Ovation: Mark Wahlberg … What’s Not To Like?
I’ve always been a fan of Mark Wahlberg. In the beginning it was because Marky Mark was kinda cute in a dumb sort of way, then unbelievably attractive in a Calvin Klein sort of way and then as an actor, a businessman and a father.
The high-school dropout that spent time in a correctional center as a teen, struggled with weight gain his whole life, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in 2006’s The Departed is also a very devoted family man who enjoys “movie nights” with his wife and four children and admits that he cried when he watched The Help. What’s not to like?
In his youth, Wahlberg was an active member of the Boys and Girls Club in the overcrowded inner-city neighborhood where he lived with his eight siblings. In May 2001, he helped to create the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation as a charitable organization whose mission is to help inner city youth succeed and thrive in a positive environment knowing that they, too, can move on to bigger and better things while avoiding the violence and drug activity that often takes place in their young lives.
“I’ve always looked at my career as an athlete would look at his. I won’t play forever. Some don’t know when to walk away, but the smart ones do.” – Mark Wahlberg
A successful musician, model, actor, producer and soon-to-be restaurant mogul (Wahlburgers is off to a promising start), Wahlberg has priorities that I find admirable. His family appears to be on the top of his list as he hopes to be a good role model for his own children as well as those that are touched by his foundation. He hopes to make more PG movies that his kids and their friends can enjoy. He is currently undergoing extensive and painful tattoo removal to set a better example for his children who he does not want to get tattoos. (He brings his two older children with him to witness the procedure so they can see how painful it is.) He’s also stopped smoking.
His movies tend to include themes of family, loyalty, and crime and Wahlberg’s new movie, Contraband, is no exception. The actor stars as a former drug and money smuggler-turned-family man who gets sucked back into the business. It’ll be interesting, years from now, to learn what his children think of him as a role model. To me, he seems pretty cool.