Mark Wahlberg may now be a highly credible Oscar-nominated actor, but in the early ’90s he was far more renowned for his muscular physique than any particular talent. And a photo that the star posted to Instagram in 2019 revealed that remarkably his body remains in just as good shape – if not even better – than during his modeling days. But such a shocking transformation requires a certain amount of work and maintenance, and Wahlberg himself has revealed just what it takes to stay in such tip-top condition.
Back when he was known as Marky Mark, Wahlberg famously established himself as a pin-up with a host of revealing ads for Calvin Klein. And even though he went on to reinvent himself as a serious Hollywood movie star, he still got the chance to show off his impressive six-pack in films such as Boogie Nights, Date Night and Pain and Gain.
Wahlberg certainly can’t be accused of letting himself go during the decades, either – and that’s despite the fact that he’s approaching 50. Indeed, in 2019 the actor took to social media to proudly display the kind of ripped body that most gym fanatics half his age would be proud of. Here’s a look at his story and the incredible transformation that broke the internet.
Wahlberg’s early life was worlds apart from the glitz and glamour that he would later enjoy as a Hollywood star. In his early teens, he went through a period of substance abuse – including using cocaine. He also got into trouble with the law for violent conduct. And in 1988 Wahlberg saw the consequences of his bad behavior, being handed a two-year jail sentence for a horrific crime.
As it happens, though, Wahlberg only spent 45 days behind bars for the offense. The troubled youth had pleaded guilty to viciously assaulting not just one but two Vietnamese men, reportedly using a big piece of wood to knock the first of his victims unconscious. The future star had also hit the second individual in his left eye – and this act allegedly damaged the man’s sight forever.
Even with his rap sheet, though, Wahlberg became a Billboard chart-topper within the next two years. The star had first showcased his singing voice in New Kids on the Block – the boy band that also featured his older brother Donnie. Wahlberg departed from the group before they hit the big time, however, and instead found success when he teamed up with a group of dancers and rappers known as the Funky Bunch.
With Wahlberg going by the name of Marky Mark, he and the Funky Bunch reached number one in the U.S. with their debut single “Good Vibrations.” The track’s parent album, Music for the People, also spawned a second top ten hit in “Wildside.” The group ultimately disbanded in 1992, though, after sophomore effort You Gotta Believe failed to repeat its predecessor’s success.
Of course, by this point, Wahlberg had already attracted attention elsewhere – and not for his singing or dancing. Yes, the star became one of the early ’90s’ ultimate poster boys when he posed in just his underwear for a series of ads for Calvin Klein. Wahlberg also showed off his ripped physique for an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot in the December 1993 issue of Vanity Fair.
But Wahlberg was already beginning to prove that he had the acting talent to accompany those muscles, as at this time he was also starting to forge what would become a hugely successful movie career. He initially took to the screen to play Ryan Westerberg in the 1993 TV film The Substitute, following that up with an impressive turn alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries. And in 1996 the aspiring actor took center stage for the first time in the thriller Fear.
Wahlberg hadn’t completely given up his musical ambitions in favor of Hollywood, though. In 1994 he joined forces with reggae artist Prince Ital Joe for the Life in the Streets LP. Then, two years later, he founded a short-lived musical outfit named One Love. And he also released a handful of solo singles throughout the mid-1990s, including “No Mercy” and “Hey DJ.”
But after his breakthrough film role in Boogie Nights, Wahlberg seemingly put his musical career to bed. Yes, the star’s performance as porn actor Dirk Diggler helped cement the one-time pin-up as one to be watched. And after proving his skills in Paul Thomas Anderson’s cult classic, Wahlberg subsequently landed role after role in a whole host of high-profile movies.
Wahlberg starred alongside George Clooney, for instance, in both Iraq War movie Three Kings and disaster flick The Perfect Storm. He also became something of a remake king – taking top billing in new spins on Charade, The Italian Job and Planet of the Apes – and received critical acclaim for his turn in David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees.
What’s more, both Ocean’s Eleven and Brokeback Mountain very nearly had Wahlberg in their respective casts. Yes, the star was originally slated to play Linus Caldwell in the heist film before Matt Damon came on board. He was also poised to appear alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Ang Lee’s adaptation, but both parties reportedly got cold feet over the movie’s gay sex elements.
