One of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters is back in fighting form, writes Neala Johnson
No time to rest on his laurels.
THIS time last year Mark Wahlberg was suited up and swaggering through every awards shindig Hollywood had to offer.
His pet project, The Fighter, about two very different brothers in boxing, eventually won best supporting Oscars for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.
All very glamorous . . . until Wahlberg – famed for his six- pack – turned up for his next project rather out of shape.
While promoting The Fighter, Wahlberg ( pictured) was adamant he didn’t want to see the inside of a gym for some time. He stayed true to his word.
‘‘ Yeah, and they weren’t happy about it,’’ he says of the backers of his latest film, Contraband.
‘‘ But what can I do? At that point it was too late. And I was travelling back and forth to LA for all the awards stuff and stuffing my face and drinking all the wine . . . so they had to take what they got.’’
It’s not often you hear male actors talk about pressure to look a certain way – females are usually left to carry that can.
But two months before starting on the movie he’s now shooting – Broken City, a gritty, New York cops ’ n’ politics drama co- starring Russell Crowe – Wahlberg was called in to ‘‘ have that discussion’’.
‘‘ So I had to trim down and get fit, which I happily did,’’ he said. Does that happen much? ‘‘ It depends. Listen, I don’t mind doing something to prepare for a role. But Contraband, it wasn’t some guy who was in great shape. He was just a regular guy. Now they’re telling me, ‘ We wanted you to look like The Fighter ’. Well, this ain’t The Fighter.’’ A remake of Icelandic film Reykjavik
Rotterdam, Contraband stars Wahlberg as a former master smuggler who’s turned family man and left the game. But when his brother- in- law gets involved with a drug ring, he’s dragged back in.