Getting on the wrong side of A-list darling Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t a great idea for any actor – think of all those auditions for Oscar bait that would slip away? And Mark Wahlberg knows this better than most. The 47-year-old has admitted that he nearly lost a big role at the start of his acting career due to a feud with Leo. Mark was chosen to play Mickey in 1995’s The Basketball Diaries, which followed the story of promising basketball player Jim (played by Leo) who develops an addiction to heroin.
However, as Wahlberg was best known at that time as the frontman of Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch, Leo – who had already received an Oscar nomination for his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – wasn’t keen on having him in the gritty coming-of-age drama. Speaking at the 2018 LEAP Foundation Conference, Mark, 47, admitted: ‘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.’ Thankfully, Wahlberg got to stay in the film, and went on to star in films including Boogie Nights, Planet Of The Apes, The Departed – for which he was Oscar nominated – and Ted.
He is now one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, as well as being a critically acclaimed producer. Mark was nominated for an Oscar for producing The Fighter, while he produced Entourage, Ballers and Shooter. Meanwhile, the tiff didn’t harm Leonardo’s career either.
After starring in a few low-key, indie films like Titanic, The Great Gatsby, The Departed and The Wolf Of Wall Street – dunno if you’ve heard of any of them – Leo finally won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Revenant in 2016; and he is currently filming Once Upon A Time In Hollywood with Brad Pitt. Mark and Leonardo reunited on screen in 2006’s The Departed, which was named Best Picture at the Oscars.
by Emma Kelly