In 2004, moreover, Wahlberg added yet another string to his bow by becoming the executive producer for Entourage – the long-running HBO series that was partly inspired by his own time in Tinseltown. And two years later, the actor received Oscar recognition for the first time after his turn in The Departed. Wahlberg also picked up a Golden Globe nod for his menacing performance as a Massachusetts cop in the Martin Scorsese-directed classic.
Wahlberg certainly didn’t rest on his laurels after those accolades, though. Instead, he went on to achieve box office success in action vehicle Shooter before playing a grieving father in Peter Jackson’s take on The Lovely Bones. He also finally got the chance to appear on screen with Joaquin Phoenix in crime flick We Own the Night. And by the end of the ’00s, Wahlberg had also added M. Night Shyamalan chiller The Happening and video-game adaptation Max Payne to his filmography.
The Seth MacFarlane-penned Ted and a return to the war genre in Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor continued Wahlberg’s winning streak in the early ’10s. He added another remake to his resume, too, when he took the lead role in The Gambler – a revamped version of the 1974 thriller of the same name. And the actor got the chance to showcase his comic timing once again when he appeared alongside Will Ferrell in Daddy’s Home.
In 2016 Wahlberg continued his affiliation with Berg, starring in Patriots Day and Deepwater Horizon before working with the director for a fourth time on 2018’s Mile 22. By this point, the actor had also appeared in the likes of All the Money in the World, Transformers: The Last Knight and Instant Family.
Wahlberg shows no signs of slowing down, either, as he approaches the big 5-0. In fact, he has five films slated for release in 2020, including Netflix drama Wonderland, the Jake Gyllenhaal-produced Good Joe Bell and sci-fi Infinite. In his inaugural voice role for an animated feature, he’ll also lend his tones to Blue Falcon in Scoob!
But Wahlberg’s interests definitely extend beyond the entertainment world. As fans will know, he also part-owns a restaurant chain alongside siblings Paul and Donnie, with the ins and outs of running the punningly named Wahlburgers having been documented in a reality show of the same name on A&E. Wahlberg has also put his money in cricket team Barbados Tridents, bottled water company Aquahydrate and sports nutrition firm Performance Inspired.
Wahlberg has made time for a love life, too, and he has been in a relationship with model Rhea Durham for most of his Hollywood career. The pair began dating in 2001 and eventually made it down the aisle in 2009 at a Beverly Hills ceremony. The couple were joined at the wedding by their children Ella Rae, Michael and Brendan Joseph, and they welcomed fourth child Grace Margaret into the world a year later.
Plus, while his Calvin Klein days may now be a full three decades behind him, Wahlberg still seems determined to push his body to its absolute limits. In fact, in 2018 the star revealed the brutal 47-day regimen that he’d adopted while preparing to play James Silva in Mile 22. And Wahlberg’s very packed schedule made for thoroughly exhausting reading.
Wahlberg claimed that after waking up at the ungodly time of 2:30 a.m., he spent 30 minutes praying before tucking into his breakfast. He then went on to conduct a workout session for just over an hour and a half before enjoying another meal and fitting in a shower, a round of golf and cryotherapy recovery. And all of this took place before 10:30 a.m.
So what kind of food did Wahlberg live on during this seemingly insane schedule? Well, as he told his Instagram followers, “I start out with steel oats, blueberries and peanut butter for breakfast. Then I have a protein shake, three turkey burgers [and] five pieces of sweet potato at about 5:30 a.m. At 8:00 a.m., I have about ten turkey meatballs.”
“At 10:30 a.m., I have a grilled chicken salad with two hard-boiled eggs, olives, avocado, cucumber, tomato [and] lettuce,” Wahlberg continued. “Then at 1:00 p.m., I have a New York steak with green peppers. At 3:30 p.m., I have grilled chicken with bok choi. At 5:30/6:00 p.m., I have a beautiful piece of halibut or cod or a seabass with some vegetables, maybe some sauteed potatoes and bok choi. And I have a lot of Aquahydrate during the day. That’s it.”
