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Exclusive: Mark Wahlberg Discusses Arthur the King: ‘Anything Is Possible’

Mar 9, 2024


Quirky firefighter. Famed boxer. Master thief. Boston detective. The list goes on when thinking about acclaimed actor Mark Wahlberg’s wide variety of starring film roles over the years. And now, add “real-life adventure racer” to the Oscar-nominated actor’s filmography. From director Simon Cellan Jones, Arthur the King showcases Wahlberg’s tenacity and perseverance as he portrays athlete Mikael Lindnord and the harrowing true survival of a chance encounter with a lovable stray canine (later to be named Arthur) during a televised adventure race.

It’s a role Wahlberg is born to play, and we recently caught up with him in Los Angeles to learn more about how his faith and perseverance have helped his Hollywood career thus far.

‘It Was Good Until I Busted My Knee’
Arthur the King Release Date March 15, 2024 Director Simon Cellan Jones Studio Lions Gate Films, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

Tom Cruise once broke his ankle trying to pull off a stunt during the production of a Mission: Impossible installment. Similarly, for Wahlberg, it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk pulling off the leading role of adventure racer in a tense, pulse-pounding, race-to-the-finish kind of movie that is Arthur the King. “It was good until I busted my knee on day one,” said Wahlberg in describing the production process. “You always just want to look the part. I always feel like if I can be believable, as a guy who can kind of go out there and run an adventure race, then I’ll do the man justice. But after I tore my knee, it was just like, everyone else was worried that we were going to shut down the movie, I was going to have the surgery. And Mikael was like, ‘No, this is what it’s about. You have to go through all of this pain and the suffering.'”

Wahlberg continued:

“I never really even knew anything about adventure racing. And also to know that Mikael, who I knew to be one of the most selfish guys in the world in his pursuit of achieving his ultimate goal of winning a world championship, did the most selfless thing by sacrificing the race and his dream to save Arthur, even though he wasn’t really a dog person. It just kind of happened.”

Wahlberg has been outspoken about his faith over the years. With a seemingly grueling project like Arthur the King, we were curious how his perseverance played into how his Hollywood career has taken shape. “I credit all my success to my faith, both personally and professionally,” he told MovieWeb.

“I think if it wasn’t for my faith and a little bit of heightened reality belief in myself, I would have never done any of the things that I’ve been able to accomplish. So I’m really trying to encourage people that anything is possible if you’re willing to do the work. And sometimes putting yourself out there a little bit, taking risks, risk looking ridiculous and falling on your face, these are the kinds of chances that you have to take. And I really do believe that anything is possible, so I’m living proof of that. And I want to encourage people to gravitate towards that and take some risks and take some swings, and also encourage them to be better and do better.”

Related Mark Wahlberg’s Performance in Arthur the King Teased as His Most ‘Athletic’ by Director In an exclusive chat with MovieWeb, Arthur the King director Simon Cellan Jones talks working with Mark Wahlberg, dogs, and kids.

Arthur: A ‘Big, 4-Quadrant Movie’

With Arthur the King, you don’t have to be an official dog owner to fall in love with Arthur (played by superstar dog Ukai) on the big screen. “Once I saw the dog, I couldn’t believe that that hadn’t been made yet, or somebody hadn’t already kind of snatched it up,” said Wahlberg. “I thought, ‘It’s got all the elements of the perfect, big, four-quadrant movie, appealing to families and, of course, dog lovers. Who wouldn’t find it inspiring and be moved by it emotionally?’ But I think the way the movie kind of came together under the circumstances with COVID and everything else that was happening, we were very fortunate, I think. This movie has been blessed in a way… You always, never for lack of effort when making a movie, you always want to make the best version of it. Sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out that way. And it’s nice to see this as a contribution to the cinematic experience.”

Related Uncharted 2 Gets Promising Update from Mark Wahlberg’s Mustache Tease Mark Wahlberg fuels Uncharted 2 anticipation as he preps for Sully role.

Audiences might find themselves fist-pumping and cheering on Wahlberg’s Mikael character while watching Arthur the King on the big screen — and that includes Wahlberg himself, who was able to see his new movie at the cinema with others. “Going to a theater — where I spent the last 15 years taking my kids to see films, four or five days a week, and my wife and I would go on our date night every week there — and then see this movie there with people again, in a theater laughing, crying, sharing that experience with strangers, it was touching. It was really, really touching. And I just thank Mikael and [his wife] Helena and his kids for allowing me to be the one to shepherd this story and to be a part of that.”

From Lionsgate, Arthur the King hits theaters on Mar. 15. Watch the trailer below.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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