Boston Bad Boy Turned Actor And Producer

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Boston Bad Boy Turned Actor And Producer, Mark Wahlberg pushes away a bread bowl and drops his head on folded arms. He’s clearly a little run-down. His 2-year-old son, Michael, isn’t adjusting well to the new baby in the family, 1-month-old Brendan.

He has four television projects with HBO. He recently wrapped shooting on Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” and has been promoting his latest film, “Max Payne,” even stopping by “Saturday Night Live” to spoof himself this past weekend.

Oh, and he has taken up golf.  “I love staying busy, but even for me, this is crazy,” he says from the booth of his favorite restaurant, The Polo Lounge. “I’m still a ‘grass is always greener’ guy. I can’t let a good project go. I came from a place where we didn’t have much at home, so I tend to put a lot on my plate.”

Which may explain how the criminal-turned-rapper-turned-actor, 37, has quietly become one of the more powerful – and unlikely – dealmakers in Hollywood.

The success of his largely autobiographical series “Entourage,” for which he is executive producer, has friends and colleagues begging for cameos on the show; he just gave a part to Martin Scorsese. He produces the HBO drama “In Treatment” and has two more series in the works. When he accepts a film role (and secures his typical $10 million salary), a movie is on the fast track to production. If anything, he’s living beyond the means of his “Entourage” counterpart, Vincent Chase.

Still, there remains much of the Boston boy in Wahlberg. Though he has shrugged off the thug reputation that made him a successful rapper and Calvin Klein underwear model, he remains proudly rough around the edges. Expletives are his favorite adjectives. When paparazzi try to follow him home, he’s not shy about getting out of the car to confront them.

“Where I come from,” he says, “people didn’t follow you home to take your picture.”

And he can’t play the introvert for too long. After portraying an introspective math teacher for M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening,” Wahlberg needed a role “where I blew (expletive) up,” he says, awake now, banging on the table as silverware flies out of place. “I’m older, a parent. I’m trying to do more than just act. But I occasionally still need to raise my voice on screen.”

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