“I was no longer scared to look ridiculous”: This R-Rated Movie Made Mark Wahlberg Fearless, Inspired Him to Become a Real Actor

Mark Wahlberg heavily credits this one R-rated movie of his for inspiring him to become a "real actor"!

“I was no longer scared to look ridiculous”: This R-Rated Movie Made Mark Wahlberg Fearless, Inspired Him to Become a Real Actor
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  • Mark Wahlberg credits the film "Boogie Nights" for inspiring him to become a "real actor" by instilling fearlessness and a disregard for others' opinions about his performances.
  • Wahlberg also felt liberated and empowered by the minimal control of studios over the film's production.
  • All of this allowed him to focus on serving the director's vision and exploring his acting abilities in the film, eventually transforming him into a "real actor."
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Mark Wahlberg is inevitably widely recognized as one of the most talented actors in all of Hollywood’s entertainment industry. From his immaculate acting skills to his absolutely breathtaking physique, the 52-year-old actor continues to charm his fans from all across the globe to the core. But many years before he attained this respectable feat, Wahlberg wasn’t as confident as he is now.

Mark Wahlberg got to channel his Catholic beliefs for 2022's Father Stu
Mark Wahlberg in Father Stu.

In fact, the Ted star wasn’t so sure of his own talent in the acting field when he was an aspiring actor, only just starting out. And the movie taking him out of this zone, making him fearless, and inspiring him to become a “real actor” was the most unexpected one (or perhaps expected one?): His R-rated critically commended comedy-drama from 1997, Boogie Nights.

Boogie Nights Inspired Mark Wahlberg to Become a “Real Actor”

Released in October of 1997, the R-rated Boogie Nights saw Wahlberg in a never-seen-before (and never seen again, either!) role as the high school dropout Eddie Adams, who loses his way into his addiction to drugs after achieving massive success and fame as a p-rn star.

Wahlberg as Eddie Adams.
Wahlberg as Eddie Adams.

While this film ended up on a deceptively hopeful note with Eddie realizing the need to resume his old career that made him famous and stay off dopes, it also proved to be an eye-opener for the actor who embodied Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler, i.e. Mark Wahlberg.

As the 52-year-old actor himself shared with Jake’s Takes during the film’s 25th Anniversary in 2022, the cult classic from the late ’90s instilled a new sense of fearlessness into him and inspired him to become a real actor who “stopped caring about what other people thought.”

A still from Boogie Nights.
A still from Boogie Nights.

The Family Plan actor said of his experience working on the comedy-drama:


“I was no longer scared to try stuff, to look ridiculous, to be vulnerable – to just being fearless. I was like, no pun intended ‘I’ve gotta go for it and let it all hang out’ and I knew that I was in an environment where I was safe.”

Continuing, Wahlberg further expressed just how perfectly the film had him working as hard as possible in order to become a “real actor.”

“I really stopped caring about what other people thought and I really wanted to become a real actor and that was the moment,” said Wahlberg.

Wahlberg feels the R-rated film from 1997 made him "fearless."
Wahlberg feels the R-rated film from 1997 made him fearless.

While that experience was something that had him performing tremendously in his acting roles ever since, the Shooter star also revealed how the minimal control of the studios over the film what was made all of them further comfortable in their own skins while working on the movie.

Minimal Studio Control Over Boogie Nights Further Helped Beat Mark Wahlberg’s Fear

During the same interview, Mark Wahlberg then credited filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson for creating a film that had them doing their own thing without much involvement of the studios lurking over them and controlling what they were doing.

A still from the 1997 comedy-drama.
A still from the 1997 comedy-drama.

Calling it a “liberating experience,” the Arthur the King star said:

“It’s funny because with Paul Thomas Anderson and myself and the rest of that amazing cast, we were really kind of left on our own. It wasn’t studios standing over us controlling what what we were doing. Paul was really doing his thing and we were all there to service his vision. It was such a liberating experience.”

Well, the fact that the film transformed him into a real actor seems to be only true, judging from all the masterpieces that came after it, in which he gave nothing short of truly incredible performances!

Boogie Night is available to be streamed on Prime Video.


Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1125

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With almost one year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has more than 500 articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.