The M Interview: Mark Wahlberg is Hollywood's model dad
Actor Mark Wahlberg spends quality time with his wife and four children when he's not busy acting
It took 10 years for ninth grade (equivalent to secondary school) dropout Mark Wahlberg to go from jail to successful Hollywood actor, with pit stops as rapper and underwear model along the way.
A devout Catholic, he attributes his faith to keeping him on the straight and narrow.
Now he's the epitome of the Hollywood family man, complete with model-wife Rhea Durham and four kids.
It's a far cry from his deadbeat dad role in his latest comedy Daddy's Home.
Showing in cinemas here, it's the 44-year-old US actor's second movie with co-star Will Ferrell (who is also one of the producers), after 2010's The Other Guys.
Wahlberg is easy-going and likeable when we meet him at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills. The buff physique he displays - or rather, flaunts shamelessly - in the movie still intact.
He plays divorced tough guy Dusty who returns home to win back his kids and ex-wife (Linda Cardellini) as soon as doofus stepdad Brad (Ferrell) enters the picture. Brad means well, but is no match for the charismatic, swaggering Dusty, who zooms in on a motorbike and wins his children's affections right away.
That the hapless woman in the middle just stands around and wrings her hands is annoying and is a plot device for this kind of movie, since it belongs to the two guys.
How did this part come to you?
Will called me and was like "hey, I've got something interesting". We had such fun together on The Other Guys. At one point he was going to play Dusty and then I was like, "I don't want to play Brad but I love the part of Dusty". And then we sat down with the writers and started to work the part for me.
Was it better working with Ferrell the second time around?
Will's a sweet guy. He enjoys making people laugh. He's not one of those guys that isn't what he appears on-screen. What you see is what you get.
He and I have a lot in common. We're both family men first. We both have businesses and careers that we take very seriously and we know we're fortunate to be in the situations that we are.
We're very different in certain ways, but we get along great and he's a lot of fun to be around. I don't know if he feels the same way about me, but I genuinely love the guy.
After the movie, I invited him and his wife to come to my house for dinner and they were kind enough to come. I still haven't got an invite to his house so I don't know (laughs).
Do you still go to the movies?
My wife and I, one of our special things to do together every week, is that. Thursday is always our date night so we go to the movies and we hang out and she usually gets to pick. A lot of the time I'm sitting through nice female-oriented movies, but she'll like this movie. She doesn't always like the movies that I make.
You have your hands full with producing and acting and your family. What does a day in your life look like?
It's been nice now because I haven't worked since the summer and I won't really start until the beginning of the spring, so right now my day just consists of getting up about 3, 3.30 in the morning.
Why is that?
Well, I go to bed at 7, 7.30pm (laughs).
Before the kids?
No, after. So I wake up about 3, 3.30. I usually have a little prayer time, then I go downstairs and I make breakfast for myself and then go down to the gym, I work out, come back upstairs, eat something.
I get the kids up, my wife makes breakfast, packs their lunch, I'll take them to school, drop them off, run to the golf course, make a couple of phone calls on the way to the golf course, play golf in two hours, which normally takes four hours.
Then I drive home, make some more calls. Then we get the kids from school, homework and then my sons will probably want to play football so we'll be out on the lawn playing with the boys. Everybody's got to have dinner and then it's bedtime. 7, 7.30pm.
What makes your home your home?
That's just a personal thing. I love having my little prayer room. My wife uses it but the kids don't ever go in there. If they do, they have to sit there quietly which they don't like while I'm saying my prayers.
The most used room in our house is the playroom. The kids are always in there. My daughter's putting on a show. The boys are playing tackle football in there. Just us being together, you know. We can make a home in a hotel. We can make a home in a trailer on set. Us all being together.
You emceed the World Meeting Of Families festival graced by Pope Francis last year. What was it like to meet the Pontiff?
For him it's all about love and compassion and helping people and loving one another.
I hosted him in Philadelphia at the festival. It was like people wanted to just get close to him, get a glimpse of him, touch him. It was just a true honour. I feel blessed to have known him and I'm really impressed with all the things that he's trying to do.
Will Ferrell's bizarre bromances just keep on comin'...
in Get Hard (2015)
in The Campaign (2012)
in The Other Guys (2010)
John C Reilly
in Step Brothers (2008)
in Blades Of Glory (2007)