Mark Wahlberg was concerned Boogie Nights role would ‘exploit’ him

The film would go on to become one of the most acclaimed of the ’90s.

Mark Wahlberg has reflected on his role as porn star Dirk Diggler in the acclaimed 1997 drama Boogie Nights.

Speaking to Cigar Aficionado for the publication’s September/October edition, the actor, 52, admitted he was worried the film would “exploit” him.

“When I first heard about the film, the subject matter was not appealing to me,” Wahlberg said of Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie. “I came from the whole Marky Mark thing, pulling down my pants, Calvin Klein underwear – I didn’t know if this was just the next level of exploiting me and now all of a sudden we have to lose the underwear.”

The star continued, “My agents kept pushing me. So I read the first 25, 30 pages, and I kind of put it down. I was like this could be something great, or this could be absolutely terrible.”

The film would go on to become not only one of Wahlberg’s best, but one of the most acclaimed of the ’90s, earning his co-stars Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds Oscar nominations.

Later in the interview, the actor revealed he began producing films like Father Stu and TV shows such as Entourage and Boardwalk Empire “out of necessity”.

“I was always proactive in trying to find material and things that I could produce, that I knew was right for me, to create my own destiny,” Wahlberg explained. “If I’m going to be in that position I’d rather be behind the wheel. You’re going 100 miles an hour down the highway, do you want to be in the back seat with no seatbelt or do you want to be behind the wheel?”

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