Mark Wahlberg is working 'harder than ever,' he says, but won't keep up this pace much longer

Mark Wahlberg is not a complicated man. He likes cinema. He just doesn’t want to be acting forever. He wants to do other things. He likes the simple pleasures. That’s just him.

“I’m certainly working harder now than ever. Certain businesses, you kind of build them, pass them on or you exit,” he told Cigar Aficionado. “Hopefully my kids, we’ll see what their interests are, but I don’t think that I’ll be acting that much longer at the pace I am now. That’s for sure. Because that’s the most difficult thing.”

The “Departed” actor has had a quiet 2023 so far, having not appeared yet in a film this year. Last year, however, he starred in the adventure film “Uncharted” alongside Tom Holland, the faith-based movie “Father Stu” and the buddy comedy “Me Time,” which also featured Kevin Hart. Wahlberg has five films in some level of production, according to IMDb.

But Wahlberg has long felt a need to pivot from in front of the camera to behind the scenes, by continually taking on the role of producer. It’s a decision he feels was more made for him than by him.

“I started becoming a producer out of necessity,” he said. “I didn’t want to sit around waiting for Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise or whoever was already established before me and were the guys at the time, and Leo [DiCaprio] to go and pass on a movie until I could get my hands on it. I was always proactive in trying to find material and things that I could produce, that I knew was right for me, create my own destiny.”

Wahlberg also talked about his hesitancy to take on his breakout role as Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson’s porn-centric 1997 movie “Boogie Nights.”

“When I first heard about the film the subject matter, [it] was not appealing to me. I came from the whole Marky Mark thing, pulling down my pants, Calvin Klein underwear — I didn’t know if this was just the next level of exploiting me and now all of a sudden we have to lose the underwear,” he said.

“My agents kept pushing me. So I read the first 25, 30 pages, and I kind of put it down. I was like this could be something great, or this could be absolutely terrible.”

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