Mark Wahlberg on wearing Calvins again, being in the next Transformers’ and producing ‘Entourage’ the movie
LOS ANGELES—Mark Wahlberg is back to wearing the white Calvin Klein boxer briefs that he strutted in as Marky Mark in the 1990s, in at least one scene of his new film, the Michael Bay-directed “Pain & Gain.” Mark didn’t sound too happy that Michael made him put on the underwear that he wore on a billboard in Times Square, and which he used to display in his shows as a “hip-hop popster.”
“The only issue I had [with Michael] was [that] damn Calvin Klein underwear,” said the actor, who began his rise to fame as a rapper who frequently dropped his pants. “He was like, ‘Wear the Calvins.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ He was like, ‘Come on, guys wore them back then.’ So I said, ‘Okay.’ And he was very happy about that.”
What does the actor wear now? “I was wearing Lululemon but I heard there’s some controversy with their product and material… so [I just wear] what’s comfortable.”
Mark ticked off his preferred garments: “Jeans, T-shirt. I don’t like tight pants but my wife (Rhea Durham) and people around me don’t want me wearing pants that are too loose. They say it’s dated. I don’t know what’s hip and cool anymore. If you see me in some skinny jeans, slap me.”
The actor arrived in a meeting room at Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel holding a big Ziploc bag full of ice cubes over his red and swollen right hand. He explained, “I went to the premiere [of ‘Pain & Gain’], got to the party, sat at a table, put my hand down and something stung me—a bee, a hornet or a wasp. My hand just kept swelling out of control. They said if [the swelling] went past these little lines here (points at markings on his hand), I’d have to go to the emergency room because it was going to affect some tendons in my finger.”
He admitted feeling “a little bit foolish” about the fuss that his swollen hand had stirred. “I had people running to get doctors, all this for a bee sting. I am supposed to play golf tomorrow in New York. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m a lot depressed.”
Mark is in the buff again in “Pain & Gain” because it’s based on a true
story of bodybuilders who masterminded several kidnapping, extortion and murder cases in Florida. Mark, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie portray real life figures in this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale that Peter Collins wrote about in a trilogy of articles titled “Pain & Gain” in the Miami New Times.
To look the part (of Daniel Lugo), Mark embraced a regimen consisting of “a lot of exercising, lifting heavy weights, eating 10 to 12 meals a day and lots of protein shakes.” He volunteered, “The hardest part was to wake up at midnight to eat again after having eaten at 9 o’clock and gone to bed.”
The actor who counts boxer Manny Pacquiao as a friend said, “I start the day with exercise and my spiritual routine. It puts me in a better head space to accomplish the day’s goals. My wife is annoyed that I’m so disciplined at working out because she thinks she has to do that as well. But she doesn’t.”
The “spiritual routine” of this devout Catholic, includes reading “365 Days with the Lord 2013,” a liturgical diary edited by Apolinar A. Castor, Jr., SSP and published by St. Pauls Philippines. “I can’t live without it,” he said. Last year, he brought the 2012 edition copy everywhere.
I asked if it was true that some folks would slip him business cards and scripts during the exchange of peace greetings at Mass. “Maybe not right when we’re saying ‘Peace be with you’ but I’ve certainly been approached many times at church,” he replied, smiling. “I go there for one specific reason and it’s not to meet people or get solicited for movies. But it’s just one of those things that you deal with.”
Mark, whose troubled youth has been widely reported, credits his faith and a priest for steering his early life of crimes and jail time onto a better path. He recalled, “When I had nothing, I saw people who had what I wanted. I’d just go and try to take it.”
Jailed as an adult and seeing others twice his age in there jolted him. “That was a traumatic experience,” he admitted.
Now the father of four kids, he stressed, “I want to make sure I can provide for my family. This job pays very well but it doesn’t last forever. I’ve got to be smart.”
Mark hinted that he and Dwayne are teaming up again, for television. “We’re working on something for HBO with Peter Berg and Lev (Stephen Levinson). I’m really excited.”
Will they act in or produce the secret (so far) project? “Maybe both,” Mark replied.
He also sounded excited to be in the untitled “Transformers” sequel to be released in the United States summer next year with a new cast and with Michael back as director. “Shooting starts next month in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Detroit, maybe Utah, Arizona and possibly in China,” Mark said. “If I say anything else, I’m in trouble.”
“Entourage” will definitely become a movie, assured the actor who coproduced the TV series. “We just have to figure out scheduling. Jeremy (Piven) wants to do it and Doug (Ellin) wrote a great script.”
Back to “Pain & Gain”: Mark, whose character gave his girlfriend away to Dwayne’s Paul Doyle, was asked if he’d had any such experience. “I was responsible for many guys in my neighborhood losing their virginity,” he said, grinning. “When I became successful, we’d have girls coming over [and I’d] help the guys out so yes, many of them.”
(E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_ [email protected])
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