Mark Wahlberg has reflected on his career trajectory, admitting that adding producer to his CV came “out of necessity”.
The 52-year-old actor has an extensive list of TV and movie acting credits from before and after his 1997 breakout role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. A decade later, he made his executive producing debut on the 2004 crime documentary Juvies (about juvenile criminals who have been tried as adults).
He has since gone on to produce or executive produce many of his major releases, including Ted (2012), Deepwater Horizon (2016)and Father Stu (2022).
“I started becoming a producer out of necessity,” Wahlberg told Cigar Aficionado magazine in a recent interview.
“I didn’t want to sit around waiting for Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise or whoever was already established before me and were the guys at the time, and Leo [DiCaprio], to go and pass on a movie until I could get my hands on it,” he explained.
“I was always proactive in trying to find material and things that I could produce, that I knew was right for me, create my own destiny.”
The Other Guys actor added that he next wants to try directing and “working with the next batch of great talent”.
He added that while he’s “certainly working harder now than ever”, he doesn’t “think [he’ll] be acting that much longer at the pace I am now”.
It’s been over a year since he last starred in a movie – Father Stu, a biopic about former professional boxer Stuart Long, who became a Catholic priest after experiencing a near-death motorcycle accident.
In a 2022 interview with Insider, Wahlberg, who is Catholic, explained that the inspiration for the movie came from his priest.
“He told me the story a couple of times and, finally, it registered for me,” Wahlberg said. “I realised, ‘Wow, I have been looking for something like this.’ It’s a fantastic role, a powerful and inspiring story. It felt different and original to get people’s attention.”
At the time, he told the outlet that he was in the midst of putting together a production company to solely focus on faith-based films.
“The hope is I can intrigue other high-calibre talent to come and do what I did with Father Stu: bet on themselves, take a chance. It’s not always about the paycheck,” Wahlberg said.