One of Hol­ly­wood’s heav­i­est hit­ters is back in fight­ing form, writes Neala John­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

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.

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