Mark Wahlberg was initially afraid that Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” would come between him and his Calvins.
The actor, whose Marky Mark rap persona was immortalized in a Calvin Klein underwear campaign, recalled being hesitant to sign on for the 1997 film “Boogie Nights,” which followed an aspiring adult actor in the San Francisco porn industry Fernando Valley of the 1970s follows. Heather Graham, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy and Burt Reynolds also star in the film.
“When I first heard about the film, I didn’t like the subject matter,” Wahlberg said Cigar lovers. “I was coming from the whole Marky Mark thing, pulling down my pants, Calvin Klein underwear – I didn’t know if that was just the next level of my exploitation, and now all of a sudden we have to lose the underwear.”
Wahlberg continued: “My agents kept pushing me. So I read the first 25 or 30 pages and then basically put it aside. I thought this could be something great, or it could be absolutely terrible.”
The “Father Stu” actor/producer later said in 2017 that he hoped God would forgive him for playing Dirk Diggler in “Boogie Nights” and not having a similar one now that he’s a father of four would take on the role.
Later in the Cigar Aficionado interview, Wahlberg discussed why he has focused on producing in recent years, financing films like “Father Stu” and the series “Entourage” as well as the Emmy winner “Boardwalk Empire.”
“I started producing out of necessity. “I was always proactive in trying to find material and things that I could produce that I knew were right for me and could shape my own destiny,” Wahlberg said. “If I want to be in this position, I would rather be behind the wheel. You’re driving on the highway at 100 miles per hour. Do you want to sit in the back seat without a seatbelt or do you want to sit behind the wheel?”
He added: “I’m certainly working harder now than ever before. You build certain companies, pass them on or leave them. I don’t think I’ll be able to act like this for much longer at the pace I’m at now. That’s for sure, because that’s the hardest part.”