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Finally someone has told Hollywood celebrities what the general public has always wanted to tell them when it comes to their views and politics: SHUT UP! What’s even better is it was a celebrity who said it.

Actor Mark Wahlberg (or “Marky Mark” as some of us remember him during his music days) was at a presser for his new movie Patriots Day when he made the comments to Task & Purpose – a news outlet whose audience is primarily American service veterans. When asked about the parade of celebrities that have come out to denounce President-elect Donald Trump, Wahlberg said he believed most of Hollywood lives in a bubble and out of touch with most of Americans:

“You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway…They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”

Wahlberg’s latest movie is what he calls a “trilogy of films” he’s worked on with director Peter Berg, who he affectionately refers to as his brother. Wahlberg and Berg previously worked on Deepwater Horizon (2016), and Lone Survivor (2013). All three of these movies depict actual events, and tell the story of heroism from average men – though some would disagree that Marcus Luttrell, the main character of Lone Survivor, is an average guy.

Wahlberg also believes Patriots Day will serve as a reminder to the public about the greatness of America – its people, police and military:

“I definitely think the film is going to bring people together… will give people an added boost and a reminder of what a great country we do have and how amazing people are. People really dedicated their lives to serving our country and our communities, and we need to honor that. The overall purpose of police and military is protect us. It’s an amazing thing, and every chance I get I want to thank them for their service.”

Big thanks to Mark Wahlberg – one of the few celebrities that can relate to the average person, tell it like it is, and create movies about American heroism and greatness.

[newsbusters.org]

Mark Wahlberg’s team prevails – It’s a hot and humid Saturday morning in Pontiac, Michigan, where Mark Wahlberg is filming “Transformers: The Last Knight” and a small crew is on hand to shoot the cover of 24Life. He’s been working 16 hours a day, and there’s no rest on the weekend: he’s got Wahlburgers restaurant business to address here, as well as a working dinner. Nevertheless, he is going to make sure he attends church, squeezes in a round of golf, and has some fun with the 24Life crew, too.

Wahlberg is in action-hero shape, and his hair is longer than usual for the latest chapter in the Transformers saga. It’s a fast follow-on to his role in “Patriots Day,” a film about the Boston Marathon bombing, and his character Mike Williams, the electronics technician who became the face of one of the world’s largest man-made disasters, in “Deepwater Horizon” — due in theaters September 30.

As we talk with Wahlberg about his sensitive and skilled portrayal of Williams in “Deepwater Horizon”— and the opportunity it gave him to bring forward the human story behind the environmental tragedy — it becomes clear how deeply Wahlberg values people and community, not only in his career as an actor and producer, but also in his family life and in his ventures in the restaurant industry and in performance water and supplementation.

24Life: “Deepwater Horizon” presents the untold story behind that disaster — that of individuals and a community facing life-or-death decisions. Many of the standout roles you’ve played are ones in which your character’s relationship to others is crucial. Is that element a factor in your choice of parts or projects?

Mark Wahlberg (MW): A lot of things go into the decision-making process, but with stories like “Deepwater Horizon,” we’re talking about the lives of real people and dealing with tragedy and loss of life. Those are obviously extremely delicate subjects, especially in the case of Deepwater Horizon. Eleven people lost their lives, but all the media attention and focus was on the environmental disaster. It seemed like not a lot of people know that … the 11 people that lost their lives do a job, and are part of a world and a community that provides a service for us, [and we’re] unaware of the dangers and risks they face to get those resources that are part of our daily lives.

We had the huge responsibility of making sure that we did it right, and that we did proper justice to the lives of the people we portrayed. Obviously, every movie is different, every role is different, but when dealing with true stories, we make that sure every single person involved is committed to getting it right and making sure that we honor the people [we are portraying]. That’s the golden rule. And no one has a problem doing that.

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When you see Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon, the $150m movie based on the true story of the tragic oil rig explosion in 2010 which cost 11 crew members their lives and created the worst environmental disaster in US history, it’s hard to imagine any other Hollywood actor in the role.

