So much of Tinseltown is made up Flashes In The Pan and One Hit Wonders that it offers up some sense of security when we are able to latch on to a face and still recognize it years later. What makes it even better is when that face is connected to a person with a great deal of talent and, of course, in the case of Mark Wahlberg, it doesn't hurt that the face is still also easy on the eyes.
In a no nonsense chat with a guy who is a smart as he is sexy, Wahlberg pulls no punches and makes no apologies for his tenacity or talent.
Joshua Estrin: You made the crossover into acting at a time when it was not as accepted by the industry as it is today... When did it hit you that you had arrived and were respected for your acting chops?
Mark Wahlberg: I always knew I wanted to do more than just music and I realized that I would need to be smart about it to make it work. I remember being offered the role of a white rapper in Sister Act and realizing that if I took it, that was going to be my seat on the bus forever. So I continued to do my music overseas and pay the bills and at the same time focus on roles and movies like Boogie Nights that let me learn my craft and stay with it for the long haul.
JE: You are in great shape and clearly stay active. How much of your own stunt work do you do?
MW: I stay active and live a healthy lifestyle, but you also have to remember I have four kids and with it comes a level of responsibility. I like doing some of the stunts but I also have a family to consider. I am not about to sit back and let someone do all the action moves, but hey they have really talented people who jump out of buildings for a living... I can deal with asking them for a little help.
JE: You mentioned you stay active, but regardless of what so many of us are told some people still just are not able to take that leap of faith to do what it takes to stay healthy. What do you think holds people back?
MW: I think it is a collection of things. Some people are intimated by gyms and may never have worked out before so they simply don't know how or where to start. It can also be expensive and that is something that is very real. Not everyone can afford a personal trainer or expensive powders and shakes. So I get it, but the alternative, not being healthy? That simply should not be an option either.
JE: What are some of your latest projects?
MW: Well, I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I talked about the need for people to get in shape and not do anything about it. I am committed to helping people find a starting point and take the mystery out of getting healthy. Much of my success can be attributed to my dedication. I push myself to be the best. I'm committed to living a healthy and productive life and helping the people around me do the same. That's why I teamed up with GNC to develop MARKED -- and, I'm proud the line will contribute to my foundation that supports inner city youth.
JE: Now as far as you have traveled in your work and life you are still known for those iconic abs. Do you still have them?
MW: Well... I have been training hard for a new movie where I play a Navy SEAL. Yeah, I'm still in pretty good shape.
JE: What do you think is the greatest misconception people have about you?
MW: I honestly don't know and I don't care. I am sure people have all kinds of ideas of who I am and what I am. In the end it is all about faith and family for me and I believe my actions speak to both as being true.
Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure I have no ties to GNC or Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and was not paid by either entity for mention in this article.
About the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation - Mark Wahlberg and his family established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation on the belief that no child should be prevented from living up to his or her potential due to financial hardship. The Foundation works to improve the quality of life for teens living in urban communities and distributes funds to support local youth service and enrichment programs nationwide. A life-long member and advocate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Mark comes from a family of nine children with limited means and spent most of his afternoons and evenings at his local club. He credits a large part of his success to the fact that he was fortunate to spend his free time in a positive and nurturing environment. Visit www.markwahlbergyouthfoundation.com.