Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 01/24/2007

In Praise of Marky Mark

By Liz Kelly

Mark Wahlberg at last week's Golden Globe Awards. (Getty Images)

From time to time I like to take a step back from my daily diet of Tara Reid pictures (a friend dubbed this one "Skank Sandwich") and press releases for events like the "Twelve Hours of Diddy" party ("There is no doubt that Miami is one of the hottest cities in America for the grown and sexy looking to party." Puh-leeze.) to muse about someone who needs no press release, no crude photo ops to generate buzz.

So today I'd like to take a moment to give thanks for Mark Wahlberg -- guy's guy, eye candy, solid actor, producer and, now, Academy Award nominee for his supporting role in "The Departed."

From his early days rapping with the Funky Bunch and baring his abs and his undies for Calvin Klein, it was obvious that Marky Mark was not destined to go the way of contemporaries like Vanilla Ice or even his brother, New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg ("Saw III"). With earnest early performances in movies like "Three Kings" and "Boogie Nights" we knew that he was destined to be a star. A big bright shining star. And he is.

Sure, he's got a couple of stinkers on his resume -- "Rock Star" is still painful to watch (but more for Jennifer Aniston's cloying performance) -- but since his acting debut in the early '90s, Wahlberg has developed into an interesting and nuanced actor who has pushed himself past his comfort zone to take on interesting roles in films like "I Heart Huckabees" and executive produce the fabulous HBO series "Entourage."

I'd like to thank the Academy for recognizing Wahlberg and his good vibrations. Feel it, feel it.

Note: Reader KG correctly points out a 16-year-old Wahlberg's arrest for assault and use of racist language. In September 2006, Wahlberg told ABC News: "I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes. You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn't until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don't have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning."

By Liz Kelly  | January 24, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Celebrities, In Praise Of...  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Mix: Is Cruise the 'Christ' of Scientology?
Next: Morning Mix: Brandy Involved in Fatal Car Crash

Comments

Oh, I love him!!!!!!

Posted by: Lisa | January 24, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Great in "The Perfect Storm". Stole the show from G. Clooney and that's saying something.

Posted by: Barb | January 24, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What's not to like?

Seriously, can anyone tell me why he's not the perfect celebrity? Bootstraps story, good looking, no recent arrests or racist rants, good dad...

Posted by: CH | January 24, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree, he's a totally professional mature actor and it's time he should be recognized as one!

Posted by: LH | January 24, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Amen! Amen! Amen! In "The Departed," Walhberg dominated every scene he was in. To call his performance "riveting" would be an understatement. The guy is over the top great!

Posted by: Al W. | January 24, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I think his brother used to be a chef around here. Yes, actually both singing Wahlberg brothers have done quite well for themselves (Donnie didn't look at all like himself in the sixth sense, and I thought he did yeoman's work in Band of Brothers).

His Wikipedia profile indicates that he was big in Europe for a time. Does this mean - dare I say it - that we could see a Wahlberg unt Hasselhoff showzen?

Posted by: akmitc | January 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, except that pic looks like a Mad magazine drawing of Max Headroom.

Posted by: not bluto | January 24, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Crazy that my friends and I had this exact conversation about how great Mark was last night during a game of poker...guess great minds think alike Liz...

Posted by: sunpop | January 24, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh wait, that reminds me of the Crappy Movie Moments list, please add his performance in the Crush (or was it The Babysitter or whatever the title of that movie is) when he busts through the door with that "I'm derranged-going-to-get-you-a-la-Jack-Nicholson-in-Cape-Fear" look on his face. Terrible.

Posted by: not bluto | January 24, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Little known fact about Marky Mark: huge racist.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/markymark1.html

That Smoking Gun article made me question whether Marky Mark was really a part of the Funky Bunch for the love of his craft or just because it's all a big business.

Posted by: KG | January 24, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

this would have been a chance for the author to compare what happened with marky marks homophobic statements and his apologies to the current actor's (forgot his name) similar antigay statements.

oh, well, maybe next time..

Posted by: barb | January 24, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I was thrilled to see Walhberg's nom for "The Departed;" he owned the camera whenever he was on screen. But now I have a dilemma...do I root for Marky Mark or Jackie Earle Haley? I want so badly to see both of them win...can we have a tie?

Posted by: AG | January 24, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah I love Marky Mark! (and he will always be Marky Mark to me even with his steller acting career.) I have to say that I really enjoyed Three Kings soley for the reason that he was in it. Mmmmm happy memories.

