“Over my dead f**king body”: Leonardo DiCaprio Made it His Personal Mission to Destroy Mark Wahlberg in a Movie

Mark Wahlberg’s success was not easy, including his squabble with Leonardo DiCaprio before the two starred in The Basketball Diaries!

“Over my dead f**king body”: Leonardo DiCaprio Made it His Personal Mission to Destroy Mark Wahlberg in a Movie

SUMMARY

  • Mark Wahlberg played a supporting role in the 1995 biographical crime drama film, The Basketball Diaries.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, his co-star in the film, almost made it his personal mission to destroy his chances of being cast as the lead character, following his role in Renaissance Man.
  • The conflict was not easily resolved between the two actors, but they eventually learned to respect each other and got along well on the big screen.
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Mark Wahlberg has amassed a sizable fan base throughout his career, owing largely to his ability to portray a true tough guy on the big screen. Surprisingly, many of his fans are unaware that he once had a truly terrifying demeanor. As a result, his acting ambitions were once almost derailed by another Hollywood superstar.

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Following his role in Renaissance Man, Wahlberg played a supporting role in the 1995 biographical crime drama film The Basketball Diaries. Despite mixed reviews, Wahlberg’s portrayal in the $2.4 million movie garnered enough positive attention for Hollywood executives to consider him a serious actor.

But Wahlberg told The Hollywood Reporter that Leonardo DiCaprio, his co-star in The Basketball Diaries, almost made it his personal mission to destroy the former in the 1995  film.

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg in The Basketball Diaries
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg in The Basketball Diaries

Also Read: Mark Wahlberg’s Messy Falling Out With Madonna Almost Cost Him His Acting Career: “She called the f—king cops on me”

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Personal Grudge Against Mark Wahlberg on the Big Screen

In 1995, Mark Wahlberg was cast as Mickey in the film The Basketball Diaries, which told the tale of Jim, a gifted basketball player (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who was addicted to heroin. When it was suggested that Wahlberg was going to star opposite the Titanic star in Scott Kalvert’s film, DiCaprio became openly hostile, as he thought the former’s lofty ambitions were ridiculous. 

Speaking at the UCLA LEAP Foundation conference (per The Hollywood Reporter), Wahlberg, 52,  discussed the conflict with DiCaprio prior to the filming The Basketball Diaries:

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“He didn’t want me for the part, and I didn’t think he was right for the part. We both had to really learn how to respect each other, and we earned it.”

Mark Wahlberg starred in The Basketball Diaries alongside Leonardo DiCaprio
Mark Wahlberg starred in The Basketball Diaries alongside Leonardo DiCaprio

Wahlberg even discussed the rivalry in the past when speaking candidly with The Hollywood Reporter. His appearance in The Basketball Diaries was something that DiCaprio was against, he told the outlet in 2013.

“Leonardo was like, ‘Over my dead f—— body. Marky Mark’s not going to be in this f—— movie’. Because we’d had a thing — I didn’t even realize it, [but] I was a bit of a d— to him at a charity basketball game. So he was like, ‘This f—— a—— is not going to be in this movie’.”

Following his attempt to sabotage Wahlberg’s casting for The Basketball Diaries, DiCaprio was persuaded to recite a few lines alongside the former rapper. Their problems were not easily resolved, even though the two actors got along so well during that meeting (per THR). 

Also Read: Mark Wahlberg, 52, Refuses “Pounding on his body” With Brutal Pre-Dawn Workouts – Reveals Alternate Workout Regimen

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg in The Basketball Diaries

How Did Things Between Them Begin To Settle Down on the Big Screen?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leonardo DiCaprio was persuaded to audition with Mark Wahlberg by the casting director, Avy Kaufman. He continued, 

“So I come in and I do the audition and I kind of look at him and he kind of looks at me, and then we do a scene, and they’re like, ‘Hmm, this f—— dude’s pretty good, right?’”

The Fear actor became popular after his performance on The Basketball Diaries, and he later landed a part in the highly anticipated movie Boogie Nights. DiCaprio later revealed that he turned down the 1997 period comedy-drama film before Wahlberg signed on, which he later regretted because he loved the film so much. 

DiCaprio admitted in an interview with GQ that

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“‘Boogie Nights’ is a movie I loved and I wish I would’ve done.”

Though the actor may regret missing out on Boogie Nights, everything turned out perfectly for DiCaprio.

Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights
Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights

According to Insider, DiCaprio suggested Wahlberg, who co-starred with him in The Basketball Diaries, over grabbing the role in Boogie Nights. This ultimately proved to be the latter’s lucky break to land the role and change the public’s opinion of his acting career. 

Boogie Nights is streaming on FuboTV, while The Basketball Diaries can be rented on Amazon Prime Video.

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 Also read: Mark Wahlberg is So into His 3:30 am Workout Routine He Sometimes Forces His Body to Sleep Late: “I don’t want to feel like I am not disciplined enough”

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1395

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1300 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.