Proof: Mark Wahlberg Is a Better Actor Than You Ever Realized


We know. Mark Wahlberg playing an inventor in the new Transformers movie feels … off, at least at first glance, and maybe even at second and third glance. As our own David Edelstein put it so well, “I’m sure there are people less suited to being cast as an egghead than Wahlberg, with his swollen pecs and biceps and streetwise Boston diction. Let me think … don’t rush me … Sylvester Stallone? Justin Bieber?” (Apparently, Michael Bay never saw The Happening, which attempted to sell us on the notion of Mark Wahlberg, high-school science teacher.) At the same time, though, don’t let Wahlberg’s odd miscasting in the occasional blockbuster trick you into believing that the man has no range. He does. A physically gifted star who also happens to have one of the most expressive brows of any actor working today, Wahlberg has explored quite a wide variety of parts and emotions since making the leap to feature films in the 1990s. Here are 20 of them.