Mark Wahlberg Reveals He Keeps the ‘Reigns Pretty Tight’ on His Teenage Daughter Ella 

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Mark Wahlberg and Ella Rae Wahlberg attend a basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Noel Vasquez/GC Images

Mark Wahlberg has been in show business since the age of 20 when he rose to fame as the pants-dropping frontman of Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch. But the father of four, who was named the highest-paid actor in 2017, is praying his kids stay far, far away from Hollywood. 

“That was like my worst fear that they were going to become actors,” the 47-year-old told Us Weekly and other reporters at the Wahlburgers season 9 premiere party in West Hollywood on Wednesday, June 13. But the Daddy’s Home 2 star revealed he will support his children in “whatever they want to do” just as long as they have a backup plan.

Wahlberg and his wife of nine years, Rhea Durham, are parents of Ella, 14, Michael, 12, Brendan, 9, and Grace, 8. The Departed star said he would be thrilled if his kids joined the family burger chain. “We’re not going to force them into anything, but it would be nice,” he said, adding that model Durham, 39, “would love our sons to be athletes.” 

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Mark Wahlberg, Brendan Wahlberg, Ella Rae Wahlberg, Rhea Durham, and Michael Wahlberg attend the “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” New York Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on June 25, 2014 in New York City. Jim Spellman/WireImage

While chatting about his brood, Wahlberg opened up about life at home with a teenage daughter. When it comes to Ella dating, the action star has “grown to accept” that it’s going to be happen. He then joked to Us that the high school freshman always manages to “extend” her punishments. “We’re keeping the reigns pretty tight on her,” he said. “If she has to stay in her room and be punished for a month, she’s OK as long as she has her phone.”

Though Ella is too young for Tinder, Wahlberg acknowledged that it’s “inevitable” that she’ll one day start swiping. “It is what it is,” he mused. “As long as we can give her the kind of tools to know she should be treated with the utmost respect, kindest and love and find a good boy, then there you go.” 

With reporting by Carly Sloane.

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