It’s not so much that he resembles Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician who was the last to escape from the burning rig and on whom Wahlberg’s character was based: Williams’ face is rounded, whereas Wahlberg’s has the lean definition of someone who has spent a lifetime staying in shape. It’s more that you can absolutely believe in Wahlberg as the devoted father who jeopardises his family life by helping his wounded colleagues, and as the honest blue-collar working stiff, with a mind like a steel trap.

Wahlberg has spent more than two decades climbing to the top of the Hollywood tree. His breakthrough role in Boogie Nights came in 1997; his first Oscar nomination came 10 years later, for Scorsese’s The Departed, followed by another in 2011 for The Fighter.

You could forgive Wahlberg if he let success go to his head. He grew up poor, the youngest of nine siblings. His father was a delivery driver who left when Wahlberg was 11. He got involved with drugs and gang violence not long after, and only cleaned himself up after a spell in prison made him determined to turn his life around. He followed his brother (Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block) into music, finding success – and even a Calvin Klein modelling contract – with his hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch before turning to acting.

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With their bulging muscles and Boston accents, the Wahlberg brothers have a reputation for being one of the toughest sibling acts around – but that didn’t stop Donnie Wahlberg from tearing up when reminiscing about their humble beginnings.

While being interviewed with his New Kids on the Block bandmates by his wife Jenny McCarthy on her SiriusXM show, the singer, 46, got emotional recalling how Mark, 45, credited him for his success during the band’s 2011 concert at Fenway Park.

“I’m gonna cry,” Wahlberg told McCarthy in front of the intimate group of fans gathered in the SiriusXM studios. “He was the original member of the band with me.”

According to the star, the memories of those early moments with his younger brother are especially important now that both are busy with their own lives and careers.

“Obviously we’re brothers and partners in business and our relationship is fine, but it’s different,” he said. “We’ve grown so far apart, just through work and career and things that are important.”

Wahlberg explained to his wife during the interview that Mark’s introduction struck a cord because it reminded him of the band’s very first show where his brother was also the one to call them up on stage.

“When Mark acknowledged that he introduced us at the first show and now it’s come full circle to acknowledging us and introducing us at Fenway, I’d forgotten that he did that,” he said of the moment that made him realize how much they had accomplished over the years.

Added the singer: “That’s what moved me. It’s the look how far we’ve all come.”

[people.com]

The Hollywood actor is a dad to two daughters and two sons with wife Rhea Durham and has been able to strike a balance between his career and family life. That said, Mark doesn’t choose jobs as lightly as he used to now that he’s got other responsibilities.

“Absolutely,” he told Men’s Fitness magazine when asked if being a spiritual person impacts the films he chooses. “And also being a dad. And a husband. What I’m willing to do and not do. I never want to compromise my artistic integrity. But at the same time, with (playing a porn star in) Boogie Nights, I already did that. I’d be hard-pressed to do something in that world today.”

It’s fair to say that Mark is a far cry from the younger man he used to be, with numerous run-ins with the law and drug addictions in his past. Now with success to his name and children who look up to him, the 44-year-old is most concerned with focusing on making a positive impact.

“Sometimes you have no control,” he sighed. “Once you’ve done everything you can to create something, it goes out there and it either works or doesn’t. At the end of the day I just know I did everything I could do to make it the best it would be. Then you gotta be able to move on. Let it go.”

He also goes out of his way to ensure his offspring have everything he missed out on growing up, while instilling a strong work ethic in them. So amid all the fun they have together, Mark maintains discipline and structure and tries to keep his brood busy at all times.

[film-news.co.uk]

Preview of Mark Wahlberg’s cover story in the May 2016 issue of Men’s Fitness. For the full story, including exclusive content, click here to download the issue now or pick up a copy on newsstands on April 25.  (Photos by Jeff Lipsky)

Over the course of his 25-year career, Mark Wahlberg has redefined “reinvention,” going from musician to underwear model to actor to leading man to, ultimately, one of Hollywood’s most versatile stars and megaproducers. Now he’s kicking ass in a whole new arena: that of an entrepreneurial powerhouse.

