Dec112014
Mark Wahlberg Visits “Jimmy Fallon” (Dec. 10) – Clips + HD Caps

Mark Wahlberg stopped by “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday night (Dec. 11) to promote his new film “The Gambler.” You can check out a short clip of the interview below, as well as Mark playing a game of “Slapjack” with Jimmy Fallon. Not only that, but you can browse through 609 high definition screen captures of Mark from the appearance. Enjoy!

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Screen Captures > Talk Shows > Talk Shows from 2014 > Dec 10: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Dec112014
“The Gambler” New York Premiere (Dec. 11) Photos

Mark Wahlberg and his lovely wife Rhea Durham attend the premiere of his film “The Gambler” held at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on Wednesday (December 10) in New York City. You browse through 150 medium and high quality photos of Mark from the premiere. Enjoy!

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Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Dec 10: “The Gambler” New York Premiere

Dec052014
“The Gambler” Release Date: Paramount All In, Moves It To Christmas Day Wide Bow

“Deadline” — Paramount Pictures said today it is moving the release date of its Mark Wahlberg-starrer The Gambler from Friday, December 19 to Wednesday, December 25. And what was to be a platform bow is now a wide release. The studio is positioning the remake of the 1974 James Caan pic for awards-season play, and it just world premiered at AFI Fest.

If you’re keeping score at home, the pic joins a serious Christmas Day slate that includes Disney’s Into The Woods, Universal’s Unbroken, Warner Bros’ American Sniper, Sony’s The Interview, and Paramount’s own Selma — which opened at AFI Fest the same night as Gambler.

Dec052014
Mark Wahlberg Seeks Pardon for His Crimes

“The Hollywood Reporter” — Marky Mark doesn’t want a black mark any longer.

Actor Mark Wahlberg is asking Massachusetts for a pardon for assaults he committed in 1988 when he was a troubled teenager in Boston, saying he has dedicated himself to becoming a better person in his adult years so he can be a role model to his children and others.

The former rapper known as Marky Mark and a star of movies including The Departed and The Gambler, filed a pardon application with state officials Nov. 26. New England Cable News first reported on the application Thursday.

In 1988, when Wahlberg was 16, he hit a man in the head with a wooden stick while trying to steal two cases of alcohol in front of a convenience store near his family’s home in the Dorchester section of Boston, the application says. He punched another man in the face while trying to avoid police, the document says.

Wahlberg says in the application that he was high on marijuana and narcotics at the time, and police caught him with a small amount of pot. He also apologized for his actions.

He ended up being convicted as an adult of assault and other charges, and he was sentenced to three months in jail. He said he was released after serving about 45 days.

Wahlberg, 43, says in the application that he turned his life around and became a successful music artist, actor, and film and television producer. He also notes he has raised millions of dollars for charity and donated his time and efforts for philanthropic causes.

“I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past,” Wahlberg says in the application. “To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed.”

“Rather than ignore or deny my troubled past, I have used the public spotlight to speak openly about the mistakes I made as a teenager so that others do not make those same mistakes,” he says.

To get a pardon, the Massachusetts Parole Board would have to review Wahlberg’s case and make a recommendation to the governor, who has the ultimate authority to grant pardons.

Calls to the board’s offices went unanswered late Thursday.

Pardons rarely are issued in Massachusetts.

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who’s winding up eight years in office, last month recommended four pardons and one commutation — his first since taking office. They must still be approved by the Governor’s Council.

His predecessor, Republican Mitt Romney, recommended none. If Wahlberg is pardoned, it almost certainly would fall to Republican Gov.-elect Charlie Baker to sign off.

Dec012014
Backstage: Mark Wahlberg Doesn’t Just Star in “The Gambler”

“Backstage” — “The thing is, I’m not supposed to be in this position right now,” says Mark Wahlberg. He’s calling from New Orleans, where he’s in the midst of filming a new movie, to discuss his latest film, “The Gambler,” and the topic of advice for new actors has come up. “But I worked hard and never took no for an answer. It’s better to spend years becoming a slow success and building a career than becoming an overnight success. But just do the work, do the prep. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to prepare for a part or a role.”

He’s speaking from experience regarding his performance as Jim Bennett in “The Gambler,” a remake of the 1974 film, written by Academy Award winner William Monahan—whose script for “The Departed” led to Wahlberg’s first Oscar nomination—and directed by Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”). The film is ostensibly a drama about a gambling addict and English professor, but the creative team involved is less interested in telling an Everyman story than in creating a piercing character study of a man who has embraced nihilism and then has a change of heart when it might be too late.

Wahlberg was originally comfortable playing Jim as a bulkier man, but Wyatt successfully convinced him to drop 60 pounds to create a more convincing addict (and professor, for that matter). “I loved the wardrobe and I loved the idea of Jim only having two suits and two shirts and never really worried about his appearance,” Wahlberg says. “Which is why I agreed to do the whole transformation thing, because Rupert was like, ‘He’s not really eating or worried about exercise.’ And once I start doing something I just become obsessed with it so I keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it.” He pauses. “But it also gets pretty annoying when people talk about it. You have to prepare mentally and physically—that’s the job.”

