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Mark Wahlberg Talks About "Shooter"

And About His Upcoming Projects with Martin Scorsese


Mark Wahlberg stars in Shooter

Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger in "Shooter."

© Paramount Pictures

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Mark Wahlberg on Fatherhood and R-Rated Movies: This isn’t a film for kids but Wahlberg joked it’s easier to explain this movie to his children than to talk about Boogie Nights. “I'm not going to make any more movies like that. At the right time we'll have to explain this and it'll be easier.”

Being a dad does affect which roles he chooses now. “Yeah, definitely. I love Boogie Nights and I was really worried about what my mom thought. She got it, but my mom is old enough to understand that, A) it's a movie and that B), it's just a world that those people live in and they're just really nice people. But kids can be tough. High school can be like a lifetime and I don't want my daughter to be subject to ridicule because of the decisions that I made when I was 25 and really wasn't thinking straight.”

Wahlberg’s Not a Fan of Sequels: But there may very well be one in the works for The Departed and he’s fine with that. “I said the same thing to them that I said to everyone else. If they can make it better than the first one, then sure. I spoke to Bill Monahan and Marty (Scorsese) about it and Bill has a really interesting take. I thought that it was really funny that I would be investigating the murder that I committed. That could go anywhere. So, like with The Italian Job, for instance, we were going to try and make a sequel, but never really got the script where we were all really comfortable with it. So it really depends on the material and the time period. It would be another fun character to play.”

The fact Wahlberg’s character was a supporting player in The Departed doesn’t preclude him from being the lead in the sequel. “No. I mean, look, you're working with Marty Scorsese and Bill Monahan again. If the script is really strong, you've they'll bring in someone like De Niro to play a corrupt cop or congressman or senator. No, I don't have any problem with that.”

And if Scorsese opts out of directing the sequel and the studio decides to bring in someone new? “Like a first time video director? F**k. Let me direct it.” But Wahlberg doesn’t think Scorsese would do that. “Look, I think that would be the smart road to go. Me and Marty are doing a TV show as well on HBO and so I think that we can get Marty back.”

The HBO show will be set in Atlantic City. “It's about the mob controlling Atlantic City in the early years, the '60s and '70s. Nick Pileggi is going to be writing along with someone possibly from The Sopranos writing team. Marty is going to be executive producing it. It'll be a series on HBO. It's all kind of happening. Marty is really jazzed about it and HBO is obviously thrilled with the idea of working with him. So I think that in the next couple of weeks we're going to sit down again.”

Other Future Projects: Shooter was the last film Wahlberg worked on and he’s ready to get busy again. “Hopefully I'm going to be starting this boxing movie in the summertime playing Irish Mickey Ward who was a boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts. Matt Damon is going to play his brother.”

Wahlberg knows he has to be in top physical condition to take the blows. “I know. On paper it sounds really good and then two weeks into shooting I'm wanting my mommy.” If past roles are in any way indicative of Wahlberg’s ability to handle the physical side of acting, then the Academy Award nominee won’t have a problem tackling a boxing film. “I promised my trainer who's my sparring partner that this would be the only boxing movie I did,” said Wahlberg. “I've been kicking his ass everyday, but certainly while I can I want to do that. I always wanted to be an athlete and so it was a dream to be able to put on an NFL uniform and get out there and play a champion, without actually having to spend all the hours in the ring and take all the hits that you have to take. It's a dream for sure.”

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