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How Mark Wahlberg's Body Freaked Out After He Lost 60 Pounds

In preparation for his performance as the titular Jim Bennett in The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg made serious sacrifices to his own health and dropped a scary 60 pounds. This idea isn't that rare in Hollywood, as actors like Christian Bale and Robert De Niro have previously made headlines for similar taking similar actions, but what makes Wahlberg's case somewhat different is the fact that he experienced a very strange side effect of his weight loss.

US Weekly was present at the premiere of The Gambler at AFI Fest last month, and it was there that the actor revealed that his desire to lose more and more weight through the production of the movie created a unique problem, as his malnutrition actually led to his lips turning blue. Because it wasn't actually in character for Jim Bennett to be experiencing this, Wahlberg and the filmmakers actually got complaints from the higher ups that the movie looked off. Said Wahlberg,

"The studio... there was a complaint about that, that my lips were always looking blue. What the fuck do you want me to do? I haven’t eaten anything! If you make them red, I’m going to look weird, like I’ve got lipstick on, so it is what it is."

In preparation for his part in The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg wanted to be as thin as he possibly could - and that meant going even further below the lowest weight of his career. In a post screening production, the actor said that he went from a bulky 197 pounds down to a way-too-skinny 137 pounds. He had previously dropped to 138 pounds while working on Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights, and he decided for himself that he wanted to go even lower. The actor was so focused on the goal that he actually kept his weight loss going throughout the filming of the movie. As a result, there may be some scenes in the film where he is skinny, and then a whole lot skinnier. "continuity kind of went out of the window," Wahlberg remarked.

A remake of the 1974 film of the same name, The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as Jim Bennett, a college professor who finds himself is some extreme circumstances thanks to both his personal gambling problem (getting him into hot water with a powerful loan shark) and an affair that he is having with one of his students. Rupert Wyatt, who previously made Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is directing the film based on a screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed) and the rest of the stacked cast includes Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, John Goodman and Michael K. Williams. Look for it in theaters this Christmas, and head to Page Two to watch the ridiculously awesome trailer...

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.