My Case Against Mark Wahlberg

Chad Cruise

Former Infantryman, pro wrestler, steel worker, and hardcore martial arts and action enthusiast. Co-founder of Bulletproof Action. Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadCruise

2 Responses

  1. Dee Bee says:

    Wahlberg, the 40-year-old actor, successful producer, onetime rapper, loquacious friend to animals and former Calvin Klein model, has not one but two Oscar nominations to his credit. One is for Best Supporting Actor for “The Departed” in 2007, and one came in 2011 for his role as a producer of the Best Picture-nominated “The Fighter,” in which he also starred.

    What’s really surprising, though, once you take a moment to sift through Wahlberg’s extraordinarily unlikely career, is not that he has two Oscar nominations but that he doesn’t have a whole lot more.

    For example: I took to Twitter to see if anyone could guess what exactly his Oscar nominations were for, and several of the subsequent guesses — an acting nod for “Boogie Nights,” perhaps? Or for “Three Kings”? Or “The Fighter”? — were incorrect yet totally plausible.

    Then a pair of astute film critics, Dana Stevens of Slate and Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe, weighed in and suggested Wahlberg’s best work may have been in David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees,” a movie that’s now perhaps best remembered for an incident on set. And the DealBook reporter Peter Lattman, among others, cast an additional vote for Wahlberg’s overlooked work in the 2000 film “The Yards.”

    This means that, by my count, Mark Wahlberg could legitimately have received up to six Oscar nominations for acting, to go along with that one he did get for producing, for a grand total of seven actual and theoretical nominations. It also means that in the years since “Boogie Nights” in 1997, Wahlberg has assembled a résumé — putting aside such misfires as “Shooter,” “The Truth About Charlie,” “Planet of the Apes” etc. — that could rival that of any Hollywood actor of a similar age (i.e. under 50).

    To put this in perspective, Matt Damon, who is 41, and who I think would come more easily to mind when invoking words like “best” “actor” and “generation,” has three actual Oscar nominations (Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting,” 1997; Best Supporting Actor for “Invictus,” 2009) and one actual Oscar win (screenplay for “Good Will Hunting”) to his credit. (Oddly, Damon and Wahlberg’s breakout roles came in the same year, 1997.) But how many Oscar nominations could/should Damon plausibly have? Foregoing his very good, very small, prefame role in the 1995 film “Courage Under Fire,” here are the contenders: “The Talented Mister Ripley,” “The Departed” and . . . um, “The Informant”? “Syriana”? “The Good Shepherd”? “True Grit?” Which is to say, Matt Damon is a hugely entertaining actor to watch, but you’d be hard-pressed to find three more roles of his that you could legitimately argue should have been Oscar-nominated, but were not.

    Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, could have six.

  2. Chad Cruise says:

    It must have been really difficult for Mark Wahlberg, during his two Oscar-nominated films, to find the “voices” for the two characters which he was assuming the role of. Was it the boxer from Massachusetts or the police officer from Massachusetts?

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