When Mark Wahlberg took on his role in the Transformers film, he also bulked up for the Michael Bay blockbuster. If you’re expecting to see Wahlberg’s buff body in his next project then you’ll be disappointed. Photos have emerged of the usually in shape actor taking on a drastic look for his new film The Gambler.
The new stills from his film The Gambler, show the Academy Award nominated actor as a gaunt literary professor who deals with a gambling addiction.
The images, which were released by USA Today, show Wahlberg’s frail frame, as he sits next to Jessica Lange. Although losing sixty pounds isn’t the only reason why Wahlberg could very well see his name among Oscar nominations, it doesn’t hurt. The Gambler’s release date is also Oscar friendly. The film comes out December 19, which is prime for the awards season.
For those not familiar The Gambler is a remake of a 1974 drama starring James Caan as the out of control professor turned gambler.
According to USA Today, to play the role of Jim Bennett, Wahlberg wasn’t concerned with whether or not he would be able to lose all the weight — that part was “easy” compared to convincing himself and everyone else that he could pass as a professor. Up until he was 41 he didn’t even have a high school diploma.
Of the role Wahlberg said, “Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words.”
Early screenings have people saying that Wahlberg is convincing as a professor. That, the actor says, was a big decision in deciding on the role after reading the script.
“Hearing that hit on one of my big reasons for doing this part. It’s different and unexpected.”
That said, dropping from 197 to 137 wasn’t really that easy. Wahlberg told the site, “Losing 60 pounds was not fun. I was never a happy guy being deprived of food. I like to eat six or seven meals a day. But we had to get rid of that stuff.”
Director Rupert Wyatt gives more insight to the character’s struggle.
“This is a man who has everything — wealth, looks, education, but he’s trapped in a gilded cage of privilege. He sets out on this journey to rid himself of all material possessions — to blow it all up — a quest to strip himself to get back to zero.”
[Image via Paramount Pictures]