Mark Wahlberg says he trained for nearly half a decade to prepare for the role of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward in his new film "The Fighter".
The movie, which is scheduled for release on December 10, tells the story of how Ward's brother, played by Christian Bale, helped train him before the boxer went pro in the mid 1980s.Wahlberg, 39, told OnTheRedCarpet.com he wanted to produce the movie about his friend of 21 years ever since he started acting. Wahlberg and Ward had similar upbringings, growing up near Boston with nine kids in each of their families. The actor occasionally had his doubts about whether he should play the lead and produce the flick, but realized that if you want it done right, sometimes you have to do things yourself.
"I had trained so much," Wahlberg said. "Micky had such high expectations and expected so much of the person that was playing the role that I didn't think anybody else was gonna take another four and a half years out of their life to train and prepare in the way in which I thought they should to portray Micky and to be able to do the boxing in a way that other films hadn't."
In preparing for the role, Wahlberg not only trained for nearly half a decade in order to "do the boxing in a way that other films hadn't," but he also gained 30 pounds while filming his recent cop comedy "The Other Guys".
"I had five weeks to lose the weight again," the actor said, "but at least there was a finish line in sight. We had already done most of the movie, so it was worth it. After that, I've been just eating."
With six movies coming out in 2012, Wahlberg hasn't exactly taken a rest after this monumental feat of a movie has wrapped, but he pretended that he would make an effort anyway.
"I can rest a little bit," Wahlberg said. "And then in the next couple of years I can find the next thing that will, you know, control my life for half a decade."
The actor has four children with his wife Rhea Durham, one of which was just born last January. The couple is expecting another baby in 2011.