Monday, May 17, 2010

Mark Wahlberg: Acting Role Model (?)

Mr. McKay, the man behind the goofball absurdism of “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” said that Mr. Wahlberg’s character in “The Other Guys,” who has “an anger disorder but is also very vulnerable,” drew on the actor’s ability “to play wounded and betrayed in a really funny way"... Mr. Wahlberg said he was able to stay within his “comfort zone,” which he described as “my commitment to playing it as real and as straight as possible” ... “I know no other way,” Mr. Wahlberg said of his approach. “I’ve seen a lot of people try a lot of tricks, and I don’t feel so comfortable with that. The only way I can do it is to believe it."
And believe it he does. Could it be possible that Marky Mark and I have the same approach toward acting? Granted, one is a little more successful than the other, but at least I haven't starred in any Peter Jackson or M. Night Shyamalan movies. Glad to see that David O. Russell is still working in Hollywood, or at least still working with other people who are still working in Hollywood. He describes Mark Wahlberg's appeal succinctly:
“Mark has a great capacity for comedy,” Mr. Russell said, “but it’s a comedy that comes from being very real and intense” ... “In this world that can be a very painful place, there can be a tendency to guard yourself" ... “You can use irony or cynicism to do that, and so sincerity becomes a great act of courage.”
Mark Wahlberg, symbol of courage. He also seems to walk the line between goofy and dead serious in real life:
Mr. Wahlberg described himself as above all a devout Roman Catholic, a devoted husband and father of four. “The first thing I do every day when I leave my house,” he said, “I go to church, man, get down on my knees” ... Before adjourning to the guest house for the interview, Mr. Wahlberg checked in on the family lunch in the kitchen, where his youngest, 3-month-old Grace, dozed in a baby swing. He interrupted the conversation to help his wife, Rhea Durham, open the electric gate (the power was out) as she prepared to take their two older children to a matinee of “How to Train Your Dragon.” (“No Lady Gaga,” Mr. Wahlberg told his eldest, Ella, 6, as they drove off; she had come home from school singing age-inappropriate lyrics.)
Dear God! Wouldn't want your 6-year-old to be singing age-inappropriate lyrics now, would you? It's hard to tell whether Wahlberg gets his own joke or not. Witness this Saturday Night Live sketch, and Mark's supposedly self-deprecating guest appearance. In sum, I'm not always sure whether I'm laughing at him or with him, but at least I can say I'm laughing.


Herr Zrbo said...

I'm glad I watched the clips back-to-back. I haven't seen more than a couple of his movies, so I can't say too much about his acting chops, though he was pretty awful in The Happening, but so was everyone, probably more of a result of the directing of Mr. Shyamalan. That goat sure was adorable though.

Little Earl said...

You mean you've never seen Boogie Nights? Three Kings? I Heart Huckabees? The Departed? Some of these are even in the Little Earl Collection. Explain yourself.

Herr Zrbo said...

Ok, I saw Three Kings. Haven't seen the others.