Mark Wahlberg on Acting and Producing: “My philosophy is to always surround yourself with the most talented people possible”

For the most part musicians don’t make great actors.  Sure, Jamie Foxx and Barbara Streisand have done well for themselves, but does anyone remember the wooden dummy standing in for Paul Simon in Annie Hall?  Wait, that was Paul Simon?

One of the most successful musicians-turned-actors of recent years is Mark Wahlberg, former leader of the hip hop ground Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.  Wahlberg has since found success as both an actor (he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 2006’s The Departed) and producer (The Fighter was nominated for Best Picture for 2010), and he performs both roles on Contraband, his next film.  He talked to MovieFone about his dual roles and his varied career.

After producing both We Own the Night and The Fighter, Wahlberg has learned quite a lot about producing films.  He reveals, “My philosophy is to always surround yourself with the most talented people possible. Both in front and behind the camera… You know, listen, the situation is always different — you’re always going to be faced with new and different challenges. You just gotta approach everything, in my opinion, with a positive attitude. If there’s a will there’s a way — you can figure things out.” 

Contraband is an action film, but Wahlberg’s previous film (The Fighter) was a drama, and his next film (Ted) is a comedy.  Wahlberg admits that his genre-shifting is all part of his plan, explaining, “Yeah, it’s all calculated. We always usually saddle up to do the complete opposite of the last thing that we did. And then you got to balance when they’re going to be released, what quarter they’re coming out. So right after Contraband we went and did this Seth MacFarlane movie that’s a rough comedy [Ted], and now we’re doing Broken City, which is a crime thriller and drama. That’s a movie that could come out a soon as next year.”

As for a return for Marky Mark?  That’s not in the cards, as Wahlberg claims to be totally done with music.  That’s fine — unlike Paul Simon, Wahlberg is a much better actor than he is a musician!

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