a place in big brother Donnie’s band ‘New Kids On The Block’, Wahlberg had several chart hits with ‘Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’ and landed roles in several minor films.

The star finally got his big break in the 1997 movie ‘Boogie Nights’, as well-endowed porn star Dirk Diggler – a role which carved him a Hollywood career.

To date, it remains Wahlberg’s most famous part – mainly because of the movie’s notorious final scene where Dirk reveals his 13-inch member.

Even 10 years later, the actor is still plagued by female fans who want to see if he is as well-hung as Dirk in real life – and he claims other men want to see how he measures up too.

Mark – who claims he is a “decent” size – recently revealed: “It’s a bit embarrassing when I go into a locker room or take a pee in a bar because guys try to check me out. That’s always weird.”

Not that publicity has done him any harm, and he isn’t exactly a shrinking violet.

In the dedication of his 1992 book ‘Marky Mark’, co-authored with photographer Lynn Goldsmith, Wahlberg writes “I wanna dedicate this book to my dick”.

In ‘Boogie Nights’, Dirk’s impressive genitalia was a product of the costume department. And the sexy star is so proud of his prosthetic penis he keeps it locked in his safe.

He once admitted: “I have it in my safe at home. It’s my prized possession – you never know when it’s going to come in handy. If things don’t work out, I could always auction it to the highest bidder!”

Depsite fame and fortune, Wahlberg – now a devout Catholic – says he sometimes misses the freedom he enjoyed during his youth.

He admitted: “Making movies is a highly regimented responsibility – never believe any of the stories about actors who are irresponsible. Just to get a film made requires a real discipline. I miss being able to wake up when I want and pull down my pants when I want.”

Seems you can take the boy out of Boston…

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