The Weekend Rent: The Evolution of Marky Mark

The Weekend Rent: The Evolution of Marky Mark

Aug 06, 2010

The actor formerly known as singer Marky Mark has come a long way since singing about those "Good Vibrations" with the Funky Bunch and filling out Calvin Klein underwear on those billboards. Since then Mark Wahlberg has starred in a bunch of hit films and even earned an Oscar nomination for his role in The Departed. This weekend he goes for laughs in theaters when he stars as a police detective who is totally mismatched with his partner (Will Ferrell) in The Other Guys. If you can't make it to the cineplex, check out Wahlberg's evolution from underwear model to award-winning actor.

Fear: This 1996 teen thriller wasn't Wahlberg's first big-screen role, but it showed the world that he was a better actor than rapper. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon as a 16-year-old girl who brings home Wahlberg, who at first seems like a charming man but who quickly shows his true colors as a psycho-possessive boyfriend. Breaking up with Wahlberg doesn't exactly work out well for Witherspoon, and he shows how much he cares by assaulting her and her family in their home. Would you lock him out?

Boogie Nights: Wahlberg stars as Eddie Adams, a down-on-his-luck kid with one impressive asset tucked in his pants. It isn't long before adult-film producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) gets wind of his wang and Dirk Diggler the porn star is born. Even though the gigantic penis sported by Wahlberg in the movie is a prosthetic, he still nails the role of a swinging '70s porn actor's rise and fall in this 1997 Paul Thomas Anderson drama that is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Planet of the Apes: We can't talk about evolution without a mention of Tim Burton's 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, which features Wahlberg as astronaut Leo Davidson whose space capsule crash lands on a world where apes rule and humans are their slaves. Although the sci-fi action flick—available on both DVD and Blu-ray—isn't anyone's favorite Burton or Wahlberg offering, it showed that Wahlberg can muscle his way through a silly big-budget movie with his dignity intact.

Rock Star: Wahlberg's Chris Cole was born to rock, just like Wahlberg was born to act. Cole is the lead singer in a cover band for Steel Dragon, a popular heavy metal band. When Steel Dragon's lead singer disappears, Cole is invited to fill his shoes behind the microphone onstage. Almost instantly Cole is rocketed from rock fan to rock god, just like Wahlberg made a speedy transition from rapper to model to actor. In the end, it appears Wahlberg handled his success a little better than Cole.

The Departed: Wahlberg earned his first Oscar nomination for his role as Staff Sgt. Dignam in Martin Scorsese's Best Picture winner that is available on both DVD and Blu-ray. The film chronicles the struggle in Boston between the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish-American mob, headed by Jack Nicholson. The police use Leonardo DiCaprio to infiltrate the mob, but the mob has an inside man (Matt Damon) on the police force as well. Wahlberg busts DiCaprio's balls in police headquarters, but when he finds out that Damon is the mole, Wahlberg takes matters into his own hands and ends the movie with a bang.

Date Night: Wahlberg's role as Holbrooke in this romantic comedy starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell is pretty small, but his deadpan performance shows that he can be really funny when paired opposite a more animated comedian like Carell. Here Wahlberg plays a rich gigolo whom Carell and Fey appeal to for help while on the lam. Carell, who becomes increasingly threatened by his wife's blatant attraction to the clothing-challenged Wahlberg, finally cracks and asks Wahlberg to do what no one else watching his movies wants: put on his shirt. The movie comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on August 10, but Blu-ray Bob caught it as in-flight entertaiment.

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