Wahlburgers, the hamburger chain he launched with his brothers Paul and Donnie—and turned into an A&E reality show by the same name—is blowing up, with seven locations and another 100 planned. AquaHydrate, the fitness water company he fronts with Sean Combs, is gobbling up market share. And this month Wahlberg will launch his most personal venture yet: a “clean” supplement company called Performance Inspired. (He’s not the only big name involved—ultrafit golfer Rory McIlroy is attached to the company, too.)

Built on Walberg’s experience beefing up his physique for films like Lone Survivor, The Fighter, and Transformers, Performance Inspired is no mere “endorsement” for the star. Every free moment he has, he’s hustling for the brand—researching the competition, working the phones, and reaching out to distributors. Yet somehow he does all this and his day job: He recently wrapped Deepwater Horizon, about the 2010 BP oil spill, and is now filming Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing. And after that it’s the next Transformers movie, with director Michael Bay.

So how does a superstar, superproducer, and nascent business mogul—not to mention father of four—even find the time to play golf, much less with a 300-yard swing? We caught up with him in the Hollywood Hills, still sporting an oil-rig worker’s goatee, to talk about his drive on and off the golf course.

HE MIGHT BE A ROOKIE IN THE SUPPLEMENTS INDUSTRY, BUT HE’S PLAYING TO WIN.

“The great thing about my partner Tom Dowd is that he worked for 25 years at GNC and helped build some of the greatest products out there. We see how the space is growing. [We’re] creating a product line 
that wasn’t out there yet. I’ve always been adamant about being natural, no matter what I was doing—training, putting on weight, losing weight. So this is an all-natural product— nothing that can give you a bad reaction. Student athletes
 can take it, collegiate athletes—you never have to worry.”

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By Donnie Wahlberg

How I lost my Monday nights — but not quite my manhood — to my wife’s favorite TV show. Don’t laugh, it could happen to you, too.

Disclaimer: Do not comment unless you read every word.

This has to be some kind of karmic retribution.

A turning of the tables for all of those husbands out there who had to put up with their wives wanting to go see the New Kids on The Block reunion concerts. Sweet revenge for the nice-guy hubbies who had to put up with their wives talking about how hunky Jordan was, cute Joey still is or how much of a “bad boy” Donnie was, during his Public Enemy T-shirt-wearing rebellious phase.

Payback, for all those men who spent their paychecks on surprise New Kids concert tickets for their spouses. The same guys who had to then shell out another $30 for a Jonathan T-shirt, or even more (than I care to mention) for a meet and greet photo op with the band.

More likely, it’s a quarter century worth of “what comes around goes around.” You know, for all those late-1980s teenage boys who had to compete with my band for the affections of their AquaNet-spraying, high-hair wearing, 16 Magazine-reading, young teenage girlfriends.

What other explanation could there be, that could make sense of the fact that …

I am addicted to the “The Bachelor”!!!

There, I said it. OK?

The freaking Bachelor.

It’s karma, isn’t it?

What other explanation can there be for the fact that I know all these Bachelor guys on a first-name and character-description basis, the same way that so many husbands had to get to know Donnie, Jordan, Danny, Jon and Joe?

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Mark Wahlberg’s career has taken some unexpected twists over the past three decades, but even the movie star acknowledges that his most recent turn is the most unusual yet.

If someone had told him five years ago he would soon be starring in a reality TV series, “I would say that you were out of your mind, because the last thing I want to do is be on television,” he says.

Yet there he is, front and center on A&E’s Wahlburgers—the reality series that returned for its fifth season last Wednesday and is focused on the gourmet burger chain, also called Wahlburgers, owned by Wahlberg; his brother Donnie (the New Kid on the Block member and star of CBS’ Blue Bloods); and their brother Paul, who has worked as a chef for three decades.

But their reality show isn’t the usual, semi-desperate attempt at a celebrity comeback—in fact, Mark Wahlberg’s power in Hollywood has never been greater.

“It hasn’t hurt anything I’ve done or the brand I’ve built over the last 27 years, because we own it and we live it,” Wahlberg says of the series. “It’s an amazing marketing tool, and it’s all about promoting the business and building the business.”

And the burger business has been very, very good for Wahlberg and his family.

