Mark Wahlberg sought divine mercy when looking back on his past movie roles during a chat with the Chicago Tribune ahead an event with Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich Friday.
The actor, who is a devout Catholic, jokingly told the Tribune, “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I’ve made some poor choices in my past.”
When asked whether there were any movies in particular that he’d like to repent his sins for, the Transformers: The Last Knight star had a ready answer: “Boogie Nights is up there at the top of the list.”
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s widely acclaimed 1997 film, Wahlberg portrayed ’70s porn star Dirk Diggler, a young nightclub dishwasher who rose to fame for his good looks, charisma and notably large penis. On his rise to fame, however, Diggler gets involved in drugs and spirals into a series of bad situations.
The trajectory is one that Wahlberg said he can relate to. At age 16, the Boston native formerly known as rapper Marky Mark hurled racial slurs at two Vietnamese men, and was arrested and thrown in jail on charges of attempted murder. (He later pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to two years in prison, of which he served only 45 days).
“I’ve never been shy about sharing my past and the bad decisions I’ve made and being affiliated with gangs, being incarcerated, so absolutely I think they can identify with me on a personal level, and that’s why I’ve continued to try to do as much as I can to help young people,” he said, explaining how he was able to find his footing once more with the help of the church.
“It’s one thing to give money, or to start programs, but to be there and be able to talk to them, and tell them there is someone who has been through the same things they are going through and was able to turn their life around, and turn it into a big positive,” he continued. “That’s always important.”
In 2015, Wahlberg jokingly asked for Pope Francis’ forgiveness for the raunchy, expletive-filled comedy Ted during an event.