Mark Wahlberg on parenting: ‘Always be involved in every aspect of their life’


Mark Wahlberg covers the June/July issue of Esquire to promote Transformers: Age of Extinction. This will hopefully be the last movie in what Mark called, “the most iconic franchise in history.” Esquire’s interviews have steadily gone downhill over the past few years. They attempt to replicate a “day in the life” of a given celeb, but the gimmick has worn thin. Like … they’re visiting the doctor with Wahlberg in this interview. He had strep. The doctor prescribed a shot in the rear, and Mark dropped his Calvins. The journo commented on the paleness of Mark’s bum. So weird.

This interview is all about Mark’s experience as a father of four young children (all under age 11). Why not? Actresses ramble on parenting all the time, so it’s nice to see a dude do it. We know that Mark is pretty religious and tries to forget his law-breaking past. He went back and graduated from high school at age 42. He talks about setting a good example. The guy is completely pompous in most interviews, but he’s not so bad here. The part about punching Harry Styles? He’s joking. Maybe:

Why he went back & finished high school:
“I can’t tell my kids to go to school and get an education if I don’t have a diploma. They’d start thinking, Why do we need to go? You didn’t go and you turned out all right. But I’m proud to have it. If I want to go on and further my education and study film or whatever, I can do that.”

On parenting: “I think the most important thing is to always be involved in every aspect of their life. To give them enough trust that they can share things with you. I don’t want them to be terrified of me, you know?”

His two daughters crush on Harry Styles: “I’m like, ‘Well I’m gonna punch Harry in the nose when I see him.’”

He grew up in a crowded house, all the boys shared a room: “Which was great at times and pretty traumatic at times when you were really young. You had brothers that were teenagers and they were doing sh-t that teenagers do, and you don’t understand what it is or why they’re doing it.”

Why did he once say he “didn’t feel safe as a child”? “I don’t know why I said that or where it came from. It probably had to do with how I was feeling at the time or what I was talking about in particular. I think, for the most part, I had a pretty good childhood. It wasn’t until we got older that we realized we didn’t have what a lot of other people had.”

Did Wahlberg ever go hungry? “No, it worked out because my dad drove a truck delivering school lunches, so that meant we got a lot of school lunches. We ate a lot of bologna sandwiches, but they also had those little Oreo packs in there sometimes.”

His newfound dilemma: “The biggest thing for me is, you know, as quickly as I was able to turn it around, to get from there to here, from me having nothing as a kid to me here now, providing everything for my kids, it’s like, I worry that maybe they won’t appreciate things. I worry that maybe they’ll have a sense of entitlement. You don’t wanna give your kids everything without giving them the tools to be great people.”

A nurse gives Mark a shot in the rear: “Yoooowwwwwww.”

[From Esquire]

Mark is appealing to the parents who played with Transformers toys as a child. He wants them to get all riled up and take their whole families to see this movie. That’s the only reason I can see for him using an Esquire cover to talk about parenting. It will probably work. Mark’s parenting struggles are real and will ring true with most parents. Most of us do worry about staying close to our kids but maintaining the “parent-child” dichotomy instead of being best buds. We also want to give our children what we didn’t have as kids, but we want them to appreciate the difference too. It’s hard.

Mark also talked to the Mail about how he hopes Rhea will allow them to see daddy in his silly robot movie. But Mark adds, “I hope they never see Entourage.” Good luck, Marky Mark. Say hi to your mother for me!

Here’s a photo of Mark at the Sydney Transformers premiere.


Photos courtesy of Esquire & WENN

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30 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg on parenting: ‘Always be involved in every aspect of their life’”

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  1. Hannah says:

    “Fatherhood. It’s not just for fathers anymore” What the hell is that supposed to mean, Esquire??

  2. mia girl says:

    “Say hi to your mother for me” Ha!
    It just never gets old.

  3. Diana says:

    I really liked the movie he did with Denzel Washington (can’t remember the name) but they were both so great in it! They have a great chemistry and I would love to see more movies with them together in it.

  4. Diana says:

    I really liked the movie he did with Denzel Washington (can’t remember the name) but they were both so great in it! They have a great chemistry and I would love to see more movies with them together in it.

