Jimmy Butler was born in Houston 26 years ago and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls. Mark Wahlberg was born in Boston 44 years ago as a fully formed torso that soon sprouted arms, legs, and a fine head and went on to enjoy a successful acting career. According to a piece in today’s Chicago Tribune, Jimmy Butler and Mark Wahlberg are now best friends.
Jimmy Butler and Mark Wahlberg are best friends, and it’s totally not confusing or surreal, guys. Jimmy Butler and Mark Wahlberg, according to Jimmy Butler and Mark Wahlberg, met on the set of Transformers in 2013 and realized that they have a lot in common and now they’re best friends. Here is what they have in common: Both are men. Both were born. Both are famous, albeit for completely different reasons. Both have kids. Wait, no, just Wahlberg. Both are tall. Wait, no. Both love Boston. No. I give up.
Let’s hear it straight from the source: According to the Tribune, Jimmy Butler and Mark Wahlberg are best friends because they share “some commonality and substantive elements, lessons of loyalty and work ethic and overcoming adversity. And perhaps above all, focusing on what’s most important.” Which is what, exactly? Again, I’m not totally sure.
Let’s see what Jimmy has to say about it. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from him — and I can’t say this enough — is the way he is with his family,” Butler said of Wahlberg. “He LOVES to be around his kids and his wife. You see that smile on his face. That’s what I want to have whenever I have a family.” Okay. So Mark loves his kids, and Jimmy’s like, “That’s great, let’s be best friends.” But what’s Mark getting out of this whole arrangement?
To Wahlberg, Butler is another famous person who helps him deflect attention from autograph-seeking kids. But I thought Wahlberg loves kids? Anyway, Wahlberg likes to bring Jimmy to his kids’ basketball games so that he (Wahlberg) can relax. “The first couple times he came, certain guys knew who he was but none paid any attention to him. The last time, every single kid was trying to leave the game to go and take a picture and say hi to Jimmy,” Wahlberg said. “I told him, ‘I love you coming to the games because now people leave me alone.’ They only want to talk to Jimmy.”
Here’s another reason they’re best friends: They have a “similar approach to work and to life.” What’s the approach? Again, here’s Wahlberg, because I still don’t know: “I mean, look, I meet a lot of people and I’m a pretty friendly and approachable guy. But it’s not like I’m inviting everyone to my house,” Wahlberg said. “We just have a very similar approach to work and to life. The opportunities that have been put in front of us are similar. The things that we cherish and would do anything to protect are similar. We give it our all. We’re always trying to get better.”
Okay, but, can we normal folk learn this “approach” and adopt it, so we might become Wahlbergs and Butlers in our own rights? “There are so many people that I’ve met who don’t have Jimmy’s attitude and approach to life and to work,” Wahlberg continued. “And it’s not something that you can kind of convince them to adopt. You either have it or you don’t.”
Butler, who is Wahlberg’s best friend, offered the exact opposite philosophy and attributed it to Wahlberg, who he says “preaches” this gospel to Butler and to “kids,” just in general. “If you work hard and really, really want something, there’s nobody out there that can tell you that you can’t do it [except Mark Wahlberg, in the Chicago Tribune]. Because look where he’s from. Look where I’m from. And look where we are now.”
But back to Ayn Rand — I mean, Wahlberg: “I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to look at it the way he and I do,” the actor added, even though he just said “it” was something you have or you don’t. “But some people, once they taste success, they get satisfied. They do it for different reasons. He wants to be the best at what he does the hard way, the right way.”
OKAY, BUT WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY? Thankfully, Butler shed an infinitesimally small amount of light on it. “I’ve learned so much from him because of how hard he works. He’s not where he is because anybody gave him anything. He’s where he is because he has a routine, he sticks to that routine and he works hard.” Okay, what is the routine, goddammit. “He wants to the best at what he does,” said Butler. “He taught me you have to sacrifice — waking up early, eating right, going to church, doing what you’re supposed to be doing each day. He taught me if you do right in this world and you do right by people, the sky is the limit for you.”
There. Just do what you’re supposed to do.
Now that that’s settled, don’t you go thinking that Mark Wahlberg and Jimmy Butler are just best friends because Wahlberg wants to be an athlete and Butler harbors dreams of Hollywood fame. “For me, I don’t want anything or need anything from Jimmy. I just give him the truth the way I see it and share my experience with him,” said Wahlberg. “And I think he appreciates that.” Hear that? You’re wrong! You’re wro — “I’m a dramatic actor first, but I do a lot of physical stuff. If you had asked me at a young age if I could’ve traded careers just to play on a small level of any sport — baseball or basketball or football or hockey or boxing or golf for that matter — I would’ve rather been an athlete,” said Wahlberg.
Fine, but Butler doesn’t want to be an actor. He doesn’t. It’s just that he’s so natural in front of the camera, which is another thing, much like attitude and approach to life and being tall, that you can’t teach. “I just saw him in some commercial for the NBA and he looked very natural,” Wahlberg said. “You either can or you can’t. It’s not something you can teach. You can work and get better. But I think he’s a natural.”