MOVIES

The 1996 Mark Wahlberg Thriller Getting A Second Life On Netflix

Known in the ’90s as the headlining artist for the hip-hop act Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Mark Wahlberg proved through “Fear” that he had the acting chops to serve as a leading man. Speaking to Josh Horowitz on “Happy Sad Confused,” he explained how his “Basketball Diaries” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio recommended him for the role of David to “Fear” director James Foley. Though hesitant, Foley agreed to meet Wahlberg, and while sparks flew, the director didn’t think the young star was right for the gig. 

Foley eventually allowed Wahlberg to audition for a smaller role in the picture. The actor then ended up reading lines for the main character — proving how perfect he was. “Next thing I know [Foley] was like, ‘whoah.’ He calls the studio and he’s like, ‘Listen, if you don’t give Mark Wahlberg this part, I’m not doing the movie,'” he remembered.

“Fear” wasn’t a major critical hit — it only has a 46% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But it’s hard for anyone to call it Wahlberg’s worst film. Even negative reviews at the time highlighted how it served as a worthy vehicle for his acting chops. “Wahlberg does have screen presence and, given a more subtle film, might even emerge as a star before he emerges as an actor,” wrote the prescient film critic Mal Vincent for The Virginian-Pilot.

Viewers who might find “Fear” too disturbing for their liking can also check out these other underrated, must-watch films on Netflix. 

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