Posted by: Melissa | January 24, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

not bluto - are you kidding me??? The movie you're referring to is 'Fear', and while not the greatest movie, he totally made it watchable with his portrayal of the creepy possessive "boy next door" on the outside/harbors an uncontrollable rage for anyone that gets in his way on the inside. I think the funniest thing about that movie now is that Grissom from CSI played the dad.

Posted by: Rosslyn | January 24, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Mark had his syndicated talk show, and had a pretty successful run as host of "Russian Roulette" on the Game Show Network. :)

Posted by: BF | January 24, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I very much remember Marky's racist rants of long ago -- he did apologize and obviously most of the world forgot and/or forgave. Or maybe we were all blinded by his third nipple...
He's a cutie, and has been humble and PC and mature since then. And didn't he have my favorite line in The Departed?

I'm the guy who showed up to work today -- YOU must be the other guy.

Posted by: miss belle | January 24, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Rosslyn,
The movie was terrible. The acting was terrible. I'm pretty sure even as a 13 year old I knew that.

Posted by: not bluto | January 24, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Yikes. I never found Marky Mark attractive before and after reading details of him hitting people over the head and beating them up for apparently no reasons other than their race? Can't say I'm really pulling for this man to succeed at anything.

Posted by: law | January 24, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

He was filming "Shooter" outside FBI last year and as I was trying to figure out who the actors were, he waved and smiled at me. Cute, friendly, and granted, much shorter than I thought, I will forever be a fan of Marky Mark!

Posted by: Jen | January 24, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

As a former mullet sportin', Def Leppard t-shirt wearin', Iroc-Z lustin', Chevy Chevelle drivin', high school wood shop made bong tokin', three earrings in the left ear wearin', girlfriend with big perm haired lovin' - child of the 80's.......I actualy thought Rock Star was a damn fine film. There was a target audience -- and those in the target loved loved....ahhhh...nostalgia.

Posted by: HP | January 24, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I love him. Have from way back in the day. What's not to like, he's a cute Irish boy! He was the best in the departed. I left that movie feeling, proud, horrified (sterotypes and violence) and very much wound up. He is a great actor.

Posted by: Irish girl | January 24, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

To BF: What you are you smokin', dude. You're talking about the guy from
"Antique Roadshow" on PBS.

Posted by: Smokey | January 24, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, people? You can't grow out of throwing rocks at schoolchildren and shouting "Kill the Nig**r," splitting a man's head open with a club (for no reason) just becuase he was asian, or beating a man so badly that he had to have his jaw wired shut ... all.becuase.of.race. You don't grow out of that type of thing.
All of you "I love Marky-Marks" are secrectly saying, "I love ripped white racists."
Good for you.

Posted by: Uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh | January 24, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"To BF: What you are you smokin', dude. You're talking about the guy from
"Antique Roadshow" on PBS."

Shhh!

Posted by: BF | January 24, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, people? You can't grow out of throwing rocks at schoolchildren and shouting "Kill the Nig**r," splitting a man's head open with a club (for no reason) just becuase he was asian, or beating a man so badly that he had to have his jaw wired shut ... all.becuase.of.race. You don't grow out of that type of thing."

I completely agree. He didn't commit childhood acts of name calling. He *beat* people. He *attacked* kids. But sigh, he's soooo dreamy, all is forgiven. Yuck. Commend him if you want for his acting abilities: Lord knows winning an Oscar has never required that you be a decent person. But calling him a sweet, decent, cutie pie? blech.

Posted by: kate | January 24, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please don't confuse Mark Wahlberg w/ Mark Walberg--although both have put a lot of work into putting their careers on a serious track.

Given his early lifestyle and career, it would have been easy for Mark Wahlberg to go down the wrong path and become an idiot hood type or a caricature. Instead, he seems to have taken a hard look at both the kind of person he wanted to be, as well as the kind of career he wanted to have. He didn't opt for the easy road. He doesn't court the limelight. He's not a man starlet. He's not doing reality shows. He put a lot of hard work into becoming an actor. He hasn't always hit a home run, but he's paid his dues and it shows. We've all made mistakes, and I give him a lot of credit for recognizing it and making changes.

Great blog entry, Liz!

Posted by: sen | January 24, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mark Wahlberg is a "nuanced" actor, only if you are suffering from simultaneous head shot wounds and a lobotomy. He's nominated for an Academy Award for a ONE-DIMENSIONAL role in that stinker "The Departed"? Please. He's a highly over-rated actor only because the bar is set so low. I can name ten actors off the top of my head who are vastly superior to him. Just say he is "eye candy" and leave it at that.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

To Kate and "uuuuuhhhhhh" (how appropriate):

No possibility for redemption in your worldview, hm? If you're a nasty piece of work as a 16-year-old, you'll always be a nasty piece of work?

