Mark Wahlberg generously tossed in the big blind to help Rolling Stone kick off a new video series, “Research and Destroy,” in which actors and actresses discuss how they prep for roles.
Deck of cards in hand, Wahlberg talked up his latest movie, The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 James Caan film of the same name. The original movie was written by James Toback and inspired by his experience as a literature professor, who would moonlight as a high-stakes gambler. While Wahlberg’s character goes by a different name (Jim Bennett), he called on both his own experience and Toback’s life for the film.
“I played a lot of poker, I played a lot of Texas Hold ‘Em, I played a lot of blackjack,” Wahlberg said, after showing off his card-handling skills. But preparation wasn’t all fun and games: “I didn’t eat food, not because I didn’t want to, because I like food a lot,” Wahlberg said. “The director [Rupert Wyatt] asked me to be as thin as possible.”
Wahlberg also dealt out a few hands of blackjack, going head to head with the Rolling Stone camera crew, who had to learn the hard way: The house always wins. You can check out The Gambler in theaters now.