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Sometimes you just have no idea where certain careers will take you. When you saw Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, could you have dreamed that Mark Wahlberg would go on to become both a respectable actor and box office success? Imagine if in twenty years, Justin Bieber was earning Oscar nominations in Paul Thomas Anderson movies; that’s basically how the brother of pop star Donnie Wahlberg came across. So when it comes time to honor a full career in front of the camera, don’t be surprised when you realize Wahlberg has amassed a stellar body of work.
MTV seems to realize this, as they’ve selected Marky Mark to be this year’s recipient of the prestigious Generation Award at this year’s MTV Movie Awards. Conan O’Brien will be hosting the festivities on April 9th, as they’ll be honoring a wide swath of 2013 releases, from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to 12 Years A Slave. Wahlberg is a special recipient of this award, given that he’s the rare moviestar to also have been a fixture on MTV back when the ‘M’ stood for music and not "My God This Programming Is Killing My Damned Brain."
Ironically (not really) Wahlberg will be receiving the honor a couple of months before he’ll be hitting the screen in Transformers: Age Of Extinction, from Paramount, who owns Viacom, who owns MTV. So strange how these happy accidents occur. Adding more synergy will be the fact that Wahlberg will be accepting the award from the cast of Entourage, who will be reuniting for the first time since the show ended, promoting next year’s Entourage movie. A movie that - are you sitting down for this? - Wahlberg is actually producing. Who saw THAT coming?
Which isn’t to say Wahlberg wouldn’t be a good candidate for this award if he didn’t have a movie or two coming out. How do you beat that sort of career? He came up modestly despite boy band associations and a pretty nasty rap sheet to become a familiar face onscreen with actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Danny DeVito, before putting the industry on notice as the gifted Dirk Diggler of Boogie Nights. From there, it was mostly action pictures like The Perfect Storm and The Italian Job, but he dabbled in drama with meaty parts in The Yards and The Lovely Bones, and eventually comedy with I Heart Huckabee’s and Ted (and it‘s eventual sequel). But who expected The Departed? Who would have thought that in a cast including DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, it would be Wahlberg who was nominated for an Academy Award?