Mark Wahlberg manages to do it all. He is producing multiple films simultaneously, acting in several projects with top directors, investing in a host of side businesses, spending time with his family and even squeezing out 20 minutes to visit the church every day.
His latest film, Broken City, releases this Friday. Mark’s not only playing a cop in the film, he’s also producing it. You wonder if he enjoys one role over the other. “I prefer producing. I have the mind of a businessman,” he says. “It gives me more time to spend at home. Also, it gives me more control over the project. If I’m driving down a highway at 120 miles an hour, I’d rather be behind the wheel than in the backseat.”
His track record as a producer is phenomenal too, but Mark plays it down, saying, “Stephen (partner, Levinson) and I’ve been fortunate, but we’ve also been smart in surrounding ourselves with the right people.”
He discusses his role in his upcoming film as well as his other upcoming projects.Did you meet cops to be able to play the role of one realistically in Broken City?
I didn’t need to. I was 16 years old when I was arrested and tried as an adult. I have spent enough time around cops to develop an authentic interpretation of how they work. Jail time really turned my life around. I could have gone either way, but I chose to lead a better life.Which of your co-stars did you get along with best?
Russell (Crowe) and I had the ability to just go at each other. We tried to outdo each other as characters, but not as actors, so we had some great duels. It’s nice to see someone as prepared as him. Denzel Washington is another co-star who elevates you.
What kinds of roles excite you?
The tough guy roles are what I’m offered most of the times and I think over a period of time I’ve sort of mastered that (laughs).
There’s a lot of excitement about the Entourage movie. What’s happening with that?
That’s definitely something that we’re actively trying to put together. We’re just waiting for Doug (Ellin, series creator) to write the script. I think a 90-minute movie of sheer craziness — getting back to just being about the guys, you know? Lose the ladies. Go crazy. Give people what they want.You’ve signed on to work with Michael Bay again. How will this Transformers movie be any different?
I’m really excited about Transformers. Michael and I had a great time doing Pain & Gain (unreleased). Then he came to me and said he was doing a different reboot on Transformers and asked if I was interested. I loved the idea. I’m not doing it just to get a pay cheque. I’m thinking this is the most important role of my career.What do you know about Indian cinema? Would you like to be affiliated with it in any way?
Not much, I’m afraid. But I’ve heard a lot about Indian stars like Aishwarya Rai from Catherine (Zeta Jones), who is a huge fan of India and yoga. I would love a chance to work in a Bollywood project. Even produce it, for that matter.
Mark Wahlberg attends the "Broken City" screening at Kerasotes Showplace ICON in Chicago, Illinois. (AFP Photo)