The former street tough has been nominated for an Academy Award and is an executive producer of four television shows. But now he's on the verge of unveiling a highly anticipated movie that became an obsession.
He produced and stars in "The Fighter," an intense and true family drama about two boxing brothers from Wahlberg's native Massachusetts. "The Fighter" will premiere next month.
But now you will get a peek at what Mark Wahlberg says is the most satisfying (and brutal) project he's ever been involved in.
On a "60 Minutes" shoot about his new movie "The Fighter," Mark Wahlberg's personal entourage was never far behind. Meet the real-life inspirations behind the HBO series "Entourage."
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In the movie, Wahlberg plays "Irish" Micky Ward, the blue collar boxer and perennial underdog from Lowell, Mass. who struggles to emerge from the shadow of his older brother Dicky, a promising boxer turned-crack head, played by Christian Bale.
The rocky relationship between the two brothers is at the heart of "The Fighter." For the movie's boxing scenes, Wahlberg stepped into the ring himself. Stunt men were out of the question.
"Was it hard to just stand and take it and take it and take it?" correspondent Lara Logan asked.
"It doesn't tickle," Wahlberg replied, laughing.
Asked if he ever got hurt, Wahlberg said, "I almost got my nose broken a couple of times. Because when we shot the fights, the goal for me was always to make it as real as possible."
To that end, Wahlberg got ready for the film as if he was training for a title fight. "I didn't want to look like an actor who could box, I wanted to look like a boxer who could win the world title," he explained.
At his home in Beverly Hills, Wahlberg built a boxing mecca, complete with a top-of-the line ring. "We were in here eight to ten hours a day," he told Logan.
It was there that he brought the real brothers, Micky and Dicky, to help with his training.
Wahlberg trained for the role for four years, not knowing whether one frame of the film would ever be shot. "The Fighter" almost didn't get made; directors and co-stars came and went.
"Did you ever think, 'You know, gosh, I'm never gonna get this made. This is just impossible'?" Logan asked.
"There were certainly times where I would wake up at 4:30 in the morning, you know, my trainer would ring the bell. And, 'Oh God.' I'm like, 'I better get this movie made.' You know, 'Kill somebody if I don't get this movie made,'" Wahlberg recalled.
Wahlberg acknowledged he got obsessed with the project.
"What made you say, 'This is the one.' What was it about it?" Logan asked.
"I was such a huge Micky Ward fan," he said. "I mean, God, you know, the name Micky Ward was to me, like the name Larry Bird - just a local sports hero."
In Micky Ward, Wahlberg also saw glimpses of his own story: like Ward, he was one of nine kids and grew up in working class Massachusetts.
"Were these streets really rough when you were growing up?" Logan asked Wahlberg as they walked through the Dorchester section of Boston.
"The old guy from the store?" Wahlberg noted during their walk. "He thinks I owe him money…. I think it's my brother who owes him money. It's my brother, Georgie! It's my brother!"