The first Wahlburgers restaurant opened in 2011 outside Boston in Hingham, Mass., across the street from the family’s first restaurant, Alma Nove, named for mom Alma and her nine kids. The popularity of the show (it’s been nominated twice for the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program category, and its first season in 2014 attracted 3.7 million viewers in live-plus-seven ratings) has put the Wahlberg restaurant business on an impressive trajectory.

The family’s seventh spot, in Orlando, Fla., opened last month, joining others in Toronto, Coney Island, Boston’s Fenway Park and elsewhere. Ten more stores are planned this year in cities including Philadelphia and Las Vegas. Earlier this month, the company announced agreements with five groups to open 30 new franchises, making for a total of 118 stores internationally (including five in Canada and 20 in the Middle East) over the next few years.

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Mark Wahlberg took the advertising world by storm in 1992, thanks to his provocative, indelible Calvin Klein underwear campaign, which was shot by the late Herb Ritts. He’s been surprising us ever since, transitioning from Marky Mark, the rapper behind the ’90s hit “Good Vibrations,” to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, thanks to films like Boogie Nights, Ted, Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Departed (which landed him an Oscar nomination).

A decade ago, he made yet another bold pivot, branching into producing projects for both television (HBO’s Entourage, which was based on his life, as well as the premium cable channel’s series Boardwalk Empire and Ballers) and film (Lone Survivor, The Fighter and Patriots Day, his forthcoming drama about the Boston Marathon bombing).

As he helps engineer the steady rise of the Wahlburgers chain, Wahlberg talks with Adweek about why he initially hated the name of the restaurant, his approach to working with brand marketers and what he learned from posing in those boxer briefs back in the day.

Adweek: Where did the name Wahlburgers come from?
Mark Wahlberg: We had already done Alma Nove (named for their mother, Alma), which was a big success, and I was grateful I was I able to help [my brother] Paul see that dream come to reality. But once he mentioned the idea of Wahlburgers, I said, “Are you out of your mind?” I spent 20-some-odd years building my brand and going from the music world to being taken really seriously as an actor and a producer. I said, “There’s no way. Call it Paul’s Place, whatever you want. I’ll fund it for you, but this is not going to happen.” Then I thought, wait a second here. If we could really build a business, a real business, then that’s something that I’m interested in. But we’re going to do it in a big way. I want to be around to enjoy it. And so things kind of happened.

Was the plan always for you to be this heavily involved in the show? You’re featured as much as anyone else in your family.
Originally it was like, OK, we’re going to put my brother Paul and my mother and [my friend Johnny] Drama and those guys there. But I just said, you know what? I think to really give it the best chance to succeed—and again, we’re talking about the business—I should be involved in every aspect.

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By Donnie Wahlberg

Where Donald Trump plays the role of Gary Busey — fighting it out with Bernie Sanders in the role of Meat Loaf — and we the people rule the boardroom.

What more can be said about Donald Trump that hasn’t already been said?

Regardless of how you feel about him, Mr. Trump is only a few more GOP primary wins — and a potential Hillary Clinton federal indictment — away from assuming the job of President of The United States of America.

Once upon a time, that concept seemed impossible. Today, it seems very possible.

Some Americans are embarrassed by this development. Some are angry. Many more are terrified. Like, really, really terrified.

I, however, can’t help but see the incredible irony in the fact that his presence has reduced this year’s election process to a real-life version of his own long-running reality TV series, “Celebrity Apprentice.”

I was a very big fan of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Seriously, it was an awesome show. Trainwreck TV at its finest: Former stars like Gary Busey, Meat Loaf, Dionne Warwick and Jose Canseco all took turns trying to raise money for charity (and resurrect their careers) by playing various business roles, in hopes of eventually being “hired” by Mr. Trump. Beyond the show’s victorious celebs, most had no idea what they were doing, and were often in way over their heads (much like Mr. Trump appears to be when discussing foreign policy).

