Mark Wahlberg is thinking about his future.
The veteran actor, producer and entrepreneur sat down with Cigar Aficionado to cover the publication’s September/October issue, in which he opens up to Marvin R. Shanken about his past, present and future business pursuits. Notably, the 52-year-old blockbuster star questions how much longer he can stand in front of cameras.
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“Well, I’m certainly working harder now than ever. Certain businesses, you kind of build them, pass them on or you exit. Hopefully my kids, we’ll see what their interests are, but I don’t think that I’ll be acting that much longer at the pace I am now,” he explains, referencing his four children with wife Rhea Durham. “That’s for sure. Because that’s the most difficult thing.”
That pace led to a slate of recent films on the acting side that includes Me Time, Father Stu, Uncharted, Infinite, Joe Bell and Spenser Confidential and upcoming titles like Arthur the King, The Union, The Family Plan, Flight Risk and The Six Billion Dollar Man. During the wide-ranging conversation, Wahlberg spoke about family, faith and how creating his own opportunities as a producer helped him diversify his Hollywood résumé.
“I started becoming a producer out of necessity,” he says. “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. 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.”
On that note, Wahlberg admits he may continue to stretch his talents by hopping in the director’s chair by “working with some of the other great talents,” among them the next generation. In the meantime, he’s busy building his empire that includes the tequila brand Flecha Azul.
Fans of his past filmography might appreciate what he had to say about taking on the role of porn performer Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 film Boogie Nights. “When I first heard about the film the subject matter was not appealing to me. I came from the whole Marky Mark thing, pulling down my pants, Calvin Klein underwear — I didn’t know if this was just the next level of exploiting me and now all of a sudden we have to lose the underwear,” he recalls. “My agents kept pushing me. So I read the first 25, 30 pages, and I kind of put it down. I was like this could be something great, or this could be absolutely terrible.”
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