  5. Lilacflowers says:

    Mark, Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Depp need to chat with you for a while.

  6. Patricia says:

    Um… What does he mean about his teenage brothers doing teenage things that he didn’t understand in their shared bedroom? Does anyone else find that comment very concerning?

  7. Tapioca says:

    Maybe teach your kids not to beat a man blind just for being Asian?

    • Macey says:


      Hard to take anything he says seriously now that I know how many people he hurt back in the day. not just hurt but life altering pain and suffering.
      I honestly never knew all that stuff until I saw on here and other sites a few yrs ago and now I cant even look at him without getting disgusted.

      • Abbott says:

        He still refuses to apologize to the people he maimed, beat, harassed, and nearly killed bc he “made peace with it.” That’s all he thinks that matters; that he has forgiven himself. This is not a man who has changed, no matter how hard he tries to convince us. He repeatedly threatened and nearly killed people; not just one incident. Read the police reports. He’s a monster.

    • lionbdadddy says:

      He’s disgusting. I’ve never been a fan and never will. Anything he is in, I won’t watch, which unfortunately is the new transformers movie, so that is a no watch for me. He was a ruthless little racist bully thug in his young days and I still think he has those tendencies inside but because of who he is now he cannot act upon them. Such a tough guy terrorizing individuals with a big gang, couldn’t make it a fair one on one fight. He would’ve got his butt whooped good and hard. I don’t care with the whole, “but he was young” argument. At that age he knew what he was doing, there is no excuse. When I look at Mark Walhberg I don’t see a actor turned family man, I still see a pathetic little thug. He’s such a crap actor I’ve often asked the question, how did he get so lucky to have his career when the guy can not act for s***. He even sounds like he hasn’t reached puberty. He’s also the tough guy that could’ve prevented one plane from being hijacked and saved the day had he had been on that plane. “GFU Mark, because I’m sure those poor souls on that plane fought with their everything and last breath to stop what happened on that horrible day.” I was disgusted that he would even go there with such a comment. Such an insult to the poor victims and their families. It was unnecessary and so wrong. It’s as if he was indicating they didn’t do enough, that’s the way I read it. SO excuse me Esquire if i use your piece of him as paper waste to line the cat litter tray. It seems appropriate.

  8. Jaderu says:

    Mark is one of those actors/actresses that I enjoy seeing in anything. I’ll watch anything if Marky Mark is in it. (The Other Guys is my guilty pleasure)
    9 times out of 10 however, those actors/actresses give horrible cringe worthy interviews and I have to cover my eyes.
    Just stop talking Mark and drop the Calvins.

  9. Merritt says:

    I wonder if his victims or their families have healed from what he did. He did commit hate crimes.

    • Macey says:

      oh but thats all okay now b/c he now goes to church and found god and sh*t..never mind he left the one guy permanently blind among other things. its all good b/c he said god forgave him for all that, doesnt matter what the families are going thru, his conscious is clear.

  10. neelyo says:

    He’s got the Tom Cruise dye job going on at that photo call shot. Don’t like him at all. Bad actor and comes across as a thoroughly unlikeable person.

  11. Reg says:

    What a bunch of rubbish. I read a blind item, that he constantly cheats on
    His wife and has kids by another woman, and spent holidays with his other kids.
    Once a scumbag , always a scumbag….

  12. Dawn says:

    I think he is a good actor. I really like Donnie because there is just something cute about him and I really like his mother and his brother Paulie. Man that guy works hard for a living! And I do agree that while you are raising your children you should be in their lives and know what’s up and whose who in their life so I can’t rag on him for that.

  13. roxy750 says:

    I hate to love Mark W. I really do. The picture of him with kids in the red car is sickening cute!

  14. V says:

    If I had to pick a Wahlberg, I’d pick one that isn’t named Mark. Oh, may I pick Alma? I’m hungry and she’s supposed to be a great cook.

    Sorry to all the Mark fans, but until he at least apologizes to all the victims of the racist, drug-fueled violent acts he committed as a teen, his films aren’t worth my time and money.

  15. Lucinda says:

    It’s a good interview. The guy is flawed but aren’t we all. I think he has matured a great deal from the angry young man he once was. He isn’t a peach to be sure, but he has grown. That’s deserves to be acknowledged.