Mark Wahlberg famously packed on the mass to play a bodybuilder in Pain & Gain (and I imagine took some voice lessons, since the last 30 minutes of it was just him yelling), but for his latest role in The Gambler, he had to put down the Chawklit Flavuhed Mass Gainah and pick up the gluten-free meth, having reportedly lost 60 pounds for the role.
Off-screen, Wahlberg had to wait until he finished shooting Transformers: Age of Extinction before dropping the weight on a medically supervised liquid diet — going from 197 to 137 pounds.
“Losing 60 pounds was not fun. I was never a happy guy being deprived of food,” says Wahlberg. “I like to eat six or seven meals a day. But we had to get rid of that stuff.”
And that meant no Wahlburgahs, no Wahl-fries, no Wahl-sauce, and only a bare minimum of Marky Wahlbangahs. If I was Mark Wahlberg’s doctor, I’d just put him on the T-Rex diet, where I take away the grabby stick he normally uses to get food from his short little arms up to his face.
The Gambler, a Rupert Wyatt-directed remake of the 1974 James Caan vehicle written by epic blowhard James Toback, makes its debut November 6th at AFI fest and opens December 19th. It co-stars John Goodman and my dream girl Brie Larson, opposite Wahlberg as a hard living, barely-holding-it-together professor of literature. Haha, wait, what?
Wahlberg grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Dorchester, Mass., and dropped out of high school; he just completed his high school diploma online last year at age 42.
“Forget losing the weight,” he says. “Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words.”
Would anyone else rather see Wahlberg’s preparation process for The Gambler than The Gambler? That sounds like the perfect montage. I like to imagine Mark Wahlberg in a sweatband, shirtless under his grey hoodie, throwing karate kicks at the mirror while he pumps himself up to try to understand Proust. “Awright, flowahs an’ sh*t. I’m ready, you French fack.”
For months before showing up on set, Wahlberg pored over the script, became versed in every literary mention and sat through university lectures for inspiration. He is ready to show his Jim Bennett to the world. [USA Today]
And no, jerks, “Jim Bennett” is not the name of his penis prosthetic in Boogie Nights.