The artist formerly known as Marky Mark turned from modelling and rap to a prolific and distinguished acting career. He’s also had great success as a producer, helping bring hit TV show Entourage – roughly based on his early Hollywood shenanigans – to fruition. He’s also produced many movies, including The Fighter, which landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
In 2013, he starred in Lone Survivor. Directed by Peter Berg, it was the beginning of a movie partnership that includes four features to date (with a fifth slated for release later this year), and including your Sunday night movie, Mile 22.
Before Sunday night arrives, we decided to round up Wahlberg’s top five roles.
Mickey, The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Wahlberg had to read six times for his role in the adaptation of Jim Carroll’s memoir. In addition to being better known for modelling and music, The Basketball Diaries was only his second feature – and the movie’s star, Leonardo DiCaprio, was against the idea of Wahlberg’s casting. But the latter eventually won the part, as well as acclaim for his performance, setting the stage for the rising actor.
Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler, Boogie Nights (1997)
Portraying a porn star may not have sounded appealing to Wahlberg at first, but the strong script by director Paul Thomas Anderson won him over. Ironically, DiCaprio was up for the part, but had to turn it down due to schedule conflicts with a little movie called Titanic. Deemed by many as one Wahlberg’s best roles, this is arguably the movie that definitively sealed his transition from model/musician to serious actor.
Dignam, The Departed (2006)
Eleven years later, DiCaprio and Wahlberg reunited on this Martin Scorsese-directed remake of Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Wahlberg’s character was written especially for the American rendition and he delivered an excellent performance, resulting in an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Terry Hoitz, The Other Guys (2010)
The actor had dipped his toe into comedy here and there, but he really shone in the genre in this buddy-cop parody alongside Will Ferrell. The pair’s comedic chemistry was so on point, they reunited for another round of laughs in the equally entertaining Daddy’s Home.
Micky Ward, The Fighter (2010)
Christian Bale was heaped with praise and awards for his performance in The Fighter, which were certainly well-deserved; but the whole cast was on exceptional form in this biopic about professional boxer Mickey Ward, played by Wahlberg. It was the actor’s third collaboration with director David O. Russell, having previously worked together on Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.