Skip to main content

Mile 22's Mark Wahlberg Explains Leonardo DiCaprio's Former Beef With Him

The Basketball Diaries

Back in 1995, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg starred together in the film The Basketball Diaries. There have been stories ever since about the pair not getting along, but now Mark Wahlberg explains the situation. According to the Mile 22 actor, he thinks the beginning of the issue came from the fact that Wahlberg had not done much acting before that, and there was a feeling that the outlandish rapper might not be the best fit for the serious story about addiction. According to Wahlberg...

It wasn't a disagreement. It was just, like, I think we both had a specific opinion about each other, certainly. I was just, ya know, as a rapper, I was just kinda out-there and loud and crazy and all this stuff, and it was a very serious movie and this very serious part, and so the director of the film [the late Scott Kalvert], he had made all my music videos, he felt like I was more than capable to play the part.

Interestingly, Mark Wahlberg tells Extra that much of the animosity between the two apparently all came very early in the process, as in, before Mark Wahlberg had actually auditioned for the role. Once the new actor was able to show that he was capable of doing what the script required, he and DiCaprio actually started to hit it off.

But no one had seen me act in a film, so I had to really kinda just go out there and prove myself. Once I finally got to the point where I was able to audition and read with him, then we just both kinda looked at each other, we were like, 'Wow!' We were literally out that night and we became fast friends.

Mark Wahlberg has spoken about the issues between himself and Leonardo DiCaprio before. Apparently, Wahlberg actually showed up late to the script reading in question, which made things a little awkward going into it, but it does sound like once DiCaprio understood that Wahlberg was more than capable of handling the part, whatever issues there were fell away.

Mark Wahlberg also confirms that he and DiCaprio have talked about working together again, so it does seem the two are truly friends, or at least friendly enough to be willing to share the screen again.

While The Basketball Diaries may not be as well known as other films either actor has made, it's a very well made look at the dark and disturbing world of drug addiction. One that does show just how good both of these young actors would eventually become. If you haven't seen it, you should fix that your next opportunity.

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.