Mark Wahlberg: Overcoming the Mean Streets

The dedication Mark Wahlberg has to his wife, Rhea Durham, and their three young children: Ella, 6, Michael, 3, and Brendan, 1, (and another one on the way) is evident to any onlooker.

Lately, his concern is heightened due to his recent film The Lovely Bones, an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel. Wahlberg plays Jack Salmon, the father of a 14-year-old girl who is brutally murdered by a neighbor.

‘I’ve put myself through emotional torture making this movie,’ Wahlberg said to the Daily Mail. ‘It’s taken me to unimaginably dark places. The Lovely Bones is a chilling story, especially so if you’re a parent.”

This would not be the first time Wahlberg has immersed himself in a role. He nearly drowned and suffered chronic seasickness during The Perfect Storm (2000); was savagely attached by real-life chimps on the set of Planet of the Apes (2001); and refused a stuntman to scale huge towers in treacherous winds while filming Shooter (2007). Roles in The Departed and We Own the Night have established him as an undeniable commodity in Hollywood.

Ambitious by nature, Wahlberg’s first goal wasn’t Hollywood success.

Born and raised in Dorchester, a severely poor neighborhood in Boston, Wahlberg was a troublemaker after being abandoned by his father. He developed a cocaine habit by 13, joined a gang, dealt drugs and robbed at 16 when he was sentenced to prison.

“Finally I was there, locked up with the kind of guys I’d always wanted to be like. Now I’d earned my stripes and I was just like them and I realised it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I’d ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine and I never wanted to go back,” said Wahlberg.

Under the guidance of Father James Flavin, Wahlberg stayed the straight. After forming Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch and successful Calvin Klein underwear ad campaigns, Wahlberg received his break-through role in Boogie Nights (1997).

Now Wahlberg has a home in the coveted areas of Beverly Hills, sharing a picket white fence with neighbor David Beckham, a car collection he no longer has to steal, and a very healthy golf obsession.

Gallery Info: Mark Wahlberg stopped his Bentley outside of a bus stop in Beverly Hills, California on December 26, 2009 to put his top back up. Mark had his children in the back but the chilly air was too much for the little ones so he gave in and gave out as well. The “Lovely Bones” star made what looked to be a hefty donation to a man walking by on the street.