Wahlberg didn’t give himself the luxury of a day off, either. Yes, even when he was vacationing with his family, he stuck to his incredibly strict regime. And on one occasion, the staff of a Manhattan gym opened the doors to the facility at a much earlier time than usual to allow Wahlberg to pump some iron while most of us were tucked up in bed.
But although Wahlberg’s incredibly committed approach to his physique drew gasps of astonishment on social media, the star was keen to tell his followers that there was a method to his madness. He said, “Most of the time I get to work out and do all my stuff while my family’s asleep – especially on the weekends.”
“By the time I’ve gotten up, worked out, done all my stuff [and] played golf, the kids are just waking up and my wife’s sleeping in, so it works out good,” continued Wahlberg. “But that’s one of the big advantages of getting up early.” Perhaps such dedication explains why in 2017 Wahlberg was named as Hollywood’s highest-earning actor.
And in a September 2019 interview with the Australian edition of Men’s Health, Wahlberg revealed that he hopes to have a positive influence on his fans. He explained, “I’m very precious with my time, which is why I’m so disciplined. I try to inspire people that there is enough time in the day to accomplish all of your goals and find that great balance.”
What’s more, Wahlberg went into even further detail about how he achieves such an impressive physique during a chat with Men’s Journal. He revealed, “My workouts start with RAMP, which stands for Range of motion, Activation and Movement Prep – things like Spiderman stretch and hip bridges, plus foam rolling. Then we switch between bilateral and unilateral strength moves using mostly heavy bands, TRX, dumbbells and kettlebells. The lower body work includes balance and agility drills.”
In the same interview, Wahlberg also revealed that it was often mind over matter when it came to hitting the gym. He added, “It’s hard to fill a cup that’s already full. I tell myself that a lot – it’s a willingness to evolve, to empty out what isn’t working and try new things. I want to seize my 1 percent.”
And Wahlberg proved once again that his hard work had paid off when he took to Instagram in August 2019 to show off the results of his participation in the eight-week F45 challenge. This latest grueling diet and exercise program was created by the franchise that Wahlberg had invested in just six months previously.
More specifically, the F45 challenge uses a variety of circuit and functional training methods and HIIT to help acquire muscle and melt away fat. Unsurprisingly, alcohol is strictly off-limits, too, as Wahlberg was keen to point out with the hashtag #nowine54days. And the accompanying photo he used once again sent the internet into meltdown.
In the snap in question, a shirtless Wahlberg can be seen in a pose that shows off his bulging muscles and rippling six-pack in all of their glory. And the star himself seems mightily proud about how he looks, too – particularly given how long he’s been on the planet. You see, Wahlberg – who was 48 at the time – also used the hashtag #ageisjustanumber.
And, unsurprisingly, many of Wahlberg’s followers took to the comments section to express their amazement at his continued body transformation. “You in awesome shape bro,” posted one particularly impressed fan. “Marky Mark can get it,” replied another. Then there was the follower who cheekily tagged in several of their friends with the comment, “Just sharing for fitness education.”
But it wasn’t just Wahlberg’s adoring public who chose to sing the muscled star’s praises online. TV host Mario Lopez – who shot to fame playing jock A.C. Slater in teen sitcom Saved by the Bell – also responded to the post, writing, “Show ’em what fellas in their 40s are all about! You look awesome bro!!”
Plus, Wahlberg received some glowing words from Tom Brady – the star quarterback of the actor’s favorite football team, the New England Patriots. “We are looking for some skill players,” Brady remarked in the comments section. Wahlberg jokingly replied that he was willing and able to take to the field whenever needed.
In fact, the overwhelmingly positive response to Wahlberg’s shirtless shot seemingly inspired the actor to keep giving insights into his fitness regime. Just a few days later, you see, the star uploaded a video of himself pumping iron with some dumbbells far heavier than most normal gym-goers can lift. He captioned the clip, “Inspired to be better.”
And a month earlier, Wahlberg’s brother Paul had shown just how tough it is to achieve such an incredible body. During the series finale of Wahlburgers, the actor can be seen putting his older sibling through his paces with a full-throttle F45 workout. It’s fair to say, too, that Paul didn’t exactly enjoy it.