The preparation lasted far longer than the 39-day shoot. Once the movie was a go, Wahlberg and Wyatt spent six months holding readings of the script, checking out college lectures, talking, reading, and gambling. “He’s sick of spending time with me!” Wahlberg jokes.

But since “The Gambler” is the juiciest role he’s had since “The Fighter,” it’s also the role he’s spent the most time prepping for—most important, the gambling. In the film, Jim finds himself owing money to three very violent men and makes increasingly dangerous deals with them, first in an attempt at self-destruction and then in the hopes of personal redemption. So Wahlberg, an admitted nongambler, had to indulge in quite a bit of betting. “We started playing poker in my hotel room in Chicago in mid-August, betting basketball, playing tennis—I had never played tennis and I played a match for $1,000.” Did he win? Well, yes. “I played with someone who’s not good but thought they were good,” he says. “It was just all day, every day.”

Even as he found his way into the role, he was hands-on in the casting of the rest of the film—a group of actors that serves as a testament to the strength of the script. In addition to Brie Larson (who plays a student who becomes Jim’s lover), there’s Jessica Lange as Jim’s mother—a chilly survivor—John Goodman as a scary, paternal loan shark, and George Kennedy as Jim’s grandfather.

“Everyone was attracted to the writing and though everyone had small parts, they knew they would get to do their thing,” Wahlberg says. “Jim is in every scene of the movie and he has these big, showy moments, but he teed up these guys to do their thing.”

The script was enough for Wahlberg, too. After a previous incarnation of the film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio fell through, Wahlberg read the script and signed on to star and produce, even before a director was attached. “There was a time in my career when it was all about the director, but I made some poor choices after falling in love with the director,” he admits. “If we couldn’t find a director we liked we wouldn’t have made the movie. But thankfully, Rupert responded the way he did and came on board.”

Wahlberg’s past career also informs his decisions during casting. As someone who has been nervous and uncomfortable in front of a casting director, he makes an effort to create a comfortable environment for the actors coming in to read. “I want to give people a lot more chances and opportunities than I had to help them get the part,” he says. “I have a big issue with people who haven’t been on the other side of the table because they don’t have the patience or the respect for the people in the moment. Some people are great in the room but then aren’t great on the day, and some people are great on the day but aren’t as good in the room.”

And though he’s had his share of bad auditions, he prefers to look on the bright side: “The great thing about it is I only got the movies I was meant to have,” he says. “Other movies I thought I may have wanted and didn’t get ended up being a good thing. There were a couple bullets [I dodged] along the way. Maybe my head or my heart wasn’t in it. It’s funny how that works.”

Nov262014
Mark Wahlberg Bets Big on “The Gambler”

“The Wall Street Journal” — Mark Wahlberg prefers discussions about his range to focus on the variety of characters he has played, not the huge amounts of weight he has gained or lost to portray them. But the two seem to go hand in hand. For the title role in “The Gambler” he shed about 60 pounds to play a gaunt, self-destructive 135-pound college professor.

“I love the idea of switching it up,” Mr. Wahlberg says. “I had just done ‘Transformers.’ I was gonna do ‘Ted 2.’ I always like to do the opposite of the last thing I did. And I saw the challenge in being believable as a literary professor.”

When he and director Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) started shaping the character, they decided it would be a guy “who doesn’t focus too much on eating. Then I knew there was a physical demand there, too.”

The muscular 5-foot-8-inch Mr. Wahlberg slimmed down dramatically to portray the 140-pound boxer Micky Ward in “The Fighter” (2010) and pumped up above 200 pounds to play a bodybuilder in “Pain & Gain” (2013).

For “The Gambler,” Mr. Wahlberg recalls, “They kind of said ‘Let’s get as thin as you can.’ And in a couple of weeks I’m down 60 pounds, and they’re telling me to stop. Then I had to put the weight back on to do some additional shooting for ‘Transformers.’ Michael Bay was like, ‘What the hell happened to you?’ But it gets a little boring to talk about it. It’s part of the job, like learning the lines or going to lectures with all these literary professors.”

“The Gambler” is a remake of a 1974 film starring James Caan. This version, by screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed”), recreates several key scenes, including one in which Mr. Wahlberg has an 18 at the blackjack table with a huge bet at stake. Insanely, he asks for another card.

In both movies the protagonists are black sheep from wealthy families, professors who run up big gambling debts, borrow from loan sharks and try betting their way out of trouble. Michael K. Williams and John Goodman play the thugs.

“We wanted to do our own thing,” Mr. Wahlberg says. “The big difference was the purpose of the gambling. Jimmy Caan’s character was doing it for the high and the thrill. My character was basically gambling just to strip himself of anything material in his life, trying to get to nothing. If he survived, great. If not, no big deal. Until he meets this girl [Brie Larson], and he decides he has a reason to live. By then he’s in so deep he has to really figure out how to get out.”

It also is possible that this is the least likable character Mr. Wahlberg has ever played.

“We talked about that,” the actor says. “We never worried about people liking him. We just wanted people to be interested enough to continue to watch him.”