Don’t expect to get into a political debate with Mark Wahlberg. The Patriots Day star told Task & Purpose magazine he stayed mum during the controversial 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton because he doesn’t think celebrities should discuss politics.
“A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t [talk politics],” he told the magazine, explaining that A-listers aren’t on the same playing field as the common voter. “They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family.”
However, despite his own major celebrity status, Wahlberg considers himself to be in touch with the everyday man.
“Me, I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world, and I exist in the real world,” he said. “And although I can navigate Hollywood, and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”
The actor grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, the youngest of nine children — one of his older siblings is New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg — and he has been vocal about his past drug use and run-ins with the law. Prior to bursting onto the music scene in the '90s as the hunky rapper Marky Mark, he worked as a bricklayer and suffered from cocaine addiction by the age of 13.
“As soon as I began that life of crime, there was always a voice in my head telling me I was going to end up in jail," he told biographer Matt Green, in The Amazing Life of Mark Wahlberg, about being locked up. “Now I’d earned my stripes, and I was just like them, and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I’d ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine, and I never wanted to go back.”
Wahlberg, now a dad of four, credits his faith for getting himself back on track.
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