I was no epithet-using, club-wielding hood, but I sure as heck did stuff as a kid that I wouldn't do now-- stuff I'm ashamed of, and should have been ashamed of back in the day. Perhaps not you. Perhaps you never made fun of the fat kid, or wrinkled your nose at the funny-smelling indian kid, or made fun of a fashion-chanllenged teacher behind his back. Perhaps you have nothing in your past to overcome, which is why you can never begin to understand how hard it would be for a high-school dropout from the wrong side of the tracks with a rap sheet to succeed and turn it all around. Good for you. What a satisfying life you must have.

Posted by: WDC | January 24, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"No possibility for redemption in your worldview, hm? If you're a nasty piece of work as a 16-year-old, you'll always be a nasty piece of work?"

Teasing someone and assault are two different things. "It's not in the same league...hell, it's not even the same sport".

Now that Markie is rich and famous, I wonder if he ever went back and apologized and made restitution to his victims.

Naaaaaaaaaaaaw.

He's a good enough actor to be pulling the wool over all of YOUR eyes.

P.S.
Something tells me you are still a Mel Gibson fan.

Bwahahahahahahahaha.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Good lord people, have you ever been to the area this guy is from? The poor Boston suburbs are some of the most racially divided and dangerous areas of this country. I'm not forgiving him or pardoning what he did, but I will say he was merely being a product of his neighborhood and has publicly acknowledged that it was wrong. I know people in those areas who got lifelong injuries for being white, so it is no surprise that it went the other way as well. Mark Wahlberg is a talented actor who has paid the price for his childhood crimes.

Posted by: wp | January 24, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps you never made fun of the fat kid, or wrinkled your nose at the funny-smelling indian kid, or made fun of a fashion-chanllenged teacher behind his back."

Hah. Because this is exactly the same as hitting someone over the head with a stick or punching them in the face because they're a "slanty-eyed gook". Way to keep it in perspective.

And regardless of whether "Kate" and "uuuuuuhhhhhh" are basking in their own sense of self-satisfaction, it comes down to the fact that he's really not that good of an actor and aside from having a very nice body, he ain't my cup of tea in the looks area either. So add those to the fact that he's beaten people up because of their race, well, I can't say I'll be cheering for him at the oscars.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Also (I made a comment above), I grew up in Dorcester, though I'm a few years younger than he is. And I knew plenty of kids/adults who made it sometimes years at a time (gasp!) without assaulting someone...but sadly, they probably didn't grow up to be hunky actors, so oh well.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I also just read the documents on the smoking gun, and they're all complaints or sentencing memorandums, not findings of fact. They are persuasive documents, not necessarily true. Ask a lawyer, while he may have been convicted, etc., the "facts" in these documents are not facts for legal purposes.

Posted by: wp | January 24, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

heh, this debate makes me chuckle. Seems like those who liked marky mark before knowing about his "alleged" childhood nastiness still think he's a stand-up guy and those who disliked him before just use the smoking gun info as more fuel for their hate fire.

Either way, it doesn't really matter. Defending him is a waste, he grew up to be an actor, not someone who's out there struggling for the betterment of humanity. No one will ever really know if he still holds some of the same opinions he did as a teen. you either like the way he fills out a pair of boxers or you don't.

And ragging on him for being a jerk as a kid is pointless too, since you probably can't throw a stone in hollywood without hitting someone who's led a shady past. You either like them as actors or you don't. I personally love Meryl Streep even though I read an article suggesting she ran a drug ring out of an orphanage, where she forced young children to package heroin for food. Or I might have made that up. Anyhoo, since when has being a good person had anything to do with success in hollywood?

Posted by: lindsey | January 24, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"he grew up to be an actor, not someone who's out there struggling for the betterment of humanity"

What an reductive, dismissive thing to say. Many actors do worthwhile projects which *do* contribute to the betterment of humanity--any movie that raises one's consciousness about race (Crash), homophobia (Brokeback Mountain), gender crimes (The Accused, Boys Don't Cry) or even something as trivial as coming to terms with your seemingly shallow life (American Beauty). Any one of these movies contributes to humanity if they communicate with the audience, which is what any kind of art (be it movies, theater, graphic arts, music, dance, fiction) is supposed to do. There are good and bad movies--worthwhile and worthless movies, movies with something important to say and movies which are purely commercial.

