Mark Wahlberg reflects on his criminal past: 'I made a lot of terrible mistakes'

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Mark Wahlberg attends the Netflix Premiere Spenser Confidential at Westwood Village Theatre on February 27, 2020. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Netflix)
Mark Wahlberg attends the Netflix Premiere Spenser Confidential at Westwood Village Theatre on February 27, 2020. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Netflix)

Mark Wahlberg may be one of the biggest names on the big screen, but the Spenser: Confidential star, 48, says he doesn’t have all that much to do with Hollywood.

“I’m so out of the loop with Hollywood,” the actor told the Guardian in a revealing new interview. “Other than working, I go to the supermarket. I don’t go to dinner parties on the scene, or screenings. I live in Beverly Hills, but it could easily be the English countryside, because I don’t see anyone and I don’t do anything. I don’t go to awards unless I have a movie in them. I go to bed early, I get up early, I take my kids to school and I’m with my wife if I’m not I’m working.”

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It’s a far cry from Wahlberg’s tumultuous upbringing in Boston, where the youngest of nine kids dealt with a challenging life both at home and outside.

“When I walked out my door — violence is also all that was there,” said Wahlberg, adding that he was “always in trouble, and I was kind of little. In the circumstances where I was being preyed upon, at times, I had to protect and defend myself. It’s not an easy thing to navigate as a teenage kid who’s 5’2, 120 pounds, with grown men.”

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Wahlberg recognises that he made some tragic mistakes during his youth. He found himself incarcerated after attacking a man while high on drugs in 1988, serving 45 days out of a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to felony assault.

“I made a lot of terrible mistakes and I paid for those mistakes dearly,” said Wahlberg, who decided to overhaul his life and “do the work.”

Marky Mark on 10/13/91 in Chicago, Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)
Marky Mark on 10/13/91 in Chicago, Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

“I took it upon myself to own up to my mistakes and go against the grain and not be a part of the gang any more — to say that I was going to go and do my own thing,” he said. “Which made it 10 times more difficult to walk from my home to the train station, to go to school, to go to work.”

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Determined to “do the right thing,” Wahlberg embraced his second chance in life. Now, he channels his own experiences into his work.

“I do think the one thing I have to my advantage is that I have all this real-life experience that I can apply to my work,” he added. “I think audiences can definitely sense authenticity. But that came with a real price.”

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Despite his teenage wiles, Mark says his four children aren’t that interested in hearing about their dad’s past. They “make fun of it, like, ‘Oh God here we go, Dad and his street stories, whatever Dad.’ They’re not impressed,” said Wahlberg. “Well they don’t act impressed, that’s for sure.”

Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark) at the Saks Fifth Avenue Store in Hollywood, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark) at the Saks Fifth Avenue Store in Hollywood, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

The interview also saw the former underwear model reflecting on his early ‘90s Calvin Klein campaigns with supermodel Kate Moss, who has since expressed discomfort about the revealing shoots and accused Wahlberg of making unwelcome comments about her body.

“I think I was probably a little rough around the edges. Kind of doing my thing,” he told the Guardian, adding with a laugh that he “wasn’t very … worldly, let’s say that.

“But I’ve seen her and said hello. I think we saw each other at a concert here and there, we said hi and exchanged pleasantries.”

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