At the end of each episode came the climactic and infamous boardroom scene. A scene where the celebrity contestants showed up in the dreaded “boardroom” and pleaded their cases to a scowling Mr. Trump. The contestants name-called, lied, backstabbed, cheated, manipulated and threw each other under the bus (basically, what Mr. Trump has reduced every single GOP debate to). All with the hope of convincing Mr. Trump, that they were worthy of the job, and to avoid hearing him utter the two most dreaded words in all of reality television: “You’re fired.”

The show was a ratings sensation, just like candidate Trump is now for the many news networks that can’t get enough of him.

We could choose to be appalled by the fact that one of the most important presidential elections of our lifetimes has been reduced to comparisons with “Celebrity Apprentice,” or we could choose, instead, to accept this process for exactly what candidate Trump has turned it to — a reality TV game show.

Call it, Presidential Apprentice.

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By Donnie Wahlberg

Daily reminders, for famous people, to reduce the risk of becoming an a–hole. Simply because they are famous.

I’m sure you’ve all heard horror stories of celebrity eccentricities. How could you not, when we live in a culture where the evening news has been replaced by celebrity news programs? Where social media and the Internet give us constant updates on celebrities’ every movement, thought, breath, twerk, fart, shower, selfie and, of course, temper tantrum. Or should I say tantrums, plural, because they seem to happen so often.

I’m not sure exactly what happens to some celebrities that causes them to get caught up in the trappings of fame. What makes them think that they are superheroes, simply because they get paid to play them on screen. I’m sure there are many factors that I’m not qualified to diagnose. I’ve certainly been guilty of a few goof-ups in the past myself. But there is a major difference between making poor choices, and becoming a complete a–hole.

Most famous people don’t arrive on the celebrity scene as divas. Yet, it seems, far too many famous people use their fame as an excuse to become just that. To those famous folks who think that a good voice, a lucky break or a bit more good looks than the average Joe, give you license to belittle others or carry on like a 5-year-old — I invite you to make yourself a list.

That’s right — a daily reminder list of simple things to always remember to do, even when your handlers, yes-men, entourage, flunkies, a– kissers, publicists and glam-teams encourage you not to waste your time doing them.

The following is my own personal list.

The day that I think I am too famous to perform any of these simple tasks, or use fame as an excuse to forget why I should do them, is the day I should cease being famous.

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By Donnie Wahlberg

My thoughts on BET, the Oscars and The Donald — and the reason that being colorblind in this country makes you blind to the experience of people of color. Note: If you don’t read all of this, don’t bother to comment.

Let me be clear before I start: I am a proud, Irish-Catholic white kid, with a last name that sounds Jewish, a Boston accent and a Boston Public Schools education.

Sound liberal enough? Actually, I’m a Republican — a political party that has a more diverse field of contenders than either the Democrats or the Oscars. Go figure.

But, while I may have been a big fan of “The Apprentice,” the former star of that TV show will not be the recipient of my vote for president.

Because, above all else, I’m an American. And if we truly want to be a country where the color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter, then we must first be willing to acknowledge that the experiences of people of a different skin color — and the wounds that may lie beneath that skin — really do matter. And that to be colorblind in this country is to be blind to the experiences of people of color.

Which leads us to this:

“… Well, what do we do with BET, Black Entertainment? Right?” Donald Trump said, referring to Stacey Dash’s response to the #OscarsSoWhite issue — she called for an end to BET in a recent interview with Fox News. “The whites don’t get any nominations,” Trump continued. “… I never even thought of it from that standpoint.”

(Let’s ignore the fact that BET is actually owned by Viacom for a moment — which only makes Ms. Dash and Mr. Trump’s comments all the more absurd.)

So Fox News plays divide and conquer versus #OscarsSoWhite, then Donald Trump weighs in with this incredibly ignorant response about BET, but none of the people that loathe him for his anti-Mexican/Syrian/Muslim/Female policies, make much of a fuss about it? He gets a free pass? How the hell does that happen?

The answer may say as much about us, as it does about Mr. Trump.

