Mark Wahlberg: 'The first thing I do each day is pray'
over-the-top action hero in the comedy Date Night. Right now he is to be seen playing "Irish" Mickey Ward in The Fighter, the bio-pic of the renowned Bostonian boxer, a project that has been close to his heart for some time. Meanwhile, he has also made his name as a highly successful producer of popular television shows like Entourage, In Treatment and Boardwalk Empire. Not bad, you will agree, for a kid who didn't even make it out of high school.
"But that's not what it's about," he insists. "Being a good actor or a good producer: that's not going to help me sleep at night or get me into heaven. The most important thing from where I sit is to be a good father, a good husband, and a good human being - a man who helps his fellow man and raises his kids to be good human beings too."
Mark and his wife, model Rhea Durham, have four children, Ella, seven, Michael, four, Brendan, two, and Margaret, nearly one, and are expecting another next year. "Every single aspect of my family life is joy," he smiles now.
"And the most important thing to remember about being a father is that you can't leave anybody out. I get up really early in the morning but the baby is usually up before me because my wife feeds her at five o'clock and then puts her into the swing so that she and I can have our own little time together when I take my wife a coffee before the day begins. Then the day is taking my older kids to school or to karate or whatever they have. The youngest boy is already trying to get in with the bigger kids so we make time for him too. At five in the evening we all sit down and have dinner together and after that it's pandemonium for a couple of hours until we can get them into bed! It's great!"
Although Thea and he have been in a committed relationship since 2001, it was only in August 2009 that they made their wedding vows at the church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. The reason for this, he says, was not lack of the will but simple logistics.
"Rhea grew up Baptist but she wanted to be baptized and confirmed as Catholic before we got married, which took some time. Also, we wanted to get married here in California but we wanted Fr Flavin from Boston to do it, so we had to work out that timing. Then there were my movie commitments. Then Rhea got pregnant and she didn't want to do it when she was bigger so we had to wait till the dress fitted again. it was a number of factors really."
Now that they are good and hitched, he says, they could not be happier.
"My wife is gorgeous but if you're going to have a real relationship with someone it's going to have to be based on what's inside as well as out, what kind of person they are and what kind of values they have.
"I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world because I met one of the most beautiful women in the world who also is very nice and approachable, very comfortable to be with and has a great sense of humour. And. well, I don't know which one of the lines I used on her was the one that actually got her but she fell for one of them! And all these years later we have four beautiful children and each other.
"I'm just a very lucky guy. In so many ways."
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