Furthermore many actors use their celebrity (gained from working on movies) to raise awareness of social issues--Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks, Gillian Anderson have all used their fame to support research and support of such causes as worldwide poverty, preserving historical awareness of WWII veterans, and neurofibromatosis.

Posted by: NYC | January 24, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just to add fuel to the fire -- when he was doing press for "Planet of the Apes," Markie Mark said that kissing Helena Bonham Carter in monkey-drag was easy because she looked just like Janet Jackson. Oh, how I laughed and hated him and laughed...and decided not to see the movie until it was free on regular television.

Posted by: miss belle | January 24, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh Please! Mark Wahlberg is a good actor? He stole every scene he was in in "departed" REally? Are you forgetting that there was Matt Damon, Leo and Jack Nicholson in most scenes in that movie?

Marky Mark is very attractive looking. That's his only redeming feature.

Posted by: RBA | January 24, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

he looks great in calvins....mmmm

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Little known fact about Marky Mark: huge racist.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/markymark1.html

That Smoking Gun article made me question whether Marky Mark was really a part of the Funky Bunch for the love of his craft or just because it's all a big business.

Please there are many racist black actors to, but that's okay, they have been wronged.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

He's nominated for an Academy Award for a ONE-DIMENSIONAL role in that stinker "The Departed"?

Don't like the Irish, eh?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"He's nominated for an Academy Award for a ONE-DIMENSIONAL role in that stinker "The Departed"?

Don't like the Irish, eh?"

Don't like ONE-DIMENSIONAL roles being nominated for Academy Awards. Notice I
said nothing derogatory about Leo's role.

Look at the list of other nominees and see who is the worst actor of them all. It's all about marketing (no pun intended), you idiots.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20007870_20007899_20009345_5,00.html

P.S.
Ronald McDonald could have barked those lines out and looked "dominating".

Posted by: Jack Sprat | January 25, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yikes!

Posted by: Jay | January 25, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Notice I
said nothing derogatory about Leo's role


He is not Irish moron.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"He is not Irish moron".

He played an Irish character, idiot.

BTW, MW is a Irish/French/Swedish, dolt.

So what is your point? Still slobbering over those Calvin Klein ads?

Posted by: Jack Sprat | January 26, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

OMG...I love Mark....Hes my God.. I LOve you Soooo much mark... i really wanna Meet so bad.. Your the best thing that ever happened on this planet..:)... Your the Best actor..:).. Nice body Greatest Model.. every.. i just like to say that your The BEST... AND great Dad..:)... I wish you Luck.. love yeah <3

Posted by: Chantelle | February 6, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

That is not even the SAME MARK Walberg up there! The guy that's up there is named Mark L. Walberg and had NOTHING to do with Marky Mark!! Mark L. Walberg was a DECENT (though not great) game show host, while Marky Mark had NOTHING TO DO WITH GAME SHOWS!!

Posted by: andrea d. wiener | February 6, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm very happy for Mark Wahlberg's success, but I'm kinda conflicted. You see,I grew up in the same neighborhood. He stole my car and wrecked it. We found it in Dorchester park with a broken transmission, windows , baby seat thrown out ,ect.. Of course we had no insurance.The reason I know is because my brother used to dump cars too. Cops couldn't do anything ,but we take care of things our own way in Dot.. I know it's corny, but you had to live in Ashmont.. to understand.In jr. high , the cops had to escort us " white walkers" home , right by the Walberg's house.It was, what it was. I know other neighbors that are dead or drugging, because they couldn't move on.We both have brothers who have had trouble. I give Mark and myself credit for our own moral and spiritual growth. "..walk a mile..."Ithink he's a great actor, that owes me a Green Grand Torino.LOL. We're blessed to move on and don't ever think it wasn't a fight to survive.

Posted by: Kathleen Berry | February 13, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

your a wonderfull actor i loved the perfect storm it made me cry and you played a great role!!!!!!!!!!keep it up you earned every thing you have!!!!!!your wife is a lucky women and your kids have a wonderfull father!!!!!!!

Posted by: ruth grace harvey | February 22, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

your a wonderfull actor i loved the perfect storm it made me cry and you played a great role!!!!!!!!!!keep it up you earned every thing you have!!!!!!your wife is a lucky women and your kids have a wonderfull father!!!!!!!

Posted by: ruth grace harvey | February 22, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"he grew up to be an actor, not someone who's out there struggling for the betterment of humanity"

Take a look at www.markwahlbergyouthfoundation.com. He is, in fact doing something for the betterment of humanity, specifically the humanity that resides in the very area where he grew up and committed his wrongdoings.

Posted by: Jennifer | March 5, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company