In fact, Paul experienced cramps just moments into the arms, legs and core workout. But Wahlberg’s brother was determined to give it his all regardless. He told the cameras, “I’m doing the best I can to keep up with Mark. How long it’s going to last? I don’t know, but I’m going to give it my best shot – and then he’ll leave me alone.”
Much to Paul’s dismay, though, the workout ended up being much longer than he anticipated. Wahlberg’s sibling believed he’d completed the session after just five minutes before being informed that he still had a long way to go. And in response to the news, an exasperated Paul shouted, “What do you mean halfway? I thought we were finished.”
But while Wahlberg is seemingly keen to motivate his family to get in shape, sometimes it’s the stars themselves who need the encouragement. Take Alec Baldwin, for example, who’s lost an impressive amount of weight with the help of his second wife. And like Wahlberg, he’s sure been keen to show it off.
An Oscar-nominated movie star, the eldest of an acting dynasty and perhaps the most famous Donald Trump impersonator in the world. Alec Baldwin has become renowned for many things during his lengthy career in Hollywood. And ever since his marriage to Hilaria, he’s also turned into an unlikely poster boy for potentially life-saving weight loss.
Alec first began altering his diet in 2012 when he was told he had pre-diabetes. In Hilaria’s book The Living Clearly Method, penned three years later, she admitted, “This was an alarming wake-up call that rocked him to the core.” And the yoga instructor subsequently made it her mission to help him stave off the devastating condition.
Apparently, Hilaria’s advice proved to be invaluable. And as Alec showed off during a memorably revealing appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2019, he’s continued to follow it. So, here’s a look at the 30 Rock star’s health struggles and the relationship that saw him overcome them.
Best known for his roles in Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October and 30 Rock, Alec first bumped into yoga instructor Hilaria entirely by chance in 2011. In fact, their so-called meet-cute was like something out of a Hollywood rom-com. And the actor was more than happy to explain what happened in a 2019 Instagram post celebrating their eight-year anniversary.
Alec wrote, “Eight years ago, I wandered into Pure Food and Wine on Irving Place, on an unseasonably warm February evening. My friend, and I sat down (outside!) and as I turned to my left I saw a woman who would change my life. Entirely. Eight years today. Thanks for all you’ve given me. You are a gift.”
And in an interview with the New York Times in 2012, Hilaria revealed her side of the story about how the pair first started talking to each other. The yoga instructor recalled, “I was standing near the door with my friends when he walked up and took my hand and said, ‘I must know you.’” Judging by his pick-up line, then, Alec appears to be just as smooth off screen as he is on it.
After Hilaria asked for confirmation that it was her he was talking to, Alec then handed over his card. However, while the actor may have acted fast during their initial encounter, he seemed keen to take things much slower when they actually began dating. So slow, in fact, that Hilaria began to wonder whether he was interested in her romantically at all.
Speaking to Beach magazine in 2013, Hilaria revealed that Alec took six weeks before he even attempted to kiss her. She said, “We’d have the most romantic dinner date, and afterward he’d drop me off at my house and shake my hand. My girlfriends would call me and say, ‘Anything yet?’ and I’d say, ‘Nope, nope, nope.’ Then they’d say, ‘Maybe he just wants to be friends.’”
Of course, it turned out that Alec was merely being the perfect gentleman. And following their slightly uncertain start, the pair went full steam ahead. Just five months after their first meeting, you see, Hilaria and Alec decided to move in together. And soon after, there was the sound of both wedding bells and the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
What’s more, Hilaria told Beach magazine that she never once saw their 26-year age gap as an issue. She said, “I didn’t really think too much of it because we’re so different. Everyone has commented on our age difference, and it is big. And I’m not someone who watches TV. So he’s somebody completely out of my world – not someone I’d necessarily think of.”
Hilaria and Alec said “I do” in a ceremony at New York’s Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in the summer of 2012. But this wasn’t the first time that the actor had walked down the aisle. He had previously been married for nine years to fellow Hollywood star Kim Basinger, you see.
In a pre-wedding chat with the New York Times, however, Alec admitted that following his split with Kim, he wasn’t certain that marriage was for him. He said, “I’ve dated a lot of people since my divorce and have thought a lot about what I wanted and what I wanted to do. I thought about it too much, I suppose. I wasn’t really ready to take that chance and to act until I met Hilaria.”
