Belfast Telegraph

Mark Wahlberg ditched wardrobe worries

Mark Wahlberg became "obsessed" with his transformation for The Gambler.

The American actor stars in the upcoming remake of the original 1974 crime drama as Jim Bennett, a literature professor whose betting habit goes down badly with a group of ruthless gangsters. Mark was originally happy to take on the role of a bulky man, however director Rupert Wyatt persuaded the star to lose around 60lbs. to create an accurate portrayal of a gambling addict.

“I loved the wardrobe and I loved the idea of Jim only having two suits and two shirts and never really worried about his appearance,” Mark explained to backstage magazine. “Which is why I agreed to do the whole transformation thing, because Rupert was like, ‘He’s not really eating or worried about exercise.’ And once I start doing something I just become obsessed with it so I keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it. But it also gets pretty annoying when people talk about it. You have to prepare mentally and physically - that’s the job.”

He may have put on an exceptional performance but it came at a price. The 43-year-old recently spoke about the effect dieting had on him, especially when he had to work out on an empty stomach.

"I felt miserable, like my character. Not a happy camper," he sighed. "I love food. I like exercising, but I like exercising when I'm eating properly, and having to exercise twice as hard as I've ever done without eating was pretty much a nightmare. But, you know, that's what Rupert and those guys wanted to do, and they had a specific look in mind... I was like, fine."

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