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WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ‘MAKING A MURDERER’

Like most of America, I did some binge watching of “Making a Murderer” this weekend. And, like most Americans, I followed that up with some binge reading, thinking and debating about it (mostly debating). But, unlike most Americans, I can’t help but be surprised by almost every reasonable person’s knee-jerk rush to judgment — in response to the police’s alleged rush to judgment — in the Steven Avery case. The public’s intense passion surrounding this case has an all-too-familiar feeling, but with a very unfamiliar, and rather ironic, public outcry. Let me explain …

A woman is horrifically murdered. The main suspect is a “high profile” man with a history of run-ins with the police. This man was seen in the company of the victim on the day of her death and seemed, by all accounts, to be completely at ease in the victim’s presence only hours before he, allegedly, brutally murdered her. The police in the case — some of whom are believed to have a grudge against the suspect, who think they’ve found “their man” — refuse to look into any other possible leads, or consider any other suspects. They focus all of their attention on this high-profile suspect, because they are convinced he is “their guy.” But they need more evidence to ensure a conviction. When they ultimately “find” the evidence they need (under questionable circumstances), they’re accused by the defense of planting that evidence. That evidence includes blood found in an SUV and one damning piece of evidence found at the suspect’s home.

If you assume this sounds like a quick rundown of the facts in the Steven Avery murder case, featured in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer,” you would be correct.

But …

It is also a quick rundown of the facts in the O.J. Simpson murder case.

Yes! That O.J. Simpson murder case.

Ironic?

Here are some more ironies to consider:

In “Making a Murderer,” the police are made to look like “evil” men by the defense. Just like Johnny Cochran argued about the cops in the O.J. case. But did the Manitowoc officers ever show anything in their history that would make us think that they were any more evil than Detective Mark Fuhrman was in the O.J. trial? Mark Fuhrman: A cop who put his hand on a Bible and swore to have never said the “N-word” in his life, but was then proven to have uttered it hundreds of times only weeks earlier.

Then there’s the “key” piece of evidence, which was found by the “evil” cops in both cases. The evil cops in the Avery case randomly found a “key” (the victim’s car key) in Steven Avery’s bedroom, which the defense claimed was planted by the police (it may have been). Meanwhile, the evil cop (Fuhrman) in the O.J. case, was the same cop who found the infamous “bloody glove” outside of O.J.’s house (a glove that he “found” after he illegally climbed the wall to O.J.’s property without a warrant). Again, the defense claims it was planted (it may well have been).

But wait, there’s more.

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Wahlberg is the ultimate pro—whether he’s carrying an Oscar-winning film, producing shows on TV, or simply making us laugh our asses off. (See today’s Ted 2.) But there’s much more to this father of four; namely, a struggle for redemption.

A boxy figure in a blue suit, collared shirt, and no tie emerges backlit from smoke and shadow. He walks toward you, hands in pockets, fabric draping in symmetrical billows, his gait even, steps steady, and pauses, yellow light now hitting him full in the face. Mark Wahlberg nods once, then blinks, and asks, “How was that? Again?” He turns, walks back into the shadow and smoke, stands there, waits.

He’s here on a Hollywood sound-stage, filming a promotion for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. For pay-per-view watchers—in other words, all of us except the precious few who could afford the many thousands of dollars it cost to be in the MGM Grand Garden Arena that night in May—the first thing we saw before the big fight, after the preliminaries, before the ring walks and the cameras panning to the celebrities in the audience, was Mark Wahlberg walking out of the smoke and shadow, his familiar drawn, beseeching, hungry face staring at us and uttering with action-hero solemnity a kind of beat poem for the pugilistic set: “A rivalry, deeper than competition, so personal it transcends sports, it speaks to the very core of human nature.”

He goes on in this macho cadence for more than 30 seconds. It’s no easy task to stand there and spout this steroidal copywriting, but Wahlberg does it with aplomb, never wavering, in two quick takes. Like after a hard left and a hard right, this promo is down for the count. The lights come up and a few dozen camera, sound, light people, and a half-dozen guys in suits seated in armchairs, a phone in each hand, can finally stand up and stretch, talk full-throatedly into their phones. Wahlberg is a pro. He got here on time. He filled out his suit like a panther does his fur. And then nailed his lines. You can’t say the same for the other guy slated to do the promo, Sean “Diddy” Combs, who, as of Wahlberg’s nailed take, was already an hour late.

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