Alec and Hilaria’s whirlwind relationship continued to flourish when the yoga instructor soon fell pregnant with their first child. Carmen Gabriela Baldwin was born in August 2013, and she was followed two years later by brother Rafael Thomas. Leonardo Ángel Charles arrived in 2016, and two years later, their family unit grew yet again with the birth of Romeo Alejandro David.
Hilaria was also keen to point out during an interview with Mom.me that Alec is very much a hands-on father. She remarked, “Everybody says, ‘Oh yeah, sure. I’m going to be with you, and I’m going to change diapers and do all these things.’ And you always worry that at 2:00 a.m., you’re going to be alone with your child and your husband’s going to be snoring… But no, [Alec’s] really great.”
Of course, Alec has had plenty of parental experience, having already raised daughter Ireland with his first wife, Kim. Thankfully, though, Hilaria also has a strong connection with her stepdaughter, even if it has been tricky at times. In an Instagram post she wrote, “Having a stepchild is a delicate matter. Especially one who is grown. I think my relationship with her has been so successful because I never tried to step in as her mommy.”
Hilaria also explained why she doesn’t always reference Ireland when discussing her own offspring. She added, “I did not birth her, and I never want to disrespect the fact that she has a wonderful mother. But this will never take away from how much I love her, need her in my life and think that she is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
Speaking to Elle Décor magazine in 2016, Alec revealed that he and Hilaria differ when it comes to how they bring up their children. He said, “It’s a generational thing. I’m a lot older, and when I grew up there was none of this bargaining and negotiating you do with kids now. Making them understand.”
“My father was like, ‘Oh, I’ll make you understand!’” added Alec. “My mother used to hit us with a curtain rod, you know, people used to hit their kids with kitchen utensils. But [Hilaria] is the best mommy; she respects them, she honors them.” And Alec seemingly has no problem with Hilaria positioning herself as the alpha of the family, either.
Hilaria and Alec have every intention of adding to their brood, too. “They’re my favorite things in the world so why not?” Hilaria told People magazine in 2019 – in reference to her four kids. And the yoga instructor has already shown that she has no trouble when it comes to losing weight after giving birth.
Incredibly, just ten weeks after welcoming her second child, Rafael, into the world, Hilaria took to Instagram to reveal that she’d lost no less than 18 pounds. In a post, she wrote, “I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m not trying to be skinny. I’m just trying to be healthy, and I’ve found that if I don’t really stress about it, the weight kind of just comes off.”
Hilaria was also keen to share images of her ever-changing body during and after the pregnancy of her fourth child. She once wrote on Instagram, “I share my journey and posts here because I believe so strongly that smart exercise, good eating, and a calm mind equals [a] healthy body. And I want you to experience it too because life is so worth living to its max… and you are so worth it.”
In another post, she wrote, “I’m fit before pregnancy, I stay as fit as I can during pregnancy, and that I think has allowed me to have pretty great labors, deliveries and recovery. This time was hard because I had pneumonia during my labor and delivery, so I was really sick. It wasn’t as fast as the other times, but I made a comeback.”
What’s more, Alec’s figure has also been an issue in the Baldwin household ever since he was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in 2012. After discovering the news, the star went on a major health kick to help beat the disease – losing an impressive 30 pounds in just four months by completely cutting out sugar. And, unsurprisingly, Hilaria was with him every step of the way.
Speaking to Access Hollywood, Alec revealed that Hilaria had been a key motivating factor when it came to his weight loss. And the star had even taken up spin and Pilates classes in a bid to get healthier. However, despite having a yoga instructor for a partner, he admitted that he hadn’t carried out as many downward dogs as he’d hoped.
In 2016 Hilaria penned a book about her healthy lifestyle, and it was called The Living Clearly Method. Alongside various tips, the yoga instructor discussed her husband’s health problems and how out of shape he was when they first met. Describing Alec’s condition, you see, Hilaria wrote, “His cup was close to the brim.”
“His cup was so full that his body couldn’t metabolize even a bite or two of sugar without causing insulin disruption, and this was leading him dangerously close to a chronic disease,” Hilaria continued. That chronic disease was, of course, diabetes, which reportedly affects around 425 million people across the globe.
