Cheat Sheet: Mark Wahlberg
Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg
Date of Birth:
5 June, 1971
Place of birth:
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Acting, Disarming Hijackers (self-ascribed)
Boogie Nights, The Departed, Three Kings, The Fighter, The Perfect Storm, Contraband
What you probably already know:
After a tough childhood on the mean streets of the Boston neighbourhood of Dorchester, Wahlberg shot to fame at the age of 21 as the frontman of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. With baggy jeans, bandanas and lots of standing around with his arms folded, Marky Mark provided the acceptable (i.e. white) face of early nineties hip hop for a gaggle of screeching female teens. He also had a sizeable penis which was officially released in 1991 with an iconic set of ads for Calvin Klein. Unfortunately his rapping was not as impressive as his penis and soon the bubble burst for the Bunch, their second LP barely making a dent on the US charts. Sensing it was time for a change Wahlberg sidestepped into acting making a good impression with his role opposite Leonardo Di Caprio in 1995’s The Basketball Diaries.
It was his performance as fictional 70s porn legend Dirk Diggler in P.T. Anderson’s Boogie Nights which really displayed Wahlberg’s acting chops. Wahlberg’s penis was, however, the victim of some last minute recasting, Anderson replacing it with a biodegradable rubber penis with even more imposing dimensions. From there Wahlberg has put together a filmography that has veered between the good (The Fighter, Three Kings), the poor (The Italian Job, Planet of the Apes) and the risible (The Happening, Max Payne), while also carving out a notable career as a TV producer with credits including Entourage, Boardwalk Empire and In Treatment. Mark Wahlberg’s penis has not been seen since 1997. Though reports are conflicting, rumour has it that the pressure of fame has led Wahlberg’s penis to seek solace in a JD Salinger-like hermit’s existence in an empty mansion somewhere in the Hollywood hills. The biodegradable rubber penis went on to play the lead roles in Step Up, The Vow and Dear John.
What you might not know:
When we say Wahlberg’s childhood was tough, we mean it. According to the man himself, Wahlberg was arrested close to twenty five times, beginning in his early tweens. When Wahlberg was 13 he had already developed a heavy cocaine addiction and was running with various Boston hoodlums. His mid teens were peppered with numerous assault charges often coming with nasty racial undertones. These charges included throwing rocks at a group of black teenagers, attacking a middle aged Vietnamese man with a piece of wood while shouting “Vietamese fucking shit” and another Vietnamese chap whom he left blind in one eye. Yikes.
Understandably Wahlberg soon found himself in jail for assault (a charge brought down from attempted murder). In amongst the hardcore criminals Wahlberg realised the error of his ways and, on his release 45 days later, decided to follow younger brother Donnie of New Kids on the Block fame into the music biz. Wahlberg is, perhaps predictably, now a committed Roman Catholic.
Interviews with Wahlberg have occasionally delivered some pretty amusing sound-bites, which would seem to suggest Wahlberg has a fairly high opinion of himself. Most recently he got in a bit of hot water for claiming that, had he been on one of the planes hijacked during September 11th, “it wouldn’t have went down like it did. 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.'”
Mark Wahlberg quote:
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and I’ve done bad things, but I never blamed my upbringing for that. I never behaved like a victim so that I would have a convenient reason for victimizing others. Everything I did wrong was my own fault. I was taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. I take full responsibility”
What to say at a dinner party:
“Though he often makes odd choices in his career, at his best Wahlberg brings a sense of grit, aggression and steeliness to his roles which was no doubt informed by the harsh reality of his formative years.”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“I command you to dance/ I want to see the motivation/ Come on now feel the vibration!”
(Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations)
The dedication to Mark Wahlberg’s 1992 autobiography reads: “I wanna dedicate this book to my dick.” No really.