Mark Wahlberg is such a gentleman, on and off the screen.
If he is intense and understated onscreen, he is serene and modest off it. 3 of his co-stars from ‘The Fighter‘ have been nominated for Oscars in the acting category barring him. Mark Wahlberg spoke to Renuka Vyavahare on reports of being left out of the Oscar race, India, family life and passion for boxing!
Three of your co-stars have been nominated in the ‘Acting’ category of the Oscars. Do you feel left out, in spite of doing a brilliant job?
Of course not! My film is a strong contender in the Oscar race. I have no reasons to be upset. I’m a team player, personal laurels don’t matter as much as the entire film.
The Fighter has won 7 Oscar nominations. Which other film do you think as a tough competition?
I think all the films in the best film category are outstanding and are tough competition.
What made you take up ‘The Fighter’?
I like boxing and that’s why I wanted to do a boxing film since long so I thought of producing the film. Besides, it was Micky’s story, that inspired me to take up The Fighter
You’ve seen Micky Ward closely. What inspired you to make a film on his life?
Yes, I know Micky very well since long, I used to stay just 30 minutes away from his house and have seen his life unfold very closely. His hardships in life and his ability to get over his adversities and emerge as a hero was what inspired me to take up the role and the film.
You do look like a professional fighter in the film. How did you prepare yourself for the role?
I had to train myself for almost one and a half year to look and fight like a professional fighter. Micky and Dicky moved in to my house and we set up a boxing ring in my backyard, where Christian and I used to practice with Micky and Dicky. I had scenes where I had to take on Alfonso Sanchez, who was number 2 middle weight boxer in the world when we shot the movie!
You and Christian Bale had great chemistry.
Christian is like a brother. We both used to practice together and he was fun to hang around with. I think he has played the role of Dick Eklund, Micky Ward’s elder brother very well.
Any plans of visiting India?
Nothing on the cards right now but I can’t wait to visit India and would like to come as and when I get an opportunity.
Have you seen Indian films?
Yes, I have seen Lagaan and I loved it.
Are you following the Cricket World Cup?
I am not following the Cricket World Cup but I don’t mind catching up few matches if I have time on me.
Any moment in your life when you thought you were a true ‘Fighter’.
Well, there have been a lot of such moments. Life is all about facing difficulties and giving them a tough fight.
You have a huge family in the film and are still patient with each of them.
The fact that we are 9 siblings in real life and also in the film and the way this family fights against all odds and emerges as a winner was quite similar to my life and it was quite like living my own life on the celluloid.