Mark Wahlberg is okay with not making any money from starring in The Fighter, saying it was “something that had to be done.” Mark plays boxer ‘Irish’ Micky Ward, who goes on to win a world junior welterweight title after being trained by his half brother Dicky Eklund in the film, which is based on a true story. Mark spent years making sure the movie was made. Despite actors and directors dropping out of the project, Mark remained committed to it and was thrilled when Christian Bale agreed to play Dicky and David O. Russell took over as director. Mark underwent intensive training for the part, and once the movie was finished he relaxed his strict diet and exercise regime, but was frustrated when he found out some scenes had to be re-shot. “I was filming The Other Guys, having a great time because, after four years of training and watching my weight, I got to stuff my face every day and drink a lot of wine. By the end of it, I put on over 30 lbs.,” he explained in an interview with British newspaper The Independent. “Then David asked if I could do a couple of extra shots of the last fight, when Micky is in his best shape. I really didn’t want to do it but he persisted so I spoke to the trainer and the nutritionist who figured we could do it in five weeks.
I said, ‘Look, I’m not paying for it!’, because I’d paid for everything out of my own pocket – all the years of training and paying the nutritionist and the trainer… And I got paid no money to make the movie.” Even though the 39-year-old star hasn’t enjoyed any immediate financial gain from the movie, he is confident his performance will lead to him landing other challenging roles. “They knew how desperate I was to make the movie so they made a deal where even if The Fighter made Avatar money, I’ll still make no money,” he explained. “This movie will allow me to make hundreds of millions of dollars from other things. A lot of the movies that I got paid ridiculous and obscene amounts of money for are things I’d hope would never see the light of day and I’m embarrassed to have made. But The Fighter was just something that had to be done.”