His latest film The Fighter has received seven Academy Award nominations, including one for actor in a supporting role (Christian Bale) and two for actresses in supporting roles (Amy Adams and Mellissa Leo). There was news of Mark Wahlberg, also a producer of the film, being disappointed for not having earned one. But the actor denies any such rumours. “My film is a strong contender in the Oscar race. I have no reasons to be upset. I’m a team player and personal laurels don’t matter as much as the entire film,” says Wahlberg, who plays the lead role of Micky Ward in the film.
Wahlberg adds that playing the part was like a ‘childhood dream’ for him. “Micky and I know each other for a long time. I used to live just 30 minutes away from his house and like him, I am also one of nine siblings,” he says, adding, “I’ve always admired Micky’s ability to overcome odds and shine. That’s what got me interested in playing him in the film.”
His co-star Bale, once again, has lost tonnes of weight to get into his character of Dicky Ward, Micky’s older brother and his current trainer. Wahlberg’s on-screen relationship with him too came from his off-screen bond: “Christian is like a brother, we used to practice together and take each other on in the ring as well.”
Like many fans of the classic, Wahlberg too, as a kid walked out of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky charged up to put on a fight. “Who must have not watched that film? I remember as a kid, when I came out of the theatre after watching it, I went boxing and punching the air on my way back home.” For his part in the film, he left no stone unturned in making it look real. “There was no point looking fake; so it took me one and a half year to train, but it was all worth it.”