“I just wanted to hit him”: Burt Reynolds Absolutely Despised Working in Mark Wahlberg’s Breakout Film That Landed 3 Oscar Nominations 

Following the acclaimed film's heavy theme, Burt Reynolds was revolted by Boogie Nights and his rift with director PTA didn't help ameliorate things.

“I just wanted to hit him”: Burt Reynolds Absolutely Despised Working in Mark Wahlberg’s Breakout Film That Landed 3 Oscar Nominations 


  • Burt Reynolds didn't look fondly to the film that earned him his first Golden Globe win and is considered one of his best.
  • Following the explicit subject matter the film delves into and following his rift with PTA, Burt Reynolds refused to watch Boogie Nights.
  • But unlike Reynolds, Paul Thomas Anderson explained that the film benefited from the tension between the two.
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The 1997 hit Boogie Nights not only launched Mark Wahlberg and Paul Thomas Anderson to the limelight and kickstarted their ascend to the top, it is also considered Burt Reynolds’ best work. Starring alongside Wahlberg, whose character embarks on a journey to attain success in the p-rn industry before falling face-first after being addicted to drugs, Reynolds plays the role of his mentor.

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And while he attained enormous acclaim for his portrayal of a veteran p-rn filmmaker in the film, which earned him his first and only Golden Globe win, the actor famously despised the film.


Also read: “They like to laugh at me”: Mark Wahlberg’s Kids Think 2-Time Oscar Nominated Dad is ‘Cringe’

Mark Wahlberg
Boogie Nights (1997)

It Wasn’t Burt Reynolds’ Kind of Film

Rosing into prominence in the ’60s, Burt Reynolds delved into a lot of action flicks in the ’70s and ’80s, with his motivation behind taking the gigs being mostly fun. But for the complex drama Boogie Nights, which is universally adored by fans and critics, including Quentin Tarantino, Burt Reynolds wasn’t too kind on it, as he revealed he hated working alongside PTA. In addition, the actor expressed that it wasn’t his kind of film. And while speaking with Conan, the Oscar-nominated star admitted that he didn’t bother watching the movie, which he initially rejected 7 times.


Expanding on his rift with Paul Thomas Anderson, Reynolds further jokingly admitted, “I just wanted to hit him”, and in a separate interview with GQ, he described PTA as “young and full of himself.”

Also read: “I thought you would think that was funny”: Burt Reynolds’ Own Goodfellas Moment Backfired for Trying to Make Robert De Niro Laugh That Resulted in a ‘Beating’

Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights
Burt Reynolds | Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights Benefited From the Tension Between PTA and Burt Reynolds

Reflecting on the reports of Reynolds’ rift with him on Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson admitted that the reports were true. However, it wasn’t a problem, as the Magnolia director explained that the tension between the two ameliorated the nasty part of the film. He told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons:

“I think that when Burt and I kind of got into it, it may have been the day before or the day after, but it was a really tense three days on the set of ‘Boogie Nights,’” Anderson said. “The other 57 days were really fun and a lot of laughs, but there were three tense days there in the middle where Mark was fighting with Burt, or in the film. Looking back, it was really in the nasty part of the movie, too, when really everything’s kind of going wrong.”

Also read: “It must have been my stupid period”: Burt Reynolds’ Biggest Mistake Was Not Rejecting James Bond, Instead a Potential Oscar Winning Role Played by Jack Nicholson

Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights
Mark Wahlberg | Boogie Nights

But it isn’t Reynolds alone who regretted making the film as Mark Wahlberg, whose career skyrocketed after Boogie Nights, doesn’t look fondly to his decision to star in the classic.

Boogie Nights is available to stream on Paramount Plus.



Written by Santanu Roy

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1000 articles.