By Fred Topel | Images property of Touchstone Pictures.
Mark Wahlberg in Invincible
Mark Wahlberg is in good shape. We all saw Boogie Nights and those old Calvin Klein ads. But that was many years ago. When you see Invincible and see the same ripped physique, you’ve got to wonder what’s keeping a guy so strong.
Wahlberg Talks Invincible
“Actually I did a movie before that that I finished days before where I was asked to gain a lot of weight for that one,” he said. “I came into camp a little overweight and they were a little worried, but I just started running. Mostly running. I didn’t really lift weights I had lifted weights to put on weight for the other film. It was more about trimming down and looking like a wide receiver and that’s what I look like.”
Check out The Departed later this year for the “before” picture. Invincible is the story of Philadelphia Eagles rookie Vince Papale, who earned a spot on the team by competing in open tryouts against thousands of Philly locals.
“It’s a big deal. The only other time I had experience that was in The Perfect Storm and obviously it was an extremely sensitive subject because of the tragic loss of all those guys. But with Vince, he was just so happy to get the movie made and I mean, I swear to god, it didn’t matter if Jackie Chan was playing me. He would have been happy. I swear to god, he was just so happy the movie was being made.”
Even though the film cinematizes some of his life. For example, his future wife was not actually a Giants fan, but that made better romance. “I don’t think they took any liberties that were part of his life. I just didn’t think they had enough room to put everything in there in a certain part of his life before he made the team. I thought one of the most interesting things that I always used to talk about was after he won the first game for the Eagles. What was his life like? Because he was the king of Philly for a long time. So, I wanted to know about all the things he was doing with Denny Franks and how they were treated and how much advantage he took of that. We’ve had similar experiences. He’s interesting to talk to. He’s a really good guy.”
Wahlberg took his own hits in the movie, proving himself with the real football players costarring as the 1975 Philadelphia Eagles. “When a guy says ‘Look, I’m here to make it as real as possible and once you cross into the lines it’s fair game,’ they might apologize to the coach after for taking your head off, but they aren’t really going to apologize to you. But it was cool, because it’s not like Vince is Rudy and goes out there and gets killed all the time. He was a very well respected guy and feared by many coaches. He didn’t care. He would do everything he could to prevent the other team from beating the Eagles. And a guy with that much will and heart and determination that is something to be leery of.”