Chat-worthy actor: Mark Wahlberg

Ok, this is an unusual one. I got inspired to write this post because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why this one photo I used to accompany a news posting about Entourage gets sooo many clicks! I’m just baffled how it gets sooo much traffic, and he’s not even shirtless! 🙂

I figure it’s kinda timely to feature him today for two reasons: Date Night was number one at the box office this past weekend — where Wahlberg and his six-pack guest-starred — and a trailer of his new action-comedy The Other Guys has just been just released (see below), it actually looks like fun!

I must say I’m impressed by Wahlberg’s career longevity and what a Hollywood’s powerhouse he’s become. I’ve known about the Boston-bred actor since his Marky Mark days when I was a 15 year-old going nuts over New Kids on the Block [wince] … I know, I know, but what choices/decisions of your teenage years don’t leave you scratching your head in hindsight, right? Anyway, I can’t say I was much of a fan of Mark’s music but as an actor, however, he’s actually quite watchable. I’m not exactly sure what’s the first movie of him I saw, it might’ve been Three Kings, and I thought, “he’s not the best actor out there, but this guy’s got charisma.” That’s how I felt about him when I saw The Italian Job, too, in fact, perhaps that very reason is what makes Wahlberg one of those critics-proof actors. No matter how critically-panned his movies are (i.e. The Happening, Max Payne), he’ll always come out unscathed.

Wahlberg in The Departed

I just found out about this recently — as I didn’t even know he was in that movie — but the former Calvin Klein underwear model was nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Departed. Working for Scorsese must be considered a career highlight for any actor, let alone being recognized for it, especially among a cast that include Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. Then there’s the smashing success of Entourage that he executive-produced, the HBO show which premise is loosely based on his own experiences as an up-and-coming film star. According to the man himself, the movie version is currently in the works.

Wahlberg & Bale in The Fighter

Right now he’s starring on a boxing biopic with Christian Bale called The Fighter, reuniting him with the temperamental director David O’Russell whom he worked with on Three Kings. According to SlashFilm, the film tells the story of Dicky Eklund (Bale), a real life boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded after a run of drugs and crime. Shepherded his half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg), Dicky had a Rocky-like rise to the world lightweight championship. Ward fought throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s, but he’s best remembered for three battles with Arturo Gotti, two of which went down as the greatest in the history of the sport. One reader of Slash Film had the pleasure of seeing the flick on advance screening and said that it’s “… a movie to be reckoned with in 2010” and went on to praise the story, pacing, as well as the performances (mostly for Bale – oh, I sure hope the Brit will FINALLY nab an Oscar nomination, it’s darn well overdue!).

The Mickey Ward role looks like it’s tailor-made for Wahlberg, and I don’t just mean that physically. I’m looking forward to see him share the screen with Bale, one of my all-time fave actors. That movie certainly earns a spot in my inevitable Top Ten Most Anticipated 2011 Flix list!

Anyway, here’s The Other Guys trailer with Wahlberg and Will Ferrell:

I’m not a huge Will Ferrell fan, but him and Wahlberg as buddy cops actually looks pretty darn funny, maybe ’cause I don’t expect such pairing. But Sam Jackson and the Rock totally kick ass!