Mark Wahlberg On What It Takes To Be A Good FatherOn the surface, Mark Wahlberg’s most recent film, Daddy’s Home, is a slick comedy. But if you look further it offers various recipes to fatherly success – something the 45-year-old father of four knows a lot about.
THE RED BULLETIN: We see two different types of father in Daddy’s Home. One is sensible and responsible, and the other is cool and likes to have a laugh with his kids. Which one are you?
MARK WAHLBERG: I would say I’m a bit of both. I try to be a cool dad when it comes to certain things, like sports. But I can also get very emotional with my kids.
I was watching my son play basketball recently, he is only in the sixth grade and he was playing against seventh and eighth graders, but he is still a lot smaller than they are, and seeing him out there trying to compete with kids a lot older was really emotional for me. It was a proud moment.
Why was he playing against older kids?
Because he’s advanced for his age. He’s used to winning and dominating others though, and he needs to learn how to lose. My wife is worried about him getting kicked, but that builds character I think. You have to be able to learn how to deal with loss, and that’s not possible when you’re so used to winning and dominating all the time.
Surely losing isn’t that great for your self-confidence?
You get confidence through the things you experience in life. My kids all play sports, and I always encourage them to give their best. You feel a lot better about yourself if you give it your all – winning or losing doesn’t matter if you know you gave it 100%. If you don’t, then you are going to have live with that regret – wondering whether the outcome would have been different had you given it everything.
The film also shows how kids can deal with being bullied. Not through violence, but through a dance-off. What would be your personal recommendation?
That depends. You’ve got to be able to protect yourself. But I hope my children can talk themselves out of a difficult situation before considering other options. But they also have to be able to defend themselves if it comes down to that.
You had experiences with violence as a teenager, and even spent time in prison, only to go on to become an Oscar nominee and successful businessman. Do your kids see you as a role model?
Not really. Maybe when they get older they will. I don’t talk too much about what I went through. They are still too young. Hopefully, if I lead by example and they see how committed I am to my faith and to my family and to my work, then they will realize it in their own time.
And if they don’t?
I have to accept every choice they make. It’s their life. All we can do is give them the tools to make their own decisions – but I will always support them in whatever they do.
Not only are you an actor and a father, you also produce shows like Boardwalk Empire, play various sports and keep fit regularly and you also own a number of restaurants. How do you juggle all of these things? Do you even have time to sleep?
Of course! Very regularly! It is easy to do it all if you are focused and disciplined. But you have to prioritize. You won’t succeed if you don’t. I have got a pretty good routine down, and I am pretty disciplined about it.
What advice would give to someone looking to do the same as you?
Put in the work. It has to be good, honest, hard work that will allow you to create a foundation you can stand on. That is the most important thing in my opinion. This is my approach to everything: to my family, my faith, my work – all those things.