For her part, Hilaria made it her mission to help Alec achieve a more balanced diet. However, not wanting to go in all guns blazing so early on in their relationship, the yoga instructor initially did her research in quiet. And every time that Alec ate something that was high in sugars and carbs, Hilaria made a mental note of it.
“After years of eating out, eating late, and eating too much, he’d fallen into some bad habits without realizing it,” Hilaria wrote in her book. “His sugar intake was far too high, not just due to sweet foods and white carbs, but to pasta, sauces with hidden sugars and snacks. I quietly watched what he ate, only mentally jotting down my secret wish list of what I’d tell him if he asked.”
Hilaria was then able to put all her mental notes to good use following a concerning doctor’s appointment. There, Alec was informed that his blood sugar levels were pre-diabetic and was advised to alter what he ate immediately. Hilaria revealed, “This was an alarming wake-up call that rocked him to the core.”
Wisely, Alec acted upon this advice from the offset. He no longer ate foods such as bread and pasta and even cut out his favorite: Chinese sweet and sour sauce. Hilaria wrote, “This was a moment for drastically putting order where disorder had taken over; his body chemistry couldn’t rebalance until the aggravating foods and drinks were removed.”
Hilaria also helped to motivate Alec by sticking to the same weight loss and exercise routines herself. She continued in her book, “This episode completely changed his relationship to eating. By hitting a crisis point, he gained a new perspective on some of the unhelpful habits that became his normal without realizing it.”
It isn’t just regular gym sessions that the pair have enjoyed together, either. In a 2016 interview with The Cut, Hilaria revealed that she and Alec have also attended a New York fitness company named Physique 57 where they tried barre. This is a form of exercise featuring routines heavily inspired by ballet.
Hilaria, it seems, appreciated Alec’s efforts. She told The Cut, “I hated barre the first three times, but now I’m obsessed. I was like, ‘This is where all the ladies are! This is where everyone’s in spandex! Let’s go, honey!’ It’s not a male-friendly workout necessarily. It was very sweet that he came with me. We’ve tried acroyoga; we’ve tried everything.”
And in October 2019 Alec appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he opened up about his return to Saturday Night Live and his much-loved impersonation of Donald Trump. But it was his newly-slim figure rather than his mimicry skills that ended up creating the headlines. Alec, you see, certainly wasn’t shy about showing off his transformation.
“You want to see how much weight I’ve lost,” Alec asked the slightly bewildered host. “Ready? My pants don’t even fit anymore.” Much to both Jimmy and the studio audience’s shock, the star then dropped his pants. And the host had some kind words for Alec. “You look fantastic,” he said, while also desperately attempting to cover him up.
Alec, you see, was actually on the late night talk show to discuss the movie Motherless Brooklyn – a neo-noir directed, penned and co-produced by Ed Norton. The actor told Jimmy, “It really, really is a great drama. And Edward, as a director, he did a great job directing. He’s a very smart guy.”
And Alec was no doubt on cloud nine at the time following the personal news that he and his wife had just shared. Indeed, having previously expressed their desire to add to their family unit, in September 2019 the Baldwins announced with glee that they were expecting their fifth child. A joyful Hilaria wrote in an Instagram post, “It is still very early… but we have learned that there is a little person inside of me.”
Hilaria continued, “The sound of this strong heart makes me so happy – especially because of the loss we experienced in the spring.” Indeed, the yoga instructor had tragically suffered a miscarriage earlier on in the year. She added, “We want to share this news as we are excited and don’t want to hide the pregnancy.”
A few weeks after spreading the news of their forthcoming new arrival, the pair roped in their four kids to help reveal the baby’s gender to the world. Carmen, Rafael, Leonardo and Romeo were all given a sheet-covered doll to unwrap which would either be dressed in blue or pink. And Carmen was the first to discover that she would be getting a little sister.
The young girl was no doubt delighted with this news. For Hilaria had previously told PopSugar how desperate Carmen was to have another girl in the family. She said, “It has now been a mission to give Carmen a sister. She loves Ireland, but she wants a baby sister. Basically, my mission is I’m going to keep having kids until it’s a girl!”